When most people think of online gaming they tend to think of the competitive side of it. Team Deathmatching it up in games like Halo and Call of Duty. I like many other people do enjoy the competitive side of multiplayer but in the end I really do prefer a online Co-Op experience. I've spent many, many hours playing COD4 and Team Fortress 2 online, Halo 2 sucked up a good chunk of time when it came out for the first Xbox. It even goes back to playing Quake over my 56k modem watching it chug under lag trying to play.
Like I said above though, I usually prefer a co-op experience over the competitive side of gaming. That goes back to games like Contra, Bill and Lance side by side fighting the alien invasion, Smash TV, Ikari Warriors all kinds of classic co-op goodness. We had those type of games for awhile then it seemed to kind of vanish in favor of the competitive games, I really started to notice it when the consoles went online. Online deathmatch just seemed to take over everything and a lot of people thought co-op was dead but we did see a resurgence.
Games like Gears of War, Left 4 Dead, even Halo has it. It feels so fantastic to be able to play through a game with a friend or even a random guy from online it's still a blast. But sadly, some games that I think really needed to have some kind of co-op in them did not have the feature.
Call of Duty 4 with all the awesome online multiplayer did not have a co-op mode. I think it could of been a better game with co-op. Infinity Ward had said they thought co-op would of ruined the experience but most of the time you're with a bunch of AI teammates which could of easily been replaced with some real players. Story line wise and with the way some of the levels are built you can still make the argument for not having co-op but it should of still been there. World at War had co-op in it and it was a lot of fun to play and didn't really take anything away from the game to play with three other people.
STALKER one of my all time favorite games ever but missing co-op play. Now Shadow of Chernobyl is a story based game, you're a central character doing your thing in the Zone but I have an idea. How about a co-op free roam mode? You can get into the game area and play with some friends but just explore the Zone, taking down Bandit camps with your buddies planning and being successful in your raids. STALKER has the competitive multiplayer which I've never played and I've never heard of anyone even playing it so why waste the time with it? You'd probably have more success with a co-op mode in this series.
And the big game, the one that made me want to write this article, that game is Far Cry 2. One of the core mechanics of Far Cry 2 is the buddy system. You have a buddy that will come and save you from combat if you lose all your health. They blast in guns blazing and pull you out of the fire. How amazing would it be if this was a real person? You could have a lot of people playing this game at the same time. The map is gigantic and without the loading screens it could be super immersive. The key point in Far Cry 2 that made me want co-op were the boats. You can ride these little fan boats around and they have two seats. One to drive and a gunner post. As I was riding down the river all I could think of is someone should be on that gun watching out as I drove but alas, it wasn't meant to be. If they make a Far Cry 3 and it follows the path of Far Cry 2 then it absolutely needs to have co-op.