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Niche Games to Watch in 2021: Co-Op Games

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Last time, I highlighted some of the adventure games releasing in 2021. If you missed them, you can also find similar articles on horror games, action-adventure games, roguelites, platformers and Metroidvanias, city builders and management sims, strategy games, RPGs, and shooters.

Today, I’ll be showcasing a small sampling of the co-op focused video games coming our way this year. As always, I’ll be taking special care to feature predominately niche, indie, or middleware games that you might not have heard of yet.

Today’s article will cover games in a wide range of genres; with the overarching theme being that they are all designed with co-op in mind. While most of these games can be played alone, you’ll really be missing out if you aren’t playing them with others. You’ll find everything from shooters to action-RPGs, puzzle games to stealth-action games, all of which are made to be played with a few of your friends.

Here is Niche Gamer’s selection of 15 of the most promising co-op video games releasing in 2021:


Deathground
Developer: Jaw Drop Games
Platforms: Windows PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Release Date: TBA 2021

Deathground

First up is Deathground, a cooperative survival horror game where up to three players complete objectives while being hunted by hungry dinosaurs.

Each player takes on a different role for the team, as they navigate procedurally generated maps that consist of handcrafted elements that are randomly combined together to form each mission. Get in, retrieve valuable loot, and reach the extraction point before being devoured.

 

Monstrum 2
Developer: Team Junkfish
Publisher: Junkfish Limited
Platforms: Windows PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Release Date: January 28th, 2021 (Early Access) 

Monstrum 2

Monstrum 2 is a procedurally generated survival horror game set in Sparrowlock, a maximum security prison in the depths of the ocean.

The genetically modified sea monsters being created in the prison’s lab via morally ambiguous experiments have escaped, and are now devouring everyone they can find. Play as one of the four prisoners that must loosely cooperate to escape certain death, or become one of the predatory sea beasts and hunt down your prey one person at a time.

 

Nemesis: Distress
Developer: Awaken Realms Digital, Ovid Works
Platform: Windows PC
Release Date: TBA 2021

Nemesis: Distress

Nemesis: Distress is a cooperative survival horror for up to five players. The game is based on the hit board game by Awaken Realms, and like its inspiration, it involves a team of players controlling characters with asymmetric classes as they work together to complete objectives on a space station overrun with alien creatures.

While you must rely on your teammates, you’ll have to be wary of them as well, because one of them could be a traitor with hidden objectives meant to sabotage the team’s mission.

 

Warhammer 40,000: Darktide
Developer: Fatshark      
Platforms: Windows PC, Xbox Series X
Release Date: TBA 2021

Warhammer 40,000: Darktide

Fatshark is back with another brutal cooperative mission-driven horde brawler based on a Warhammer license. Warhammer 40,000: Darktide is essentially Vermintide set in the grimdark future of the 41st millennium.

You and three friends are sent on a mission by the Inquisition to investigate a Chaos cult dwelling deep within the lower levels of the hive city Tertium. Darktide will feature the same visceral melee combat that Vermintide is best known for, but it’ll also include expanded ranged options with the addition of iconic 40k weaponry like lasguns and plasma cannons.

 

KeyWe
Developer: Stonewheat & Sons
Publisher: Sold Out
Platform: Windows PC
Release Date: TBA 2021

KeyWe

Taking a break from the grimdark horror of the far future is KeyWe, a cute and colorful co-op puzzle game for two players. You and a friend control Jeff and Debra, two small kiwis working in a large post office. Work together with your partner to sort mail, ship packages, and send telegrams. You’ll also need to deal with disasters that can delay your job, such as thunderstorms and snow.

 

Hot Brass   
Developer: Walk with Kings
Publisher: Treasure Hunters FanClub   
Platform: Windows PC
Release Date: TBA 2021

Hot Brass

Hot Brass is a top-down tactical shooter about defusing tense and dangerous situations as a SWAT operator. Devise a plan with the rest of your squad as you breach buildings and maneuver through tight quarters to rescue hostages, defuse bombs, or foil casino heists.

 

Thunder Tier One
Developer: KRAFTON
Platform: Windows PC
Release Date: TBA 2021

Thunder Tier One

If you are looking for a top-down tactical shooter with a less abstract aesthetic, then maybe you’ll be interested in Thunder Tier One. Join a special operations task force fighting terrorism across the globe in a single player campaign, skirmish modes, and online multiplayer that includes both cooperative and competitive modes.

