There aren't many video games that do a good job of bringing in significant others, at least not of the kinds of games that I like to play. Sure, there are the standbys like Guitar Hero and its ilk. Super Mario Galaxy did sort of okay in this respect, albeit in a limited fashion. Of course, there are many Wii games that appeal to spouses, such as Wii Sports, Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles, and countless other lesser titles. But those aren't the kinds of games I usually want to play. So what's a gaming-oriented guy to do? Enter Resident Evil 5.
I should preface this by saying that I was recently able to get my mostly non-game-playing wife to play through Resident Evil 4 on the Wii, which she loved. If not for that, she may not have been ready to graduate to the more complex dual-analog controls of RE5. Husbands considering introducing their wives to RE5 without any prior learning curve should consider themselves fairly warned. But I digress.
We started playing RE5 about a week ago and are now roughly half-way through the game. The verdict thus far? RE5 just might be one of the best two-player games out there for husbands and wives to play together. It promotes cooperation, teamwork, patience, sharing of resources, and a shared sense of accomplishment. If my wife needs shotgun ammo, I help her out. If my machine gun is getting light, she'll toss me a mag. When she's attacked by vicious mutant spiders, I'm there to slash them away. When a crazed villager grabs me from behind, my wife is there to deliver a spinning roundhouse kick. That's what a good marriage is all about.
So far, my wife and I have been having a blast with it. Personally, I think it's one of the best co-op experiences out there. The frequency and variety of situations requiring one player to help the other goes way beyond the teammate-reviving bits in, say, Gears of War. The cooperative elements in RE5 are so good in fact that, assuming at least a basic familiarity with video games, I could imagine this being an excellent relationship-building tool for married couples. If a husband is having trouble trusting his wife, or the other way around, then successfully downing a giant sea-monster while cooperatively operating opposing machine-gun turrets might be just the thing.
Of course, I could also see RE5 tearing some couples apart, destroying their relationships, and prompting them to divorce. But hey, if that happens then it probably wasn't meant to be.