Article written by Kris Lipscombe.
Published on 11/11/2012 at 05:00 PM.
When did we come to accept that online multiplayer was something that should come as standard? Gamingâ€™s rapidly moved on from the days of playing mostly single player games, and itâ€™s skipped past the point at which weâ€™d all cluster round the same screen, playing in one room.
Thereâ€™s certainly still room for the latter of those, nights of FIFA and Just Dance confirm this more than any other games I can think of, but online does seem to be becoming a focus for almost all developers. Theyâ€™ll say that people clamour for multiplayer if you ask them, although theyâ€™ve certainly driven some of that demand in an attempt to improve the long term viability of a gameâ€™s revenue stream.
Whilst game's like FIFA show that local multiplayer is alive, online does seem to be the focus.
Sadly I feel like that experience has become the exception rather than the rule. More and more often developers seem to be cramming in multiplayer that doesnâ€™t always fit, with the public and press complaining if itâ€™s â€śmissingâ€ť whilst bemoaning poor implementations. It feels like a lose/lose situation for developers, although I do wonder if a poor multiplayer section of a game is better than no multiplayer from a financial.
Personally, Iâ€™m perfectly content with shelling out ÂŁ35 for a good single player experience but it does feel like Iâ€™m becoming fairly old fashioned. Look at Assassinâ€™s Creed or Rocksteadyâ€™s Batman games though, theyâ€™re great experiences that I feel are more than worth their RRP for the single player. Beyond reviews Iâ€™ve never felt the need to play Assassinâ€™s Creed multiplayer, or to contribute to leaderboards in Batman Arkham Cityâ€™s Challenge Mode, yet I count them amongst my favourite games.
Even when playing Call of Duty Iâ€™ve never really had the desire to dip my toe into the gameâ€™s multiplayer. Iâ€™ll sit there and happily blast away whatever vaguely generic enemy they put in front of me in the gameâ€™s campaign but thereâ€™s no real desire to take myself over to the multiplayer option and start trying to take out my fellow gamers. Iâ€™ll admit that with those game Iâ€™m not always happy at the price given that I wonâ€™t be playing the multiplayer, which is probably why I think Iâ€™ve only ever been loaned or given Call of Duty titles past Call of Duty 2, and that only got a look in because it came with my 360.
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood may have managed to pull of its multiplayer but its inclusion caused no small uproar.
That doesnâ€™t mean that a game would automatically have more poured into the single player if the multiplayer didnâ€™t exist but it does seem a likely outcome. Either that or the resources would be allocated to an existing title or even used to create a new one, opening up the possibility of more games and ideas appearing if everyone wasnâ€™t quite so committed to the multiplayer experience.
Despite the occasional ruckus that the inclusion of multiplayer makes I do suspect Iâ€™m in the minority here and that many of you will support the growth of multiplayer gaming and thatâ€™s a good thing. If itâ€™s what you enjoy then you should certainly push for it but for me it just isnâ€™t holding my interest. Bring me a game with a great story or some enjoyable gameplay then Iâ€™ll be hooked but Iâ€™m not going to pick up a game based solely on its multiplayer component, no matter how good it is.