Article: OmniPlayer

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I read an article a few years ago with some industry expert saying that single player and multiplayer games would be a thing of the past. For a game to succeed, he said, games would need to offer both competently and in the same package. While that has certainly been the attempt for the past few years, I really wish it was not.

What have we gotten out of this deal? Tacked on gameplay. Time diverted from what should be the development’s focus to some uninspired outing that few will enjoy. Some AAA titles do it adequately, but I always feel that it is in spite of how stupid the idea is, not because they were following some divine gameplan. Uncharted 2 is cited as an amazing game. To what are critics referring to? The single player campaign. While it has a multiplayer aspect, and while it is adequately done, it is not where the game truly shines. When you step away from the AAA budgets, this divide gets even worse. Singularity comes to mind. A primarily single player FPS, the game was a fairly lack-luster outing, but managed to be quite enjoyable, even if every aspect felt generic and borrowed. Take it online and things get worse. While the multiplayer is a competent  clone of the versus mode from L4D, I can’t help but feel that the time spent on it would have been better allocated to the single player which could have used some more polish to be a truly amazing game, rather than the average outing it turned out to be.

Flip the sides, and the same is true of multiplayer games like Killzone 2, Modern Warfare 2, etc. Or games like Resistance 2, which seemed to have no focus at all. While entirely single player games are numerous, there are few games which come out and only tackle multiplayer. The ones I can think of, have been better for it, such as the old gems Tribes and Tribes 2, or the more recent Warhawk.

I brought this up to a friend of mine, who instantly told me that he has always enjoyed the Call of Duty franchises single player, and is glad it is there. Personally, I would prefer it to be absent, and have that time spent on more maps for the multiplayer, more depth to it, less bugs, etc. But I am more concerned with the games with smaller budgets that could really benefit from a more focused development cycle. Shout out your opinion.

Written by Aaron

February 7th, 2011 at 3:46 pm

Posted in Opinions

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