Before we start, let’s get one thing straight; Grand Theft Auto V will not have a co-op story mode but something in multiplayer to fulfill those needs. In a statement made by Dan Houser a few months ago, it was made very clear that Grand Theft Auto V would make a great co-op game but it would be impossible to integrate a co-op story mode with maintaining the level of accuracy that fans expect. The statement was made in an interview with IGN and went as followed:
“It would be impossible to do that and keep the level of precision we’ve got in this. You could make a great co-op game, but we felt that we’re doing other bits of our multiplayer that will fulfill those desires in ways we think are very fun”
With that being said, one could wonder if one of the contributing factors to not focusing attention on cooperative game play in the story of the next installment to the Grand Theft Auto series could have something to do with how much their greatest competitors, Saints Row, set attention on cooperative story and game play.
Saints Row 2 and Saints Row: The Third could have arguably set the stage for the best cooperative experience in gaming. This mode on these games is a feeling players can almost get nowhere else. It is an open world setting with tons of activities to do along with story missions. This works so well for Saints Row because each player can create their own character, so it’s not like both you and your friend are taking control of the main character and their twin. When it come to cooperative game play on Saints Row, it is as if you and a friend are hanging out in real life just doing all the weird, crazy, illegal nonsense that you would never do in real life; story being no different. Where Saints Row took it upon themselves to make an unrealistic experience, an experience that is almost unfathomable to one’s mind; that is the precise reason why co-op works so well with the game. It’s not just about co-op being in the story without changing the course but the game play and other co-op experiences also add to the experience.
Grand Theft Auto is different from Saints Row. They are about realism and that is the reason why cooperative story might actually take away from the experience you get with Grand Theft Auto. They are both fantastic games but if you were to see a cooperative story mode in Grand Theft Auto it would almost have to be a duplicated character or a completely different character made into the entire story of the game. If it were to be a separate character made into the story, players who were not playing in co-op would have the burden of an AI following them around the entire game. Grand Theft Auto is a standalone game that doesn’t need a cooperative mode to help it stand on its own two feet. There will surely be a lot of reason to play Grand Theft Auto V with friends but a co-op story mode won’t be one of them for good reason.
Although a co-op story might sound glamorous in a game like Grand Theft Auto V; it might be better to leave something like that out of such a realistic feeling game. Not every player wants to play with a friend and sometimes having a computer controlled character just gets in the way more than adds to the game. Saints Row is able to make the co-op experience their own; they actually have that mode locked down as one of the best reasons to buy the game. For both of these games being such large competitors to one another it is just the best for them to realize where there strong suits are; Saints Row’s co-op and Grand Theft Auto’s realism in a single-player story.