GW: Offline Multiplayer

In the first of our Guest Writer features we have a submission from jonny_bolton about the wonders of offline multiplayer. Remember, these features are contributions from our readers and do not necessarily represent the official view of TheSixthAxis.  So, without further ado I’ll hand you over to him. Enjoy!

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Unless you’re a student, like myself, chances are you’re living with either your parents or your partner and family. So there’s a good chance you’ve not had the experience of local multiplayer I have had. Out of courtesy I put my PS3 in the lounge (I don’t know why, I live in Manchester and it should be under lock and key in my room on the top floor at all times really) so that everyone can enjoy it. But can we really enjoy it? I’m talking predominantly about the absence of local multiplayer. There is an ever increasing trend to abandon local multiplayer, especially within the big releases, citing reasons such as “the development costs were too high” or “we couldn’t due to time constrictions” and it is a real shame because the most fun I’ve had on the PS3 is with my mates in my house.

So what does the PS3 offer in terms of “off the shelf” multiplayer? Well the truth is, not much. Time used to be that FPS games were immense fun with friends and were a certainty to boost sales. But with the astronomical rise in online multiplayer, the FPS genre has become one of the quickest to abandon it. Some games have abandoned it completely, whilst others have put in a watered-down offline experience. Killzone 2 falls into the first category and Call of Duty into the latter. If the games merged we could have a complete offline multiplayer experience. CoD’s maps and local support, and Killzone’s bots.

The closest you’ll get to a decent shooter, this generation, is third-person Resident Evil. Resi is a good, enjoyable game to play with a friend at home, or at least it should be. In my experience it isn’t but maybe that’s due to my mate’s ineptitude at the game. Then there’s LittleBigPlanet. Again, a great multiplayer game but lacks the depth that will grab players like my housemates. Ones that aren’t massively clued up on the PS3 and think that LBP is a childish game. The only disc that gets played by all in my house is PES2009. It’s a sad fact but in reality, sports games are the only games that offer continual offline multiplayer and if you’re not into sport well… you’re out of luck.

Thankfully there’s still the PSN to keep satisfy our multiplayer cravings. Classics like Worms and Street Fighter II are brilliant fun, and great to reminisce over. New games too offer barrels of laughs. One in particular is Rag Doll Kung Fu. When I first got Rag Doll Kung Fu it was met with scepticism from my housemates. But we soon got into it and by God it was fun. Capture the Fish is the most imaginative, funny take on traditional Capture the Flag, and is certainly the most fun I’ve had with a fish ever. One of my housemates spent a whole game picking up one of my other housemates and throwing him around. There were tears of laughter, lots of swearing and an eventual throw down of the controller and storm out. You don’t get that with online multiplayer!

Then there are the party games. Oh yes, you know what I’m talking about. Singstar and Buzz. I don’t need to go into depth as to why these games prove that the most fun you have is with offline multiplayer. Christ, we hear at least once a month about the TSA staff getting drunk and warbling some Bonnie Tyler! Sufficed to say, that even if you don’t consider yourself a massive karaoke fan, it’s hard not to get involved or at the very least have a great time while Singstar is on. Buzz works in the same way. It’s great to play or watch. Beating your mates to an answer by .1 of a second is so satisfying, and by God don’t you let them know it!

If you can’t relate to this then chances are you’re either a “Billy-No-Mates” or you haven’t played properly offline with you PS3. But think back for a minute. There must be one offline multiplayer experience at least that’s made you laugh, shout, or hurl a controller in sheer rage! Remember Timesplitters 2? How good was that offline? So many modes, so many maps, and bots too! And let’s not forget that the whole story could be done in Co-op. Sheer brilliance. Or how about a driving game? Burnout offline? Superb. Losing a race to your friend with the finish line looming,  he thinks he‘s high and dry only for you to boost into the back of him and send his car careering off the side of the track. Yes you can get these experiences online but they’re not as real as when the person you just owned is sat right next to you.

Hopefully this has brought up some good memories for you. I know I could triple this article with all the funny and genuinely enjoyable experiences I’ve had with my friends sat around my PS3. One last thing I want to say is, if you can, get a couple of friends over and play a bit of Rag Doll Fung Fu, Worms or Singstar and Buzz. If you’re feeling particularly energetic, maybe you could dust off that old dance mat? Hmmm, I wonder whatever happened to those…

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