Multiplayer….meh!

I’ve been completely out of the mood for MMO’s lately and have retreated into my woman-cave to enjoy more single-player goodness. It’s happened before, and eventually I’ll be back in the mood for more social gaming, but for now, I’m enjoying the deep immersion that only a solitary gaming experience can provide to me.

Most recently, I’ve been playing Assassins Creed II on my Xbox 360. I’d been looking forward to it a great deal after playing (and getting 100% completion and achievements) the first Assassins Creed, but I didn’t want to play the second one until after I had an HDTV to play it on. Now that I have my little 22″ HDTV on a microwave cart rolled up next to my computer, it was the perfect time to start the game. I’ve been having a blast! Sure, Ezio moves kind of like a drunken assassin under my control, and falls off any number of buildings during chase scenes and timed missions, but ultimately, I manage to get him through everything in something like one piece. I have no doubt I’ll be moving on to Assassins Creed Brotherhood after I’m done getting the most out of this one.

However, this one is very likely to be the last Assassins Creed game I’ll 100% complete. Why? Simply because Brotherhood has infected the series with multiplayer and multiplayer achievements. Since I’m not fond of multiplayer in single-player games, and because the Brotherhood multiplayer will be dead by the time I get around to playing it (what with Revelations coming out very soon), I’d have to find random people and spend inordinate amounts of time boosting for those achievements…time that I could be spending playing much more enjoyable single-player campaigns and storylines.

Other single-player games have been tacking on multiplayer as well, and usually the single-player game suffers for it. The single-player experience gets shorter and shorter and more watered down because of all the time spent adding multiplayer that usually isn’t all that great either. I just don’t feel the pressing need to play all my games with other people, particularly as I tend to play video games to recharge my energy after having to be around other people all day and really just want to play by myself most of the time. Being able to chat with a couple of friends here and there, and maybe sometimes do a multiplayer activity with them is really all I need when it comes to being social. When I’m in the mood to be social, I’ll 99% of the time choose to play an MMO and not a single-player game with tacked on multiplayer. I’ve also especially avoided the FPS frag-fests on Xbox Live since they are supposedly full of people screaming obscenities and harassing anyone for being the “wrong” race or gender. Not what I need when people already have me on edge for the day just through normal interactions.

Seems that Bethsoft is one of the few game companies that have stood firm against tacking on multiplayer, and thank goodness for that! Skyrim is promising to be an excellent game and it will be fun to talk *about* it with other people rather than playing it directly *with* other people. I only hope they don’t cave on it in the future. It’s just the type of game that I want to continue to enjoy *alone*!

4 Responses to Multiplayer….meh!
  1. Rakuno
    September 5, 2011 | 7:48 pm

    Same here in pretty much every point.

    I guess this trend of tackling multiplayer on games where they don’t make much sense is due to two factors:

    1) There are so many ways to keep in touch with people nowadays, what with cell phone, internet social network and what-not. So with all that it is way easier to get people to play together and more people playing together means more people buying a copy of the game. That is, assuming the multiplayer mode/achievement can’t be done with people playing in the same room.

    2) It is a way to add replayability to the game thus making people play it longer. It is easier to sell the new game in the series if the person is still playing it and is still hooked on it.

    That is probably a simplification and there is more to it behind the scenes. But I do think it does add a big deal of motivation to it.

    I am still keep hoping it is all a trend though and eventually there will be more games without multiplayer tackled in. Or at least where the multiplayer option makes sense to be in there, in the context of the game.

  2. Gwendolyn
    September 6, 2011 | 9:35 am

    That sort of thing works for some, but not for me!

    wtf is a cell phone? 😉

    • Rakuno
      September 10, 2011 | 5:15 pm

      Neither does it work for me… Hm. Now that I thought a bit more about the subject I guess the real reason is, despite what “common knowledge” tells, video-games have always been a social hobby. Maybe not so much in the days of atari and early computer games. At least I can’t remember many of either such case. But from the good ol’NES and forward I am pretty sure it was since my brother and I used to play a lot of games that allowed for 2 players.

      Even as games evolved, new genres were spawning, people came up with ways to play together. Death matches in the FPSes, playing against a friend in a RTS, etc.

      So, it is kinda natural for developers nowadays to try to allow people to play together a game they enjoy in some form or another and for achievements to be added reflecting it.

      I do still agree with Sabine tough that it does not make sense for every game. Assassin’s Creed games being a good example as it is about *one* guy reliving the life of *one* of his ancestors that was a pretty big deal at a certain point of human history. It is not about a bunch of people reliving the lives of their ancestors who together changed human history forever and ever.

      That and not everyone is a social butterfly and we have as much right to play our games alone if we so choose. It just makes it harder and less enjoyable for people that also like to earn all the achievements a game offers.

      Also, I know it is a joke but I can’t resist answering the question…. A cell phone is a technomagical thingummy that allows people to annoy you at the most inconvenient of times. I guess nowadays they are just calling the new generation “smart” phones instead… Tough what is “smart” about it I have no clue as I don’t own one. It is probably “smart” in that it gives people a lot more ways to annoy you at the most inconvenient of times. :p

  3. a.girl.IRL (Rebecca)
    October 5, 2011 | 6:31 pm

    Whoa, how did I miss these comments. Something must be messsed up with my notifications lately as I’ll usually get email about them. Now I’m wondering what else I’m missing.

    I just have a pre-paid TracFone for emergencies and I never have it on unless I need it to call out. My computer and gaming systems take care of the rest, although I’m thinking about getting a tablet next year.

    I’m still kind of in a “multiplayer meh” mood, but I’ve just been having too much fun with my singleplayer games, most recently Bioshock, Dead Space, Viva Pinata, and Mass Effect! Still trying to stop playing for long enough to write blog posts about them. 🙂

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