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This article was published on September 23, 2021

Games to play on date night: Too bad Pathfinder WotR isn’t co-op… or is it?

Nothing says "I love you" like brandishing Heaven's Light to destroy demons together

Games to play on date night: Too bad Pathfinder WotR isn’t co-op… or is it?
Tristan Greene
Story by

Tristan Greene

Editor, Neural by TNW

Tristan covers human-centric artificial intelligence advances, quantum computing, STEM, Spiderman, physics, and space stuff. Pronouns: He/hi Tristan covers human-centric artificial intelligence advances, quantum computing, STEM, Spiderman, physics, and space stuff. Pronouns: He/him

Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous is a new game from Owlcat that pits players in the shoes, boots, or hooves of a lowly group of adventurers destined for glory.

I gave it top marks in my recent review. 

But, as it’s a single-player only game, there’s no reason to mention it in our Games to play on date night series.

So, I’m sorry for wasting your time with this article. See ya next week!

I’m kidding: My wife and I figured out how to make Pathfinder: WotR (just WotR from here on out) a cooperative game play experience and we had a blast.

For those who aren’t familiar with Pathfinder, it’s a tabletop roleplaying game that shares some DNA with Dungeons & Dragons. In video game form, it apes the tabletop experience quite nicely and offers numerous methods of play.

But the gist is that you put together a group of adventurers and go around doing quests, killing enemies, obtaining loot, and leveling-up to become a godlike force in a world where godlike forces are actually somewhat common.

If you’ve played Baldur’s Gate, Neverwinter Nights, Dragon Age: Origins, Pillars of Eternity or just about any other “CRPG” title, including Diablo to a certain extent, you’re already somewhat familiar with the gameplay structure behind WotR.

But WotR kicks things up to the Nth degree with customization and options. It’s a sandbox for people who don’t give a crap about open worlds. It’s a playground for people who enjoy experimenting with builds and party dynamics. And it has a really cool story that’s worth sharing with a gaming partner.

In short, it’s the perfect game to dive into on date night if you and your gaming partner are trying to get lost in a world that feels like it was made just for you.

But it’s single-player only. So, you’ll have to get around that first. The good news is it’s super simple to do.

  • Step one: Have two computer mouses.
  • Step two: ?
  • Step three: profit.

Note:There are no spoilers ahead, but I do reveal when certain mechanics become available.

Seriously though: Start the game as normal. Decide which of you is “player one”, and have that player create their character as normal.

Enjoy the opening sequences and you’ll end up with some companions in your party once you hit the tutorial dungeon.

As soon as you get your first companions, decide amongst yourselves how you’ll divvy up the party. Player one should control their created character (and any animal companions that come with their build) and Player 2 should control another character.

Eventually you can have up to six people in your party, and you can divide them up any way you want.

My wife and I chose to split our party up 3-3 and it worked out perfectly.

How to divvy control: The game doesn’t do this for you like, for example, Divinity II where you and a second player create separate starting characters and assign control of companions to player profiles.

Instead, just plug in a second mouse. During non combat scenes, you or your partner can control the action. And, when combat breaks out, you’re given the option to use turn-based or real-time-with-pause combat.

To achieve the date night experience, I recommend playing in turn-based mode. When it’s your character’s turn you control the action and when it’s your partner’s, they control the action.

Tips:

  • Use two computer mouses because not only is it annoying to pass a mouse back and forth, it increases the odds you’ll accidentally fire off an ability or skip a turn.
  • You can create another custom character once the tutorial is over and you meet a NPC that gives you access to mercenaries.
  • It’s not a perfect co-op experience, the story’s aimed at the main player, so player 2 has to be able to accept that they’re part of the hero’s party, not really the hero themselves.
  • Try not to look at WotR’s co-op experience as a video game. Instead, think of it as a collaborative-storytelling device like a tabletop roleplaying game. It doesn’t matter who’s controlling the party, you’re just doing the equivalent of saying “we go east.”

Closing thoughts: We had a blast playing the game together. Controlling our shared party together meant that when I got up to get some snacks she could keep us exploring the dungeon until an encounter happened.

And it was so much more fun discussing strategy pre-battle and putting our heads together to determine the best paths for our characters to take when leveling up than it was during my solo play through.

I can’t wait to dive back in again. There’s something special about sharing an entire world with someone else.

For more Games to play on date night, check out:

Games to play on date night: Fallout 76’s wasteland West Virginia is for lovers

Games to play on date night: Rule the galaxy together in Stellaris

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