 

Valheim
Developer: Iron Gate AB
Publisher: Coffee Stain Publishing
Platform: Windows PC
Release Date: February 2nd, 2021 (Early Access)

Valheim

Valheim is an open world survival game set in a cruel wilderness inspired by Norse mythology and Viking culture. Team up with your friends to vanquish Odin’s rivals in the procedurally generated land of Valheim. Gather resources, build settlements, craft increasingly better gear, and fight creatures from ancient myths and legends.

 

Almighty: Kill Your Gods      
Developer: RUNWILD Entertainment
Publisher: Versus Evil
Platforms: Windows PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Release Date: TBA 2021

Almighty: Kill Your Gods

Almighty: Kill Your Gods is an action-RPG about slaying massive deities as magically infused warriors called Alphas. Fight enemies with an arsenal of enchanted gauntlets and arcane spells, then rip them apart and bring their remains back to your home base. Use these remains to restore and upgrade your home, and fend off counterattacks by your quarry’s minions.

 

Gatewalkers
Developer: A2 Softworks
Platforms: Windows PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Release Date: Q2 2021

Gatewalkers

Gatewalkers is a top-down action-RPG with survival elements where you and your friends play as magical warriors tasked with exploring alternate worlds.

Travel through the Gates to discover harsh, procedurally generated worlds with their own unique challenges that your party will need to overcome to ensure your survival. Gatewalkers doesn’t feature a traditional class system, and instead allows players to craft their own playstyle based on the gear they equip, and the skills they choose.

 

The Ascent
Developer: Neon Giant
Publisher:  Curve Digital
Platforms: Windows PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S 
Release Date: TBA 2021

The Ascent

The Ascent is a top-down cyberpunk RPG set on a distant corporate-run metropolis controlled by The Ascent Group. You and everyone on the planet are owned by The Ascent Group, until the company collapses.

Now, the whole metropolis is thrown into chaos, as crime syndicates rise up and rival corporations swoop in to stake their claims. Team up with your friends and fight against your new oppressors.

 

The Red Solstice 2: Survivors
Developer: Ironward
Platform: Windows PC
Release Date: TBA 2021

The Red Solstice 2: Survivors

The Red Solstice 2: Survivors is a top-down real-time tactics game for up to eight players. Corporations fight to control the last remnants of humanity, after a deadly virus wipes out Earth and turns most of the population into horrifying mutants.

Strike deep into mutant territory on dangerous missions to capture samples, and secure vital resources. Research new technologies, upgrade your combat suits, and unlock new tactical support like artillery and airstrikes.

 

Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos
Developer: Heliocentric Studios
Publisher: Team17 Digital
Platforms: Windows PC, Nintendo Switch
Release Date: February 23rd, 2021   

Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos

Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos is a cooperative action-adventure game with roguelite elements. Work together with your friends to explore procedurally generated dungeons on your quest to save the world of Tasos. Use the loot you acquire from dungeons to upgrade your home town and characters so you can take on even greater challenges.

 

Aragami 2
Developer: Lince Works
Platforms: Windows PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X
Release Date: Early 2021

Aragami 2

Aragami 2 is the sequel to the hit stealth-action game from 2016. Players will once again find themselves sneaking through fortresses and castles inspired by feudal Japan as an undead assassin with mystical powers, but this time around you can bring along two friends. Fight back against your invaders by infiltrating enemy bases, and taking out guards with a mixture of stealth takedowns and skillful swordplay.

 

Hood: Outlaws & Legends
Developer: Sumo Digital
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Platforms: Windows PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X
Release Date: May 10th, 2021

Hood: Outlaws & Legends

Finally, we come to Hood: Outlaws & Legends, a team-based competitive stealth-action game in a dark medieval fantasy world. Two teams of four players compete to infiltrate castles and complete contracts that include assassinating key individuals and stealing valuable loot. Use your ill-gotten goods to upgrade your character and purchase new gear and weapons.


That’s all for our latest batch of articles highlighting some of the promising games coming our way in 2021. Next time, we’ll be taking a look at some of the Early Access games that will be getting full releases this year.

Until then, which of these games are you looking forward to? Are there any other co-op games you are excited for in 2021? Let us know in the comments below!

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Frank Streva

About

Niche Gamer’s resident indie expert. Digs through the Steam new releases so you don’t have to. Massive fan of miniature and board games as well.




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