That Special Someone
Finding ‘the one’ is difficult. You know who I mean; the one you can share everything with, who’s always there for you when you’re having a bad day. You can call them at any time and they’ll run halfway across the world to help you out. And even if you fall out, you know that tomorrow they’ll be back with a smile on their face, happy to make things up again and carry on where you left off. That’s right, I’m talking about your co-op partner. Oh sure, I’ve experimented with co-op partners over the years. I roped-in friends to play games with me, but they just never lasted. Mainly they would complain that their parents wanted them home for tea by five, and they really had to go. They just didn’t have the same grim determination as I. And then there were others who were too busy dicking around to really play the game. One of my best friends falls into this category and, as such, I only play co-op with him when absolutely necessary.
I thought I’d found my true partner once; another of my friends came over to hang out and, while waiting for the others to arrive, we ended up playing Army of Two together. In the end, no one else arrived for about four hours, but we played that game constantly, even going as far to re-do the same level over and over so we could raise enough money to buy all the masks and get the achievement associated with doing so. It was a glorious evening.
But, as most things do, our co-op partnership deteriorated. I tried to hook him back in with the second Army of Two, but by then he had moved on; he didn’t want to buy the game, he didn’t want to renew his Gold subscription. He had found out that you got more girls playing guitar than you did videogames. I was crushed, to be sure, but I kept my head held high and moved on.
At one point, I almost convinced myself that my girlfriend could be my co-op partner. She told me that she had played a lot of games as a kid, and I thought: “great, we can play games together all the time!” Unfortunately, most of her skill lies in the Legend of Zelda series, and trying to find a Zelda-esque game with co-op has, so far, been nigh on impossible. That hasn’t stopped us getting together for some Fable 3 and Dungeon Siege 3, however, and we just kicked off Rayman Origins, but somehow it just doesn’t feel right. Maybe it’s just me, but she doesn’t seem that interested.
I’d given up hope of finding a co-op partner… that was, until I reached university and discovered a whole plethora of potential partners, thanks to my crummy accommodation, which allocates twenty-six people to the same cramped, dodgy kitchen. Among the dirty pots and pans I found a couple of guys who were interested in the same games as me, and who were fans of co-op. I nearly jumped for joy when one of them came into my room, suggested we play Halo 3 and, as I was setting up a versus match, said: “Actually, I was thinking we could do some co-op?”
And, as all co-op lovers should, we quickly found ourselves playing Borderlands into the early hours. Obviously not if all three of us were in attendance, but when one had a prior engagement, the other two would gather and carry on regardless. I was initially a little worried about how the third man would feel about being left out, but it proved to be a fully working system that meant everyone could enjoy themselves and no one felt totally left aside.
Things are looking bright for the future, too. We’re planning on moving in together next year and our grandiose plans for our new house include putting a PS2 in the front room, getting Dynasty Warriors 2 and whiling away the time hacking and slashing our way through waves of enemies. It’s going to be glorious, and I couldn’t be happier. Obviously I worry about what the future holds. Maybe there’ll be a gigantic fight and we won’t speak for months. Maybe we’ll realise that we don’t have anything in common anymore and drift apart. Or, even worse… one of us may be involved in a tragic car accident and the other two will be left too distraught to even think about picking up a controller.
But, until any of that happens, I’m just going to go ahead and accept that I’ve found two great people with whom I can share one of the things I find most important to me. I had thought that all was lost but, as the old saying goes, you wait ages for one bus to come and then two come at once. I just hope our buses aren’t involved in a huge pile-up on the M1 anytime soon.
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