If you were looking for a new asymmetrical player versus team horror game, then Crania Games may have what you need. Their latest title, A Way To Be Dead, has just been released onto Steam’s Early Access and brings a new four against one gaming experience. This time, the killer isn’t going to be your only threat if you are a survivor because the map will be filled with zombies as well!
In fact, in this horror game players can take on the role of Dr. Riley (the killer), the victims, or the zombies. All with the basic premise that a bewildered doctor is on the hunt for a group of victims who are just trying to escape. The game takes place in the same universe as Crania Games original title, Roots of Insanity, and gives returning players the chance to witnesses the events of Roots Of Insanity from an entirely new perspective.
A Way To Be Dead is available for only $6.99 right now. Whether you chose to fight in the infestation, or become a zombie and kill anything that walks, the way you play will be up to you.
Are Asymmetrical Multiplayer Games Becoming a Major Trend?
By Micah Shapiro
With the advent of Resident Evil 3's large multiplayer offerings, asymmetrical online games may finally become a trend among mainstream gaming.
With Capcom recently announcing the inclusion of Resident Evil Resistance in the Resident Evil 3 base game, asymmetrical online multiplayer games may finally be stepping out from their tightly nit communities in the fringes and heading into mainstream gaming. Asymmetrical multiplayer games have grown more prominent in recent years, but their development still comprises mostly small studio developers with limited budgets and are rarely the cost of a full featured $60 multiplayer title such as Battlefield or Overwatch.
For those unfamiliar with asymmetrical multiplayer games, they usually consist of two teams of players with entirely different types of abilities and gameplay mechanics taking on each other, pitting two different spectrums of strategic gameplay mechanics against each other. It requires developers to be particularly creative in how they balance the means for victory, to ensure that the game is fair. Although, in the realm of asymmetry, this can often be more subjective.
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Asymmetrical multiplayer games are popular among players looking for a unique experience which depends entirely on its fun factor, as they are not particularly focused on producing a competitive community. It could be described as a sub-genre of multiplayer games geared for the hardcore gamer that is looking for casual fun. Perhaps the asymmetrical multiplayer genre finds its sweet spot somewhere uniquely in between the casual and hardcore multiplayer gaming paradigm.
Asymmetrical games have evolved in recent years, carving out particular niches which have proved to be popular trends among its communities, moving away from older trends. Due to the loosely held characteristics that define what an asymmetrical game is, it can be difficult to identify a linear projection of its origins all the way to its current conceptions and trends.
In general, asymmetric multiplayer games commonly began with gameplay mechanics composed of two teams that were more even in number, but had very different gameplay elements and mechanics. Natural Selection 2, released in 2012, was one of the older asymmetric online games to make a name for itself early on in this niche sub-genre.
Natural Selection 2 pit two opposing teams of players, aliens and marines, against each other. Marines utilized ranged combat with mostly guns, while alien players moved at a quicker pace, could move along walls, and were dependent on melee attacks. Natural Selection 2's predecessor was actually a mod for the original Half Life, dating back to 2002, which could potentially signal the origins of the asymmetrical online genre of multiplayer gaming.
Skip ahead to 2015 and Evolve was released by 2K Games and a group of developers who previously helped create Left 4 Dead before departing Valve. Given the prestige of the minds behind Evolve's development, there was high hopes for the game, which attempted to change the formula of asymmetric multiplayer games and offer some interesting innovations and twists, while moving the genre into the mainstream.
Evolve's most recognizable achievement was changing the formula from symmetrically sized teams to asymmetric sized teams, in addition to the different styles of gameplay mechanics between the two sides. This trend has carried over into the current plethora of asymmetric games. Rather than having an even number of players on both teams, Evolve popularized the concept in which a few players take on a singular player with overly powerful abilities and the ability to endure large quantities of damage. This formula is often abbreviated as a "4v1" system, or however many players the numeric value represents for each team in a particular game.
Unfortunately, as unique as it was among the mainstream gaming world, Evolve was plagued by criticism among many fans for being too limited in content and small in scope to justify its $60 price tag. Although Evolve sold over 2.5 million copies by May, 2015, it never established a sustainable foothold nor a lasting community, and the overall genre of asymmetric multiplayer games regressed back into the shadows of the gaming fringes.
While Evolve established the 4v1 formula among contemporary asymmetric games, the overall trend evolved from the four-person teams playing the role of hunters to being the hunted. In Evolve, the team of hunters had to scout the trail of clues in hunting down a giant monster, controlled by a player whose objective was to try and stay off the radar and run as far away from the hunters as possible in its bid for survival.
