Four friends, four PCs, one game, and a lotta love
April 14, 2018 11:08 AM   Subscribe

GamingFilter: Three dear friends from back home and I wanted to try to "hang out" more by playing PC games online. We recently tried a particular 4-person game, but the group wasn't united in liking it. What are your favorite 4-person+ online PC games, MetaFilter?

The game in question was Vermintide 2. While the gameplay and setting fell within in our wheelhouse, about 1.5 of us found it entirely too hard to enjoy (we spent about two and a half hours dying repeatedly on any of the first three levels). We're going to give it another go after boning up on the tips/tricks, but I'm guessing it's not going to work in the end.

Two of the four of us are trying to entice the remaining two into playing World of Warcraft with them, and despite their Snake-in-the-Garden-of-Eden-like-sales skills the others (including yours truly) don't necessarily have the time investment/interest for an MMORPG. Vermintide 2 seemed ideal in that it was a team-based game that could be played in bursts that could be fun in and of themselves.

We have pretty broad gaming interests and have various levels of non-beginner familiarity with gaming mechanics; I would say we'd be potentially interested in anything that is not an MMORPG. Games like Vermintide 2 that have some degree of mutual progression through levels or a story would be lovely. In addition, games that hold your hand a little more/give a little more initial gratification than, say, Vermintide 2 would be good. :)
posted by Keter to Computers & Internet (22 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite is a multiplayer capture the flag game that is quick to learn but has a very high ceiling for strategy and teamwork. You don't get to choose teams in the random public games (although you can all play together in a group) but there are several organized leagues as well where you could be on the same team (uscontenders comes to mind cause, um, I run it).
posted by noloveforned at 11:14 AM on April 14, 2018

Left 4 Dead is old but had similar co-op gameplay to Vermintide (but the easier difficulties were much easier than I hear Vermintide is).
posted by EndsOfInvention at 11:16 AM on April 14, 2018

The "flavour of the month" answer is probably Fortnite or PUBG, and Fortnite is free so might be worth a shot if battle royale shooters are your group's thing.
posted by A Robot Ninja at 11:24 AM on April 14, 2018

How about Divinty: Orginal Sin 1 or 2? Kinda stupid name, really fun RPG that you can sink your teeth into.
posted by Jaclyn at 11:25 AM on April 14, 2018 [2 favorites]

If you're going to get Left 4 Dead, get Left 4 Dead 2 instead, as Valve ported all the content from L4D to L4D2 in a series of free updates. I can't think of a good reason to buy L4D1 anymore.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:21 PM on April 14, 2018 [1 favorite]

Agree with L4D2 over L4D.

Also: “Monaco: what’s yours is mine” is a great 4-player co-op game.
posted by pharm at 12:44 PM on April 14, 2018

Minecraft requires having someone pay for a server, and if you're playing with mods those servers can cost a little bit, but I'm talking like $20 a month, not anything too heinous, and it's a good one to allow people to play together but also potentially play sometimes on their own. There is a bit of a learning curve, especially with modded, but it's a nice break from just run-around-killing-stuff, more of a complement to other kinds of gaming than a replacement.
posted by Sequence at 1:05 PM on April 14, 2018 [1 favorite]

Original Sin 2 is great, with its four person co-op mode. Ditto with Minecraft -- but that's more of a sandbox environment. Heroes of the Storm, Overwatch or Rocket League can be fun, as they are team games.
posted by ellerhodes at 1:18 PM on April 14, 2018 [1 favorite]

(Oops, mis-read, sorry)
posted by DarlingBri at 1:33 PM on April 14, 2018

If your friends aren't the easily frustrated, rage-quitting type, Overcooked is a very good four-player co-op game. I also enjoyed Alien Swarm, which is a free top-down co-op shooter.

If your friends don't have the rigs to play PUBG or Fortnite, is a simpler browser-based battle royale game which has four-person squads.
posted by meowzilla at 1:52 PM on April 14, 2018

Second Left 4 Dead 2 and Monaco. Both are great fun. Alien Swarm is free and worth checking out too.
posted by neckro23 at 3:28 PM on April 14, 2018

Some high school friends and I do this with Civ (now on Civ 6). It can be competitive or cooperative, depending on your mood, and has many varying difficulty settings. We most often play cooperatively, and the players that have put more time into the game give some advice or answer questions for the others of us as we work to take down the AI together. It's a great time.
posted by BevosAngryGhost at 3:29 PM on April 14, 2018 [1 favorite]

Helldivers is a top-down shooter with lots of action and a focus on teamwork. Will second anything from Borderlands series as well as well as the second Original Sin: Divinity game.
posted by deadwater at 4:06 PM on April 14, 2018

Earth Defense Force 4.1 is a kaiju movie simulator with support for 4 player online co-op, with hundreds of missions that can be played in any of 5 difficulty levels which cover the spectrum from "boringly easy" to "teamwork and careful planning and execution required to survive".
posted by Bangaioh at 4:23 PM on April 14, 2018 [1 favorite]

Europa Universalis IV can be cooperative or competetive, but takes a long time to play and has a steep learning curve. IMHO, it's the best strategy game ever by a long shot.
posted by conifer at 1:24 AM on April 15, 2018

Generals: Zero Hour
posted by Meatbomb at 2:59 AM on April 15, 2018

Warframe possibly? It is mostly 4 player PvE levels. The game has changed a great deal since I first played it but I think there is an initial set of story missions to introduce the mechanics and further story missions to unlock new stuff. Most of the individual missions take about 10-20 minutes. The game is free to play (though of course there are things to spend money on) so you could give it a try at no cost.
posted by antiwiggle at 4:18 AM on April 15, 2018

Some old friends and I spent hundreds of hours playing Dungeon Defenders 1 and 2. Might be up your alley. It's a rpg/tower defense game with a loose storyline and oodles of fun to play as a team. It also scales well if someone can't make it, ie. can play as a group of 3 instead of 4.
posted by snowysoul at 9:42 AM on April 15, 2018

Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime is a co-op game in which players have to operate and defend a spaceship that always has more stations than players.

Seconding the heck out of L4D2 (and L4D as well). Super fun, and the game is good at matching the difficulty to the skill of the party. Each campaign is like playing through a movie, but they are replayable because of the randomization of the Infected (run-of-the-mill zombies; easily defeated but love to swarm) and Special Infected (enhanced zombies with abilities to target a party member). The bots are pretty good, so if you're down a player, you'll still have a 4th person in your group. However, it tops out at 4, so no guest players.

Seconding Alien Swarm as well.
posted by Sunburnt at 12:23 PM on April 16, 2018 [1 favorite]

If you all have Overwatch, there's a limited-time PvE mode available at the moment that's fun. It's only 1 mission but they've made one of the older PvE modes available as well.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 5:10 AM on April 17, 2018

Thanks a million for all the great suggestions, y'all! My friend who hated Vermintide II has come around to being the most obsessed with it now that we actually know the mechanics. Our next game will probably be one of the Borderlands series or the recent Divinity Original Sin. Cheers! :)
posted by Keter at 10:16 AM on April 19, 2018 [1 favorite]

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