Is Multiplayer a Must Have?

It seems every game these days has multiplayer of some kind. It’s not just your shooters either. You look across the spectrum of games and you will see almost every game has a multiplayer element. Viva Piñata 2 to Killzone 2…they all seem to have it. But is it a good thing?

I wish developers would really take a hard look at the experiences they are creating when it comes to online play. “Fear 2” most recently comes to mind. I think I would have gladly traded in their “add on” multiplayer for more game play, story and polish. “Fracture” also jumps out. This game could have been a great single player experience. Instead we got a “decent” single player game and a crap online experience. Throw “Brothers in Arms: Hells Highway” onto that steaming pile as well. The single player game was pretty good, but the online play was horrible!

Then you look at a single player experiences like Bioshock and Dead Space and understand just how great a game can be even without the online play. Mario seemed to do just fine all these years with out online play. God of War I & II managed just fine with out it as well.

Maybe it’s just me nitpicking but I long for the days of great single player games that didn’t need an online component to make them good. Maybe, just maybe  these developers are killing their own games with this insistence on adding in the multiplayer element when those resources would have been better off being used in the single player?

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  • Here, here! While multiplayer is a welcome addition to most games, single player is what makes the game. It defines the story and feel of the game, and without a decent single player your experience is almost solelly based on the other players. I basically see multiplayer as an add on to the game engine and universe of the single player. Sure, you can have a lot of fun, but only because you perform really well or discover a killer strategy. In single player you experience a story, which while no where near as in-depth as a book or movie (usually) really helps define the game. Of course game good mechanics help, but they can never define a game

  • ATC 1982

    I actually enjoy Single Player games (Platformers / RPG) just for the fact that it is the glory in searching an you beating the game

  • WCC5723

    I like to have the multiplayer aspect of a game as long as it’s good. I would trade longer single player for F.E.A.R 2 instead of the online that I have been on twice and could care less for. Then if you add CoD 4 into the mix this game was not only good single player but the online is awesome. The online portion is just overall enjoyable from the maps to the perks and the gameplay makes this game a overall outstanding game, give me more of that type of online play and then yes it would make it difference.

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  • lee

    dont forget final fantasy…and no i count 11,most every great rpg has been offline

  • As far as i’m concerned you buy a game for the single – player experience. The multiplayer is just an added bonus. For starters there are quite a few people out there who don’t even have the internet on their consoles.

    Some of my favourite games so far don’t have any form of multiplayer:

    Ratchet & Clank
    Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune
    Heavenly Sword
    God Of War 3 (Confirmed to not have multiplayer)
    MGS4 (OK, so it has an online mode but i don’t use it. I find MGO to be absolutely horrid).

  • I think too much emphasis is placed in a game having a multiplayer option. Just look at game reviews and you see a lot of games have their scores reduced for not having a multiplayer option (or for not having enough multiplayer options).

    I personally believe a game should be created as a single player experience (unless the game type prohibits that as with MMORPGs), that way they can get all the elements of the game sorted out properly. If a mutliplayer option is provided then fine, but don’t take development time away from the main game just to squeeze it in. Sadly, as I mentioned above, too many reviews will automatically reduce a games score for the lack of what they deem to be a “standard option” for a game to be successful.

  • Exactly. What if oblivion had a multiplayer? Sounds great at first but at what cost to the game we know now?? I am mostly on the other side of this story though seeing I mainly play shooters. Single player is neat and all, but to someone who spends 10 hours on single player and then 100s of hours in multiplayer, I’d like to see more phenominal multiplayer only games. Shave it down and put all effort into multiplayer gameplay instead of trying to be everything to everyperson. I spent 100s of hours in Oblivion (single only), and I’m spending 100s of hours on SOCOM (multi only) now. Specialization can work, the developers just have to bold enough to do it and do it right.