Everyone plays video games in a little differently. Here at Achievos, we usually speak in terms of single player or online mulitplayer. I have spent a significant length of time this past weekend playing almost exclusively co-op, but is that really the best way to play?
Age of Empires has definitely been my recent favorite due to the ability to play while lying in bed and streaming some Netflix. The entire game is designed to be played alone if you choose. There are no missions that require co-op and even though some missions are more difficult than others, there is nothing that prevents someone from leveling up enough to conquer them all.
I bring this up because I received some unexpected flack. I was hanging around in some chat rooms looking for a co-op partner when some random person questioned my gaming abilities due to my need for assistance. This individual expressed that if I used co-op, then I wasn't playing the game correctly.
So the real debate is to co-op or not to co-op. The developers of Age of Empires clearly expected and encouraged players to utilize the co-op function. With the presence of chat rooms and co-op enable on over half of the quests, playing well with others was something they thought would be fun or beneficial. Also, while looking at the general concept of Age of Empires Online, the key word here being 'online', what would be the point of having a multiplayer game if we are not expected to complete quests together.
Looking at the views of the heckler in the chat room, does playing with others really mean I have less ability, or am I simply more social? Does constantly playing co-op make the game too easy and keep me from truly experiencing the full scope of the game?
Luckily, I'm an adult that really doesn't care about what some random person says in a chat room. But it does pose an interesting question and thus an interesting debate. Is it better to go for the glory and knowledge by playing alone, or to have more fun playing with others while potentially missing small parts of the game?