We exist in an era where LAN gaming is not as prominent thanks to the rise of online gaming. Nowadays, we can text a friend to meet in-game for a few rounds, kick back in a sofa, and boot up a shooter. No worries of wires, increased electrical bills, or mess... caused by others.
But we're still missing out on LAN gaming. We still lose the interactivity of sitting close to a friend. We can't experience the satisfaction of witnessing a fellow gamer's mouth agape as her character is shot point-blank in the chest. We can't share a decadent pizza with five or twenty other gamers.
Maybe the last one isn't as bad.
But we can't recreate the magic of LAN gaming for online play. It just isn't possible.
The point is, LAN gaming still has its own place in video gamedom, but it appears that fewer games are supporting LAN functionality. However, I believe that there are quite a few games that could - and should - support LAN functionality. What games?
Note: These games are NOT ranked in any manner.
1. Grand Theft Auto V
Unfortunately, there is no LAN support for this controversial game, but... wow, if existent. Grand Theft Auto V is a beautiful masterpiece, set in San Andreas and boasting a plethora of activities for every player. You play how YOU want to play.
There is even an online mode for people to simply team up and commit hijinks together, so with the upcoming arrival of the beautiful PC version of GTA V, one wonders why the developers haven't implemented LAN support.
After all, it'd be the perfect LAN game. Fellow gamers sit all in the same room, sharing a hearty laugh as they race each other on the streets, smack some innocent bystanders, and light a few gas stations on fire.
Typical everyday stuff.
GTA V can be stress relieving, but to play it with friends would kill all stress temporarily, guaranteed.
Ah Bloodborne, how I've barely known you. A dark game with action and horror elements, with amazing difficulty to boot. Multiplayer can also be a blast, as you can team up with a friend to overcome a challenge. Sadly, the feature is online only.
But what if Bloodborne had LAN support? Even better:
What if Bloodborne was released on PC with LAN compatibility?
It would be a recipe for closely knit, face-to-face teamwork. Teamwork, though fun and sufficient on voice chat, cannot compare to being in the same vicinity as someone.
Besides, imagine witnessing your friend flip your own table over as you both die to the same boss for the 30th time.
You can probably even save them from destroying their controller/keyboard/mouse.
3. Far Cry 4
Though I have never played this game, I have watched the amount of fun multiplayer the action game offers. Unfortunately, you can only play with one other friend and main missions are inaccessible. You can, however, take part in all the side quests together and explore the open world around you.
But no, that's not the best part of co-op in FC4.
The best part is the friendly fire element, which turns cooperation into absolute chaos and hilarity. Through screenshots and stories, I have learned that you could kill your friend just by sitting in a helicopter next to him with a grenade in hand.
Both go boom boom, but hey, worth it.
Or how you could sic an ambush of tigers on your friend by throwing a piece of meat at him.
I bet you can imagine the reaction on your friend's face after that.
Point being, this should be expanded for LAN play. It can potentially be possible for the developers to throw more than two players into the open world. Imagine six! Or eight! All seeking ways to kill fellow players in the environment. If that's not good for side-splitting fun under the same roof, I don't know what is.
4. Dynasty Warriors 8
This hack n' slash game can be deemed stale and boring for solo play, but with a partner, the fun factor of the game, like in any other Dynasty Warriors/Samurai Warriors/Insert-Something-Warriors-Here, is cranked up to eight or higher. Playing in your living room with a few other gamers, strategizing to conquer Chaos mode, can bring the best of teamwork to life.
Even taking down Lu Bu on Chaos mode would be satisfying with three other friends circling around him to leave him defenseless.
Just imagine sending four players to all four corners of the map to close in on the enemy rapidly. DW8 would offer fantastic cooperative strategy with pizza and Doritos, so it's a wonder why there is no LAN option for the PC version. Maybe someday a DW game will offer LAN support, but I suppose not now.
5. Diablo III (PC Only)
I am astonished. Console versions of Diablo 3 support LAN play, but the PC version doesn't.
Sure, the PC version was released before console versions, but there could have been an update for LAN or could have had LAN implemented from the get go.
I have played Diablo III co-op online, and since its growth from a disastrous beginning, it has been a blast. It's a fantastic stress reliever to hack through all monsters, obtain shiny treasures, and take on powerful bosses, all to save the realm.
For me, the game calms me down right quick.
I could easily equate Diablo III to soul food, bacon, or a thick and gooey golden grilled cheese sammich.
