Cuphead may be inspired by 1930's-era cartoons and vintage atmospheres, but Studio MDHR has also ushered in some properties from the modern era: support for couch co-op, crisp (albeit vintage) high definition graphics, and high fidelity sound all certainly add to the experience. One item Cuphead is lacking entirely, however, is the ability for friends to play co-op online. Speaking to Fandom earlier this week, Cuphead producer Maja Moldenhauer confirmed that Studio MDHR may add such a feature in the future.
In the game, Cuphead can be aided by his brother Mugman, who bears a striking family resemblance (swap the red with blue, straighten the straw, enlarge the nose) and acts as the title hero's co-op buddy. The game adjusts its quickly-infamous difficulty when a friend pops into the game, and from what we've experienced the co-operative gameplay seems to be well integrated and polished within Cuphead. In short, the pieces are there, but it's up to Studio MDHR to undergo the technical challenge of adding support to bring this feature online. That's a task easier said than done for an independent studio that just launched its first ever game.
Here's what Maja herself had to say on the subject of online co-op being added in the future:
"Chad and Jared grew up playing co-op together and they were like, OK this game HAS to be co-op. So, while it’s local couch coop for now, [we’re] looking into adding online at a later date."
There's little doubt that Cuphead is one of the most stylistic games of the modern era, with each boss presenting a firm challenge for even the most stalwart of gamers. Players will need to learn how to surpass each phase of each individual boss, with trial and error being the name of the game. This challenge can be even more rewarding when co-operative gameplay comes into play, especially given how challenging some gamers are finding the experience.
At the end of the day, however, it's not the only modern game fans were surprised didn't support organized multiplayer gameplay. Maja's words certainly imply a strong possibility that Studio MDHR will add online co-op as a post-launch feature, but for the time being gamers will have to rely on in-person backup.
Cuphead is available now on Xbox One and PC.