In today's hilariously mismatched episode of Speak Up on Kotaku, commenter Paradox Me raises one hell of a point about the distinct lack of buddy cop video games a ‘la Lethal Weapon. Seriously, what the hell?
With co-op having swept the industry this generation, where are all of the buddy cop games? This seems like a no-brainer.
Granted, the genre hasn't been too hot on the big screen in recent years, but all the more reason for video games to step in and do it right! They're all about action (gamers love action) and comedy, something that video games desperately need more of.
I mean, who wouldn't wanna sit down with their dearest chum in real life (or online) and tackle a mystery or something as a mismatched, wisecracking duo. There's plenty of room for single player experiences as well. Maybe you're a guy paired with some silly police animal à la Turner & Hooch.
As it stands though, I honestly can't think of any buddy cop video games. Policenauts and its very obvious homage to Lethal Weapon (Ingram as Riggs and Ed as Murtaugh) is perhaps the closest, and while it nailed the buddy feeling when the two shared scenes, the gameplay was still mostly of the solo adventure game variety.
There are a few rules for any developers that may be reading (in which case you should offer me a job to lead the charge in this emerging genre):
1) I want a competent AI partner that can manage on its own in the event I'm playing without a friend. As the name implies, you need a buddy for this to work. However, it's buddy cop, not babysitting cop.
2) Just because it's co-op friendly doesn't mean level design has to be wholly consumed by it. We don't need another game riddled with obstacles conveniently passable only by two people. Come up with ways that promote playing with a friend, but don't detract from the experience when all you've got is an AI partner.