I’ve always preferred co-op titles to PvP ones. Something about teaming up with friends (or strangers) and going up against the odds appeals to me more than trying to be the sole survivor at the end. Most require strong teamwork and communication to succeed, of course, but rarely do they require you to be perfectly in sync with each other like Twincop does. It’s a hectic action affair that will have the two of you screaming in laughter – and frustration – while also having a blast.
At the start, each player must select a character; Well, half of a character. You see, our heroes were involved in a tragic motorboat accident prior to the game. Using the powers of 80’s fuelled future tech, they were saved… in part. Using one side from each person, a new being will be born. This is presented in brilliantly grisly pixel art, with each change of character select accompanied by a sickly, sticky sound effect as the new half is slapped on. Each has their own unique power to bring to the fray, from grenade launchers, to flame rounds and even a deadly mackerel (yes, as in the fish). In a neat touch, once each choice has been made, the Chief will then refer to you by an amalgamation of the names.
In to the game proper then, and it’s here that you’ll soon need to get in sync with each other. Each player controls their respective arm – and therefore gun – via the right stick. Much like any twin stick shooter, you have a full 360 degree range to aim and fire. What with there being the two of you, it’s possible to aim in two different directions at once, allowing the enemy encounters to really surround you and give you hell. This is all well and good, but you’ll no doubt find yourself stuck in a tight spot and need to escape. To do so, both players must use the left stick to move in unison. Doing so will net you a healing bonus. Failing to do so will find you stuck to the spot, getting bombarded and killed quickly.
Under pressure, this mechanic will be cause for both hilarity and frustration, as the inherent chaos of 2 people pulling in every which way while enemies swarm you will likely see you die more often than not, especially at the start. It’s satisfying to work in tandem as you glide past foes, wiping them out in unison. But failing a section repeatedly because you can’t get in sync does get old. My illustrious wife helped me out with this review; she very rarely plays games and as such found getting to grips with the dual controls hard. Of course, a more seasoned player will pick it up easier, though may end up just as frustrated as they try to steer course to no avail.
But really, that’s all part of the fun. It’s meant to get you talking, working together and giving each other shit when things don’t go according to plan. There’s a funny, self aware narrative going on over the top of this action that keeps things light-hearted. There’ll be select dialogue choices from time to time; this again is split between players, each picking half of a sentence to form a whole. While some choices are nonsensical, these are played purely for laughs rather than having any sort of narrative influence. There are also the occasional vehicle sections that require each player to control either directions or movement. Again, hilarious at times, but annoying when all you want to do is easily progress to the next area.
Twincop is a co-op game in the most literal sense of the term. The funky 80’s style, over the top mechanics and fast paced action are well executed and entertaining. Things can get frustrating when repeatedly dying – it’s always the other persons fault – but if you’re after a fun twin stick shooter with a twist, this’ll fit the bill nicely.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox One. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version.Want to keep up to date with the latest Xt reviews, Xt opinions and Xt content? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.