Darksiders 2 technical hurdles prevent co-op play

By Steve Watts, Jul 26, 2011 11:00am PDT

Despite revolving around the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Darksiders 2 won't feature a co-op mode to ride alongside your fellow harbingers of doom. But as game director Marvin Donald told IGN, the absence of multiplayer comes from the technical difficulty of such an undertaking, and Vigil Games would love to include it in the next installment.

"[Multiplayer] has been something we've been wanting to do since DS1," said Donald. "You almost have to make four games. You've got completely different animation sets. It's 800 to 1,000 animations for Death alone and they're all unique. One thing great about working with Joe [Madureira] is that he comes up with awesome characters but they have completely different proportions, so you can't share any of the animations across them."

The issue isn't just the massive task of designing such distinct characters; since the Horsemen have different abilities and powers, Vigil would want each character to be unique in that way too. "Of course there's balancing with the different abilities. We're going to want them to play differently, so we wanted to spend some time developing each of the characters individually."

Vigil Games wanted to include multiplayer in the first game, but it wasn't feasible for a small studio working on a new intellectual property. Donald hopes that they can include co-op in the next Darksiders title, but that depends on resources and budgets, ultimately determined by the success of Darksiders 2. "It's too soon to say. Multiplayer is definitely something we want, but this time around we're not quite ready for it."

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