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Dead by Daylight, perhaps the most popular asymmetrical multiplayer game currently, reverses the roles by having the overly powerful player stalk the other players and ruthlessly annihilate them before they can fulfill the team's objectives. It is the job of the four-person team to avoid detection and run away from the overpowered player, rather than vice-versa. It is the perfect gameplay formula for integrating the simplistic storytelling of a slasher horror film, thereby turning it into an online multiplayer paradigm. Dead by Daylight allows for a maniacal player-controlled annihilator - in similar vein to one's favorite villain among slasher horror films - to chase down and annihilate groups of vulnerable player-controlled individuals with limited abilities.
As the asymmetrical multiplayer game has evolved and blended well with horror themes as of late, it certainly appears to be a natural fit for Resident Evil's undertaking in developing its own asymmetrical online multiplayer game. In Resident Evil Resistance, one player controls the Mastermind, whose job consists of deploying traps, dispatching enemies, and manipulating the environment to try and exterminate the 4-player team known as Survivors, as they attempt to traverse the map to fulfill their own objectives.
Capcom made a wise decision including Resident Evil Resistance within the Resident Evil 3 base package. In doing so, they may succeed in fulfilling Evolve's original aim by establishing a strong online community among mainstream gamers invested in an asymmetrical multiplayer game, which has not been fully realized in the gaming industry at this point in time. It is questionable whether gamers, even Resident Evil fans, would pay money for a stand-alone Resident Evil multiplayer game, especially given that Resident Evil's past attempts at doing so have not been met with much success among online players.
Given that it is expected that Resident Evil 3's remake will sell a high number of copies, this decisions ensures that the numbers will be in place to establish a strong and large community of online players to ready to test drive Resident Evil Resistance once it launches. This should be more easily viable, as long as this multiplayer portion of the Resident Evil 3 package delivers a refreshingly satisfying experience for players to jump into after they have soaked up enough of the Resident Evil 3 single-player campaign and are ready to get their feet wet in Resistance.
If Resident Evil Resistance proves to be a success, this could set a strong precedence for the future of asymmetrical online multiplayer games, with more big-name companies ready to invest some serious budgetary into the development of new games. In addition to new franchises, we could also enjoy the possibility of already-established multiplayer franchises, such as Battlefield, joining the fray and offering their own creative innovations for asymmetrical multiplayer games.
Resident Evil Resistance will certainly test the waters where Evolve left off, and perhaps the mainstream gaming industry is finally ready for the full conceptualization of asymmetric multiplayer games. Fans of the genre should pay close attention to the release of Resident Evil Resistance on April 3, 2020, as there will be much to gauge from the impact it could have in online gaming upon its release, and it could be a source of future inspiration.
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The introduction of a popular Titanfall 2 weapon into Apex Legends is a huge deal for many fans, so hopefully Apex does the CAR SMG justice.
Read NextAbout The Author
Micah Shapiro has a keen interest in science fiction, horror and fantasy novels. Being a modern history war buff, he holds a Master of Science in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University, and has also written about overseas conflicts. When he is not busily immersed in an adventure game, he spends hours in his garage painting Warhammer figures. He also enjoys tabletop board games, grilling his delicious Turkish chicken kabobs, and traveling the world. He is also an avid fan of underground pro wrestling, especially Seattle-based DEFY wrestling. And, a long time ago, he was once a pro wrestler known as the Masked Messiah.
10 Best Asymmetrical Multiplayer Games, Ranked
Asymmetrical multiplayer games are where two teams or groups of players experience the same game but with different gameplay mechanics. A stellar example is the Left 4 Dead 2: Versus Mode, which, although dated by today's standard, was one of the most popular examples of this type of game. Half play as zombies, the other half as survivors.
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Since the early days of asymmetrical co-op and multiplayer, the genre has steadily chugged away in the background, with loads of newer games establishing themselves as big hitters in the genre. Here are some of our favorite asymmetrical multiplayer games to play in 2021.
10 Left 4 Dead 2 Versus Mode
With the release of Back 4 Blood later this year, you might want to return to the classic co-op experience of Left 4 Dead 2, which has sort of been stewing away in the background with continued mod support while players wait desperately for the next big zombie co-op shooter.
Two teams of four play as either survivors or zombies, with the zombie players taking control of some of Left 4 Dead's most iconic creations, like the Boomer. Everyone always wanted to play as the zombies, though, which is something you might start to see as a trend on this list.
9 Hidden In Plain Sight
Another dated classic, Hidden In Plain Sight is one of the most enjoyable couch co-op games out there, although it can be a bit hard to come by these days. Originally released on the Xbox 360, it was ported over to the Xbox One, but that's where the console support ended.
These days it's more available on Steam, although there are very few players. It's the sort of game you might need to get a gang together to play. The premise is simple: players control a character in a group of NPCs and try to complete tasks, while another set of players tries to spot the real players and take them down. Simple, honest goodness.
