Boss Rush Banter: What is Your Favorite Asymmetric Video Game?

Most multiplayer video games have groups of people doing the exact same thing to try and win. Think Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, for example. Each player is racing in their kart or motorcycle to try and cross the finish line first. Asymmetric play, on the other hand, is when you have players in the same game doing different things to try and win. For example, the recently announced Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed. In this new game coming Q4 2022 to Xbox, PlayStation and PC, you can either team up with other players to try and capture ghosts, or you can play as a ghost and try to avoid being captured.

Source: Ghostbusters News

Asymmetric gameplay brings a different feel to multiplayer games, giving each group a different set of rules and goals and allowing for some unique experiences. It forces teammates to communicate in real time, and results in some of the most fun I’ve had playing local multiplayer games. What is your favorite game featuring asymmetric play?

For me, it’s a tie. The first game is the excellent Nintendo Wii U launch title, NintendoLand. Specifically, the Mario Chase and Luigi’s Ghost Mansion mini-games. Trying to capture a player dressed up as Mario before the time runs out by shouting out physical cues to alert teammates where Mario might be is a genuine joy. Similarly, I don’t think any game has been able to successfully match the thrill that comes from feeling your controller vibrate, indicating that an invisible ghost is somewhere near you and might stun you in Luigi’s Ghost Mansion. The fact that one player in each of those mini-games can see the entire map while you and your teammates can only see the area directly around you requires you to work smarter and communicate with your teammates in ways other games simply cannot match.

The second game is the virtual reality game Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes. In this game, the person wearing the VR headset can see inside a suitcase containing an elaborate bomb that must be defused before the time runs out. The other players, who do not have headsets on, have a physical manual that contains clues on which wires to cut and which buttons to press, but the only way they know which page to read is by the person wearing the headset shouting out a verbal description of what he or she is seeing in the headset. It’s the most I’ve screamed our laughed in a video game, and is a true joy to experience with others.

Those are just two examples, however. There are many more: Secret Neighbor: Hello Neighbor, Dead by Daylight, and We Were Here Together are some popular examples. Even last year’s indie darling It Takes Two features segments of asymmetric play. Which one is your favorite? Let us know in a comment below, or share your thoughts with us in the Boss Rush Discord.

Featured Image Source: Trusted Reviews

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