We’re back again with our weekly goss round-up and in this edition I’m joined by TSA Talks regulars Aran and Kris as we let off steam on the industry’s hottest topics. Tuffcub is also on-hand, giving us an insight into his Game of the Year predictions which turn up quite an unexpected nominee. This week it’s short, but still just as sweet, it’s number four!
BioWare had fans in a bit of a tizzy after numerous stories began to emerge last week, confirming that the last chapter in Commander Shepard’s trilogy will include online multiplayer. However it was later revealed that only co-operative side missions would be making it into Mass Effect 3 and not an all-out competitive underpinning of the fabled franchise that followers had been fearing.
Aran: No, no, and no, the Mass Effect series is an epic story that is meant for single player. To me it really feels like Bioware are chucking in multiplayer for the sake of it. If they want multiplayer then they should just concentrate that effort on SWTOR.
Also, I’d say no to competitive multiplayer in ME. The campaign itself will have enough replay value. One playthrough could easily take 30-plus hours. Leave the multiplayer for the games with shorter campaigns, like CoD, or for sports games.
Kris: With Mass Effect I think co-op is the logical way to go. With the squad you normally find yourself with (I haven’t played any titles in the series, but this is my understanding at least) it seems like co-op is almost a no-brainer. The fact that it’s developed by a BioWare splinter isn’t really a big deal to me, almost no games are developed at just one studio any more. Aspects of almost everything gets outsourced now and it’s, at the very least, difficult to produce a game entirely within one dev house.
As for the link up with the single player it makes me uneasy. Now that it’s been confirmed that you don’t have to beat the co-op to get the best ending I’m a little happier with it, but it still feels like an odd decision. Not everyone wants to play games with others, for many it can be a solitary experience. Punishing those users just seems unfair, even if it is only a case of difficulty.
Jim: If it adds variation to the overall experiences (which it certainly will) then I’m all for annexing a multiplayer component. Hell, I was even hoping that BioWare would take a plunge and develop a competitive online component too; if it flopped, no biggy, the core game would still be just as good.
Whiny fanboys said the same about BioShock 2 and how its multiplayer had even undone the success of the original game. Nonsense. Compared to this year, there was a real lack of unique online shooters in 2010, Halo: Reach, BFBC 2 and Black Ops all being updated version of games we had already picked at for hours on end. For me BioShock 2 was the definitive competitive multiplayer experience last year.
It works both ways really. Some fans want developers to try new directions with their franchises and others want them to remain exactly where they are.