Fun multiplayer experience that doesn't feel like I'm playing "handicapped."
January 1, 2010 9:16 PM   Subscribe

Looking for Xbox 360 multiplayer game recommendations. Got Halo 3, but looking for something a little different for a couple reasons...

So, I recently got an Xbox 360, and would like to play with a friend via Xbox live. I recieved Halo 3 as a gift, and though I enjoy it and normally like playing online first-person shooters, I find it a bit frustrating for two reasons: 1) I feel like the Xbox controller is just awkward for that sort of thing compared to a PC (I know a certain amount of that is getting used to it, but it still seems like it will never be as fluid as the keyboard/mouse setup that I'm used to) and 2) my television is a little older and non-HD, non-widescreen makes playing a game like Halo 3 feel weirdly zoomed-in and a bit blurry. Ultimately, I just end up feeling like I'm playing handicapped.

So all of this is to say I'm looking for games that 1) require less intensive, fast-paced controller coordination, 2) have gameplay that is less impacted by a less-than-stellar display, and 3) would be fun as hell to play multiplayer via Xbox Live.
posted by the other side to Media & Arts (16 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
are you still looking at the FPS genre? what other genres do you like? what kind of games do you hate?
posted by nadawi at 9:22 PM on January 1, 2010

Response by poster: I could still see maybe playing an FPS (it would probably have to have some major differences from Halo). I'm pretty wide-open when it comes to genres. So I'll just say that I'm not a huge fan of sports or fighting games, but even then I could still see myself getting into them if the multiplayer experience was particularly fun/well-executed. I just saw an ad for Worms: Armageddon for Xbox; no idea if it's any good, but I loved playing the original with friends on the PC, but it seems like it could possibly be an example of the sort of multiplayer experience that's not as reliant on what I mentioned above.
posted by the other side at 9:42 PM on January 1, 2010

Saint's Row 2 is a TON of fun in two player co-op mode.
posted by MegoSteve at 10:24 PM on January 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

You probably won't like Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer, because I don't have an HD tv either, and I also feel like I'm playing at a disadvantage (it's rare but I've looked at the killcams from some of my deaths and haven't even seen myself on the screen, or I'll be like one pixel in a window at the other end and someone just decides to unload on me. I'm guessing I look a lot clearer on their TV).

That being said, MW2 has a 2-player Spec Ops mode, which are cooperative challenge missions ripped from the main storyline, with multiple difficulty settings. Brad Shoemaker at GiantBomb recently described this mode as something like the most intense multiplayer experience he's ever had, so if you have a friend, perhaps this would work for you.
posted by cali59 at 10:43 PM on January 1, 2010

Best answer: Check out xbox live arcade. it has lots of games that have online multiplayer and you can download free trial versions of them (though with some exceptions none let you play online in the demo mode).
posted by OwlBoy at 11:25 PM on January 1, 2010

You might look into Left 4 Dead and Team Fortress 2. The latter, especially, should be graphically workable with your setup. Left 4 Dead is basically made for co-op play. YMMV on the display though; I can't say offhand as I've only seen it on PC.
posted by cmgonzalez at 11:45 PM on January 1, 2010

Halo Wars... presuming you like RTS-type games.
posted by pompomtom at 11:48 PM on January 1, 2010

Borderlands isn't ideal when it's not high def, but it's still generally readable and looks good enough. It's also the best multiplayer game I've played in the last year, and generally pretty easy.

Aside from that, just look at the stuff on Xbox Live Arcade. Battlefield 1943 is supposed to be pretty spectacular, though I'm not into it myself.

Microsoft DOES NOT ALLOW games to be released for the Xbox in ANY form unless they're designed primarily for high definition sets. This has been the aim of the console ever since it was released. So keep that in mind- anyone designing a game that can be read on an SDTV is a developer going out of their way to appease an older (and still close to majority) audience.
posted by sandswipe at 12:48 AM on January 2, 2010

Best answer: Seconding Saints Row 2. A bit rough around the edges, but tearing apart Stillwater with a friend is a blast.

Gears of War 1 and 2. A bit slower than Halo. Full campaign co-op in both games. Number 2 has Horde mode for co-op survival matches on the multiplayer maps.

Army of Two. Not the most stellar of titles, and the single player experience is a bit tedious. Bring in a friend to share in the fist-bumping and its deficiencies can be overcome. A demo is available on Live.

Crackdown. No plot worth speaking of, and feels more like a tech demo than a full game, but a great sandbox for mindless superhuman chaos made all the more fun with the addition of a friend. A demo is available on Live.

If you haven't totally written off FPSes on Xbox I also recommend:

Borderlands. Think Diablo 2 skill trees and loot drops combined with Halo shooter mechanics. 4 player co-op online or 2 player split-screen. Very addictive. Also available on PC, so you may be happier with it there.

Halo 3 ODST. Campaign is kind of meh. The primary draw of this title is the Firefight co-op survival mode. Also comes with all the Halo 3 multiplayer map packs should you be interested in continuing any further with that.

I can't comment with personal experience on the standard-def accessibility of any of these. However, my primary co-op buddy on all but the last two still runs old display tech and hasn't ever complained about it - FWIW.

A couple years ago I felt as you do about the clumsiness of the controller compared to mouse+keyboard for FPSes, but have since become used to it. Sure, my already questionable dexterity in the medium may be impaired, but so is everyone else's.
posted by hoot at 1:00 AM on January 2, 2010

You could just ignore the last x years of advances in graphics and play Bomberman. Has always been fun and always will be.
posted by jonnyploy at 4:17 AM on January 2, 2010

I'd second Team Fortress 2, available as part of The Orange Box. Having said that, I absolutely love CoD:MW2, even on a non HD TV.
posted by roofus at 5:26 AM on January 2, 2010

Best answer: The game you want is Castle Crashers. You can buy it for a song on XBLA and it is AMAZINGLY FUN! It's a sidescrolling button masher that is an absolute blast to play with a friend (or three). Think TMNT or The Simpsons Arcade games. Plus, the cartoony graphics will still look great on your SDTV. You may miss out a small portion of the widescreen, but I'm guessing it will still be serviceable.

To be honest, if you plan on playing many games on your new XBOX, you may want to seriously consider picking up a bargain HDTV. A walmart cheapo will be better than your SDTV. Anecdote - When I first got my XBOX, we had a nice 27" SDTV, but I literally COULD NOT Play NCAA 2009 on it. My wide receivers weren't even on the screen, and the players were so small I couldn't tell which guys were mine! Got the HDTV and all was right with the world.
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith at 6:53 AM on January 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

Seconding Castle Crashers. And it's only ten bucks!
posted by mecran01 at 7:32 AM on January 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

nthing Borderlands. It gets you the FPS angle without having the fast action gameplay of something like CoD:MW2. I have friends who hate shooters but love Borderlands because it lets you set the pace. I play on an older non-HD TV and it's not bad at all.
posted by sah at 8:53 AM on January 2, 2010

Thirding Castle Crashers and Bomberman
Also Discs of Tron is entertaining as well
posted by Redmond Cooper at 1:43 PM on January 2, 2010

Response by poster: Nice, I checked out the demo of Castle Crashers, and it's definitely the sort of thing I was thinking about. I'll have to convince my friend to get it now (shouldn't be hard, it's pretty cheap). Good call on the arcade-style games in general. And, yeah, I may look into a cheap HD tv eventually (maybe that will be my next question!). Thanks, all.
posted by the other side at 5:32 PM on January 3, 2010

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