The lights are on
Veteran Member - Level 14
Short blog tonight as I had a busy day today, filled with 9 hours of work, 3 hours of Fragfest, 3 hours of Batman: Dark Knight Rises, and of course, the puppy has demands of me.
When I first got Xbox Live in the the spring of 2008, I didn't have any friends that played games online, and was left to play online games by myself. This lead to me meeting some great people in some of the games I frequented, such as Rainbow Six Vegas 2 and Halo 3. The opportunity to meet people with similar interests to me, who played similar games and did so respectfully was a welcome experience. Yet, as I've had Live for a couple of years now, and have branched out into games I wouldn't have played online before, I am finding that with many online experiences, I don't enjoy them without playing with friends.
I first really started to notice this with the Call of Duty franchise. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare changed the way that people perceived online gaming's potential. Yet, I always found myself growing bored with the multiplayer after a few rounds. It's not that the game is bad by any stretch, but the style of play is not really what I consider to be my own preferred style. So, to play the game by myself on a team of strangers, or simply by myself doesn't really provide me much enjoyment.
From here, I had similar experiences with the Battlefield series, Halo games, and to a lesser extent, the Gears of War series. Most of these were games that I thoroughly enjoyed playing the campaign of, but when it came to the online or multiplayer elements, I just didn't enjoy them without friends to play with. Yet, this can cause an unforeseen issue, in that with playing online, you're at the whim of what your friends are willing to play.
In the end, I find that in order to place a value upon the multiplayer aspect of a game, I must examine how much I will play it with friends. I ended up selling Battlefield 3 because I personally like playing Rush mode to Conquest (I actually would say that I hate Conquest on consoles), but could never find a friend who played that was interested in the mode, and just didn't see a point in holding onto a game I would rarely ever play and enjoy.
Another example of this was F3AR. I wasn't much of a fan of the campaign, as they dumbed down the horror aspect. Yet, some of the online modes, particularly, the Zombies/Horde type game mode where you had to survive, while also avoiding Alma was an amazing treat, but impossible to fully enjoy due to a lack of friends with the game. I traded this game in fairly early on due to this major hang up.
Also worth noting is that in playing with friends, you often will avoid undesirable types who will spout out everything from jibberish to racially or sexually explicit comments.
In closing, perhaps it is a sign of me aging, or not having the time to put forward in my games like I once was able to that make games harder to get into without friends. At today's Fragfest, I had a lot of fun, despite not being the best at Halo: Reach. The ability to play with friends made that experience great, where a solo adventure in matchmaking would not have brought on as much fun and would not have kept my attention for long.