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Army of Two (Electronic Arts / EA Montreal - 360, PS3)
Kane & Lynch: Dead Men (Eidos / Io - 360, PS3, PC)
Release Date: November 13, 2007
Same Time As: Each other
Why it should succeed: Playing through a shooter cooperatively with a friend used to be a neat and novel idea. Since the success of Halo and Gears of War, however, developers have been cramming the feature into their games as if it were a requirement. Sometimes the addition doesn't make much sense.
That's not the case with Kane & Lynch or Army of Two. Both titles were built from the ground up with coop in mind - and it shows. The former stars two extremely distinct anti-heroes who, as much as they mistrust each other, must rely on teamwork to get the job done. If carrying a hostage out of a nightclub is a hands-full job, for example, you'll need someone to do all the shooting.
Army of Two goes further, forcing you to work with a friend through almost every scenario. You'll help boost your buddy over walls, call targets while he snipes, drive while he shoots out the window and, when necessary, engage in a CPR minigame to save him.
This is cooperative gameplay as an entire genre, not just a bonus feature.
Why it probably won't: Yeah, the holidays this year are busy. But one day in particular - November 13, 2007 - is outright crazy. Of the eight games in our Top 7 feature (okay, so we cheated a little), almost half of them release then. It gets worse. After a quick and dirty tally on EBgames.com, we estimate that almost FORTY titles will hit store shelves that Tuesday.
Still, Army of Two and Kane & Lynch are probably unique enough to distinguish themselves from the crowd. Known informally as "those two coop games," they really only needed to avoid each other. So what do they do? They pick the exact same date on the calendar...
Sigh. You just can't help people who aren't willing to help themselves. We wish good luck to all of the games on our list, we really do. But if (when?) they fail, you can't say we didn't warn them.
Note: The release dates cited on the previous pages are for the US and are subject to change. For these potentially doomed examples, we certainly hope they do.
Disagree with our list? Think some other overlooked gem deserves the spotlight? Tell us about it in our forums. For more spectacularly informative and witty countdowns, including Bitter Rivalries, Mispronounced Game Names, Lamest Ninjas and Failed Franchises, check out our Top 7 Collection. It'll keep you busy arguing for weeks.