Best answer: Yes! A co-op mode is available only if you remove the Joy-Con controllers from the sides of the Nintendo Switch and use one for the main character, and one for Legion.

How do you activate co-op in Astral Chain?

Speaking to Kotaku, game director Takahisa Taura said that there is indeed a way to play co-op in Astral Chain. It can't be done just by hooking up a second controller. You have to remove the Joy-Con controllers from the Nintendo Switch. When you do this, the game will switch modes to allow one Joy-Con to control the main character, and the other to control their "living weapon" assistant, Legion.

How does the gameplay work in co-op?

When you play Astral Chain, you control your character while your living weapon, Legion, serves as a sort of AI assistant who will perform offensive, defensive, or supportive strategies to fight alongside you. You can give it commands, perform combos, and use it to your liking to take down your foes.

If you split them up, the game gets harder, says Taura. The chains and combos that were normally effortless with one person operating the human and Legion are now extremely challenging. The two players must coordinate their attacks to do the most damage. Taura compared it to Super Mario Galaxy, where one player can collect star bits by firing the Wiimote at the screen, and the other can control Mario. Another apt comparison might be the co-op in Super Mario Odyssey.

"But this game is different from that," Taura said. "Because you don't just have one person doing assists. Both players actually have to put effort into controlling the characters and playing the game.

"If you're going for a high score, it's challenging to do this, playing in two-player. As one example, while you're playing the game, there are several synchronous moments where you're making attacks with the Legion at the same time. And if you're playing two-player, the other player and you—actually, it's almost like you would actually have to be of the same mind."

Get the game

Astral Chain

Stop the alien invasion

Play as a pair of twin cops and their mysterious living weapon assistant, Legion, out to save a futuristic city from an alien invasion in the latest adventure from PlatinumGames and Nier: Automata's lead designer.

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