Written by Tonya Monroe
As most of the gaming community is aware, there has been a sudden increase in multiplayer aspects being added to predominately single player games. What does that mean for the gaming community? Well that’s a bit of a mixed bag as far as most of us are concerned. Usually single player campaign modes end up taking a backseat to multiplayer. Both components suffer for it. While I firmly believe that not every game needs multiplayer or co-op opportunities, there are a few games where I can see the benefit. If the game is going to have multiplayer or co-op, then it needs to be designed from the beginning with that thought in mind.
The biggest multiplayer success shocker would be Assassins Creed: Brotherhood. Had I been asked my opinion at the end of AC 2, I’d have said I was hopeful but wary, for fear of single player suffering for it. Some say it feels tacked on but that is a good thing and the multiplayer doesn’t suffer too much for it aside from the matchmaking issues and some complaints of severe lag. This game is an exception to the rule. I hope that AC 3 doesn’t include this feature though. I think it is a bad idea to add new facets in the middle of a trilogy. Worked fine for Brotherhood since the campaign was shorter, but AC 3 shouldn’t be scaled down to implement a multiplayer.
Even the games that are manufactured for multiplayer are not without their downfalls. Game breaking glitches – some there from day one – that take way too long to be patched can ruin an online experience. The infinite care package glitch that plagued Modern Warfare 2 immediatelycomes to mind. That resulted in my own personal choice to sell it and vow never to buy another Call of Duty title again. I kept that promise, having forgone the purchase of Black Ops, even though practically everyone on my friends list plays it. Infinity Ward set a new substandard for letting their games go unchecked, though it isn’t fair to hold Treyarch to that. It’s still the same group of people playing nonetheless. Infinity Ward could have taken a lesson from Bungie, who actually made me wish I cared enough about Halo’s story to get good at it. Considering they actually care about their fans.
Let’s compare multiplayer and single player campaigns for a moment. The campaigns for Halo and Call of Duty franchises took less than 10 hours to complete and it’s the same dried up vein with no real substance. Yes lots of explosions….good for you. Maybe if I was ten years old I would be impressed. Modern Warfare 2’s cliché and convoluted storyline left a lot to be desired in my opinion.
I think we, as a community of gamers, can be better people online, where we are essentially anonymous. We need to drop this attitude of “I can behave how I want since nobody knows me in real life”. Stop making Youtube videos showing everyone how to glitch or cheat their way to the top of a virtual leader board. Stop with the racist, homophobic and otherwise severe prejudice hate. I understand the concept of a mute button, but why should I have to mute an entire lobby? Would you act that way towards a coworker or neighbor? Why act that way online? Are you too much of a coward to speak your hateful opinion face to face? The depressing fact is that half of these comments come from children. Are the high pitched squeaks of an eight year old calling people “f*****” going to get games the recognition that games deserve as an artistic medium? Or come across as a mature entertainment outlet to be taken seriously? Probably not, so why incorporate that possibility into every game for replay value? Why not open up the single player campaign to be a bigger world? To have various outcomes and missions for separate paths and choices made? Why not offer a larger number of missions specific to different classes/races? Why not offer a more thoroughly thought out storyline? How much variety can be expected in multiplayer games before everything becomes overdone? Where people get tired of the same rehashed material? Where everyone cheats because the developers don’t discourage it? Would you continue to invest your money or time in multiplayer games?
It’s a choice to opt into multiplayer, but if the solo campaign is crud because the developers spent too much time on multiplayer then it’s not worth my money nor will it be worth it to their other loyal customers. No matter what is offered for pre-order incentives.