Multiplayer Isn’t The Future (Nor Is Single Player)
The future of videogames is online. It’s multiplayer. It’s playing games with other people. It’s definitely not playing a game made just for you, by yourself, usually in your pants.
At least, that’s what they would have you believe, whoever they are. We hear it on an ever-increasing basis and we see it with the hastily crammed in online features on so many ostensibly single-player games being thrown out there.
Step forward Mass Effect – always intended as a multiplayer game from day one (read the initial pitch documents, fact fans) – but ostensibly single-player at heart. Admittedly good as it is, it’s still been sullied with the stench of online play. It’s disheartening for those of us who just want to be left alone.
But there’s still a place for people like you or I. There’s still a nice, relaxing, simple haven for those of us who don’t want to get involved in that other side of things and – contrary to popular belief – it’s still doing pretty well in the modern landscape of gaming.
A little thing called The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (you might have heard of it) caters exclusively to those of us who want to sit around and not be bothered by the wider concerns of ‘other people’ or ‘any stuff at all’. Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning is another to step up to the plate and fill that gap, allowing you to turn off your brain for 50 hours and not be called a ‘noobfag’ while doing so.
Even away from the RPG world there’s still a legion of single-player, purely solitary engagements, like the Devil May Cry games or – if you prefer (which I do) – Bayonetta. Upcoming? Look at Dragon’s Dogma, even if it does look entirely like a multiplayer game with no multiplayer in it.
While all intensely personal experiences, none of these examples are purely solitary – you’re always talking them up, telling your tales and weaving your own narrative throughout. Even in the likes of Bayonetta/DMC – where linear progression is all you can look forward to – you’ll end up with more than enough tales of the boss you almost beat, the moment you ‘got’ dodging or how Bayonetta is still better than DMC3 (or is it? OR IS IT?).
The future isn’t multiplayer. Part of the future is multiplayer. The other part is resolutely stuck in the ways of the solitary, confined individual, sat in their underwear and not opening the curtains.
And that’s a Very Good Thing.