Put more specifically, the battles and exploration continuously flow, just like the ooze of a grilled cheese.
Mmm, such comfort.
You would find yourself giggling at seeing a fellow player die, or wish you could hide behind him as you creep into a dark tomb. The further you press on, the more satisfaction you receive, especially with one or three other players. Your instinct beckons you to collect all treasures, because you're a hoarder in Diablo III.
And that's quite alright to feed into your hoarder desires in a video game.
I'm certain the LAN support consoles offer provides the same amount of joy and excitement, but in physical form. But what about the PC?
LANs are usually associated with PC, so where's the LAN support?
For shame, Blizzard!
Ah, I love Broforce. It is very fun, very cute, very chaotic, and downright hilarious. ...And filled with accidental death. I have played co-op online before, and granted, playing the game is no different from bullying your own friend - or vice versa - because half the time you somehow kill your friend, the other half you're killing yourself after you blow up a gas tank. It's all in good fun though.
What's better is the experience of unlocking "Bros" together.
Many players experience a sense of awe, exclaiming upon unlocking a certain Bro, "NO WAI!"
Without spoiling much of what you can unlock, there are some iconic figures that will surprise and excite you. Guaranteed!
Unfortunately, despite what I have described, there is NO LAN support whatsoever.
Such sadness, because you could easily host a very fun(ny) party with this game.
I have heard mixed reactions toward Evolve, but one thing is for sure: the game is supposedly fun socially, despite the lack of content. In fact, the game is entirely social, with no single player to boot. If you ignore the constant begging for money in the form of DLC, you can actually host a great LAN party with this game. Except there is no local co-op whatsoever with this game.
LAN support would be perfect, even preferable, with this game, so why is there no LAN support for this game? It would be fun to assign one player the role of the monster and take turns changing the role as friends gang up on the monster and try to take it down before it destroys them. In my opinion, it would lead to more interactivity, exposing a lot of emotions, whether they be rage, happiness, or embarrassment, but definitely not boredom.
8. Dragon Age: Inquisition
Going to throw this out there: I cannot understand why it is so beloved and won so many awards, despite reading about and watching the entire game. I suppose it doesn't suit my tastes, but that's not to say the gameplay is terrible.
Not at all.
In fact, the multiplayer is, according to many, is very fun, similar to Diablo. In fact, the co-op is pretty separate from the main game. The combat is simplified, there are twelve classes to play from, and each class possesses two unique skill trees, adding customization depth. Recruiting four players to tag along for dungeon crawling is similar to going for a walk in the woods together.
Except with monsters, loot, and magic.
Oh, and of course, death.
No, not in the woods, just in the game.
The multiplayer should have LAN support for the same reason the PC version of Diablo III should have LAN support. Fun teamwork, customization, and the satisfaction of tackling dungeons.
9. Orcs Must Die! 2
Orcs Must Die! 2 is a 3rd person "trap defense" game, you clobber orcs continuously in massive waves. Better yet, a friend can join you to help slaughter these enemies with a wide array of traps, weapons, spells, guardians, and trinkets. The fun is in the strategy of defeating and trapping these orcs together.
Unfortunately, there is no offering for LAN. Which would be fantastic for cases like Endless Mode. Unlike the previous game, the game emphasizes co-op gameplay.
It'd be even better if there were more players supported for the game, but alas, it was not meant to be.
10. Contraption Maker
Okay, if you were a kid from the 90s, it's likely you've heard of The Incredible Machine. It's just as likely that you've played it too. For those that have no idea what I am referring to, I am talking about the contraption builder where players need to combine parts to create machines that solves puzzles, whether it's pushing a bowling ball off a ramp or pulling the trigger of a gun with a red balloon.
Well, its spiritual successor, Contraption Maker, brings all the nostalgia flooding back, with online multiplayer for up to eight players.
And only online multiplayer.
That's right, no LAN. Imagine sitting with a group of friends, building together a contraption to solve some puzzle to fling a cat off a cliff. Arguments, grins, and creativity over object usage ensue, and the whole day flies by.
Imagine eight players in a LAN setting building weird contraptions. Imagine it!
And there you have it. Of course, there are definitely a few games that should support LAN - though there are many that do support LAN - but these are some of the most recent that come to mind... except maybe Orcs Must Die! 2. Hopefully, developers will reconsider implementing LAN for at least more of the popular games, because LAN weaves players together into a harmonious group of joy and popcorn fights. Are there any games you believe should have LAN support?