Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Voice of Reason #3: Online Gaming Outrage

Infinity Ward's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
With our media landscape being increasingly dominated by social media and the compulsion to share with sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube growing with each passing week, the gaming industry has also been acknowledging the importance of on-line social content in recent years. 

Multiplayer has gone from being an entertaining and pleasing add-on to being considered a necessity. Labelled as the future of gaming, more and more focus is being given to developing games that offer the best online experience for gamers. Blockbuster games such as the latest instalment in the Call of Duty franchise, Modern Warfare 3 (pictured above) have had such a profound impact upon the way online gaming is orchestrated that millions disregard the traditional singleplayer content of games, the storyline or narrative, and instead measure a games success upon it's online content and experience. But is this the way forward for the industry? A sign of things to come?

It would seem so. Once-profoundly singleplayer experiences such as the Mass Effect, Uncharted and Dead Space series' have felt the need to integrate an online multiplayer mode in order to meet the needs of the market. I can't help but feel however that it will appear to have all been in vain. Just chucking in a deathmatch or capture the flag mode isn't going to topple established multiplayer communities like those found in Call of Duty, Battlefield or Gears Of War. Now this isn't a rant that is badmouthing Call of Duty, it's a complete modern day phenomenon, selling millions upon millions in it's first 24 hours.

Batman: Arkham City
I'm simply saying that developers are giving too much credit to online multiplayer. Is it really necessary for every game on the market? I'd like to think not. Numerous games have hit the shelves in the last 12 months that prove the worth of just a strong, entertaining singleplayer mode. L.A. Noire, Batman: Arkham City (pictured above) and most notably Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim are all intricately crafted and genuinely gripping games that have been hugely successful and critically acclaimed. On the other side, games like Battlefield 3 have shown that when too much precedence is given to online multiplayer, the singleplayer modes will suffer. 

How is it that everyone has become so engrossed with online multiplayer that offline modes have become so seemingly sidelined? Is it that the incessant repetition and maze-like maps are so entertaining that the industry has all but disregarded the future of singleplayer? I can see the social appeals of online gaming; a place to meet and make friends, share in the fun of the game, that, I am okay with.

It's when people forget the brilliance that goes into crafting a encompassing story such as those in solely singleplayer games like Arkham City and Skyrim. In my mind, online multiplayer games simply don't stack up, no matter how many additional map packs or DLC's a developer releases. It's just new mazes for their rats to run.

Here's hoping the multiplayer gaming isn't the only future the industry has; it'll be a very boring one for me if it is.
  

1 comment:

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