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The announcement that God of War: Ascension would add
multiplayer to the classically single-player
experience brought forth a number of conflicting feelings from gamers around
the globe, including myself.
This is not the first time a franchise known for its
single-player experience has walked down the competitive multiplayer path.
Uncharted, Mass Effect, Dead Space, Assassin's Creed, BioShock, Max Payne, and
even Grand Theft Auto have expanded past the boundaries
While some reacted positively to the news of God of
War's new addition, many boiled with unbridled Internet rage.
Some proclaimed they wouldn't buy it, and others
complained that every game doesn't need multiplayer, but reader Alex Hanavan
perfectly summarized the frustration longtime solo gamers face by asking,
"Is multiplayer mandatory now for every single new game?"
Gamers are a smart and passionate group, so it is easy
to see why players are wary that the addition of multiplayer could lead to
lesser investments in the single-player experience. I, too, can't get that
nagging thought out of my brain.
Of course, there is no proof that adding multiplayer to
a game reduces a developer's investment in the single-player experience. Since
it is basically impossible for a developer to make both at the same time with
equal budgets and talent behind the titles, we will never really know the
answer to the question.
Gamers in the single-player camp will always point to
the millions spent on multiplayer as a waste of money that could have made the
single-player experience better, while multiplayer fans will sometimes wonder
why there is a single-player experience at all (see Battlefield 3).
Neither group is right or wrong, but I know there will
always be a thought in the back of my head when a single-player game falls
short (or vice versa), that game developers are trying too hard to appease
everyone when focused effort on a single discipline would offer better results.
Some developers and publishers are capable of doing it all, as we have seen in
many blockbuster titles featuring amazing single- and multiplayer experiences.
But whenever someone falls short, gamers will be there to ridicule and cast
Email the author Andy McNamara, or follow on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Game Informer.
Very well written article, some games like Call of Duty can do a good job on the different fronts, as can others like Assassin's Creed, but putting a focus on titles (like BF3 should have done with multiplayer and Dead Space should have done with single player) is definitely what some developers should do, and why I'm glad the new Hitman doesn't force it, even with some good MP potential behind it.
I like when developers are being creative and trying new things. I dont like when the new things are there because they want more money. The passion for the project shows through when you play and you can easily tell when they threw it in there.
If devs have an idea to make a fun experience that uses the technology of today, go for it.
I agree with your article, sir. I would also like to point out that SOME games are moving backward on this position. See Dead Space 3, which according to the preview article says there will be no online multiplayer, just local co-op. Sometimes someone tries it, and at least has the good graces to backtrack if it seems too out of place. I applaud this notion and hope others will continue to re-examine their multiplayer plans in order to ensure good experiences.
I remember being disappointed when I heard Metroid Prime 2 would have a multiplayer element. When it released I was unimpressed with what multiplayer had to offer, and the single player, though excellent, wasn't quite up to par with the original or the third. I can't help but wonder how much better it could have been had Retro not spent time developing the multiplayer.
Sadly it's what new generation gamers want. I guess it'll make those great single-player campaigns all the better...*sigh*
Haha I love that "internet rage" is set apart from all other forms of anger
I think the reason for adding multiplayer to formerly singleplayer only games is for the purpose of DLC. It is much easier to make a map pack and sell it for $10 than it is to make a worthwhile addition to the singleplayer unless you cut content out as most singlplayers tell a story. Once the story has been finished it is difficult to add something to it that is not an expansion or a full blown sequel. Uncharted is a good example the first game had no DLC, the second however had DLC all of which was for the multiplayer same with the Third. The only games that can have singleplayer DLC easily added are open world games where you can just add a new side quest story line that can be done even after you have completed the main game in the free roam mode.
I hope multiplayer dies a slow & painful death.