8 Aliens Vs. Predator
2010's Alien Vs. Predator was developed by Rebellion, a studio that diehard fans of the Aliens universe have credited with creating one of the most refined Aliens experiences yet.
Still popular in 2021 (the game has 100+ Overwhelmingly Positive Reviews on Steam this year), the versus mode in Aliens Vs. Predator is intense and addictive. No matter whether you play as an Alien or Predator, you're going to be terrified. Don't even mention the Marines. It's pitch-black most of the time. They're coming outta the goddamn walls! A great game to check out if you can get some friends together.
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7 Friday The 13th: The Game
Friday The 13th was once a very enjoyable asymmetrical multiplayer game. Based on the horror franchise, the game takes place with some survivors, and a player taking on the role of Jason Vorhees. Recently, though, things have gone a little downhill.
The developer servers have been dropped, which means anything left is usually a modded server, a recipe for disaster. All the original horror thrills of the game are somewhat ruined if your character has Thomas The Tank Engine for a head. If you can get a group of players together, it's still worth your time, but if not, best to stick to another game on this list.
6 Secret Neighbor: Hello Neighbor
Among Us, Secret Neighbor, Project Winter -- these social deduction games can technically be classified as asymmetrical multiplayer games, as players do get to experience the game in different ways. While not as popular as Among Us, Secret Neighbor finds its way onto this list because it is a bit more intense. Like, actually pretty scary.
Again, the premise is pretty simple: six players try to rescue their friend from a locked basement, trying to avoid the Neighbor, who plays alongside them. Best played with a group of friends, this game will have you half-giggling half-screaming. Hello Neighbor 2 is supposedly out some time in 2021 and should have a multiplayer mode arriving, too.
5 Tick Tock: A Tale For Two
Developed by Other Tales Interactive, Tick Tock: A Tale For Two is a co-op asymmetrical puzzle game where two players need to work together to solve a variety of complex puzzles. It's cross-platform for Switch, mobile, and PC, so you can play wherever as long as you can talk.
It's a relatively short game, coming in at around 2 and a half hours, but for the price of just a fiver, it's definitely worth it if you're looking for a short and sweet puzzle game
4 Natural Selection 2
Released in 2012, Natural Selection 2 still has a small but active competitive player base, there are still servers running, and the developers even stop by every now and then. There have been over 350 updates and counting. Jeez, there was even a tournament hosted back in March. It's a classic asymmetrical multiplayer game, considered by its dedicated player base to be one of the best asymmetrical shooters ever made.
Two teams, one comprised of Aliens, the other of Humans. There is a great variety of different aliens you can play as, as well as some cool mechs for the humans. The mechanics also go way beyond other games of this genre, with a complex mix of RTS and FPS gameplay. There's a commander with a map overview and units (controlled by real players) that move around the map...it's complicated, intricate, and not exactly a casual experience.
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3 Keep Talking And Nobody Explodes
Keep Talking And Nobody Explodes from Steel Crate Games is still one of the most intense and enjoyable asymmetric co-op experiences out there. There's a bomb, you have to defuse it, but you don't know how. The only people that do can't see the bomb.
It's a fast-talking game that can quickly devolve into chaos. The so-called Experts, your mates, have the manual. They need to tell you what to do in a step-by-step process as quickly as they can, or the bomb explodes. An elegant game that is as fast-paced as it is loud.
2 We Were Here Together
This stripped-back asymmetrical experience is for two players only and plays out like a sort of advanced Escape Room. Some of the puzzles are extremely complicated, with one reviewer pointing out that they needed a real-life whiteboard to complete the game.
It's either a make or break for your friendship, too. Being able to essentially throw your puzzle-partner under a metaphorical bus makes for a fun, if occasionally frustrating, experience. Work together or you're just not going to get anywhere. We Were Here Together is tense, hilarious, and just a solid game to play with a mate.
1 Dead By Daylight
Dead By Daylight is easily the most popular asymmetrical multiplayer game on this list, with well over 350,000 Very Positive Steam reviews. It is the pinnacle of the genre, although it's already five years old.
Competitive horror shapes the gameplay of Dead By Daylight. Four players try to survive, one player tries to kill them all. It's cat-and-mouse at its brutal best. There are so many variables as you play, like abandoning your teammates to escape early, or using them as bait, that makes the game fresh each time around. A great introduction to the genre.
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Squid Game has now been recreated in Roblox, Fortnite, and also on PS1. Well, sort of.
Read NextAbout The Author
Harry Alston is a writer based in the UK. He was once number one in the world on Call of Duty: Black Ops and now spends his days chasing that past glory.
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