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? Gamingās rapidly moved on from the days of playing mostly single player games, and itās skipped past the point at which weād all cluster round the same screen, playing in one room.
Thereās 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. Theyāll say that people clamour for multiplayer if you ask them, although theyāve certainly driven some of that demand in an attempt to improve the long term viability of a gameās 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 doesnāt always fit, with the public and press complaining if itās āmissingā 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, Iām perfectly content with shelling out Ā£35 for a good single player experience but it does feel like Iām becoming fairly old fashioned. Look at Assassinās Creed or Rocksteadyās Batman games though, theyāre great experiences that I feel are more than worth their RRP for the single player. Beyond reviews Iāve never felt the need to play Assassinās Creed multiplayer, or to contribute to leaderboards in Batman Arkham Cityās Challenge Mode, yet I count them amongst my favourite games.
Even when playing Call of Duty Iāve never really had the desire to dip my toe into the gameās multiplayer. Iāll sit there and happily blast away whatever vaguely generic enemy they put in front of me in the gameās campaign but thereās no real desire to take myself over to the multiplayer option and start trying to take out my fellow gamers. Iāll admit that with those game Iām not always happy at the price given that I wonāt be playing the multiplayer, which is probably why I think Iāve 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 doesnāt mean that a game would automatically have more poured into the single player if the multiplayer didnāt 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 wasnāt quite so committed to the multiplayer experience.
Despite the occasional ruckus that the inclusion of multiplayer makes I do suspect Iām in the minority here and that many of you will support the growth of multiplayer gaming and thatās a good thing. If itās what you enjoy then you should certainly push for it but for me it just isnāt holding my interest. Bring me a game with a great story or some enjoyable gameplay then Iāll be hooked but Iām not going to pick up a game based solely on its multiplayer component, no matter how good it is.