As we’ve mentioned recently, development of cooperative multiplayer is underway. In time, Lucas Lawson will no longer have to face the thugs of the Torus Syndicate alone. Right now, we’re focused on giving Lucas an AI friend to help him with that task.
Now, yes, the ultimate goal is full-fledged support for playing alongside other real humans, but this is a critical first step in building out actual multiplayer support as efficiently as possible. For example, we’re also concurrently working on Act II. The AI ally will function as a stand-in for a human one, allowing us to build the act specifically with multiplayer in mind without having to first complete multiplayer itself. It will also enable us to experiment with different aspects of the multiplayer experience earlier on, when it’s easier to learn and make decisions. Altogether, the mere fact that Lucas is getting a partner is a game changer, regardless of whether its human or robot; getting that into the game as soon as possible will let us develop smarter.
It’s good to have an AI friend who has your back. Especially if he’s a good shot.
However, we think there’s another good reason for the AI ally: it’ll make the game more fun and push it closer to the arcade-likeness we’re trying to imbue into the game. Human allies will be able to seamlessly drop into in-progress games, simply replacing the AI ally. They’ll also be able to drop out without ending the game; the remaining partner can simply continue with the help of the computer. The ever-present ally will also open up new opportunities with the storyline. In the end, Lucas Lawson needs all the help he can get to take on the syndicate, and we think our players will appreciate that help, whether it comes in the form of a real human or an artificial one.