I'll always be of the opinion that nothing is more important than a great single player experience in regards to video games. Stuck in the same world for months or even years. Single player games have the benefit of having great stories and the ability to be over and done with making it possible to see the next world. That's not to say that I don't like multiplayer in games that have it, but it's not really my main focus.

The question though becomes, will you always be able to have the same standard of experience with it? A quality single player will always maintain exactly as it is, you may tire of it, but it will always exist in the same form; an experience that relies on the ability to connect to a number of other people could some day not offer that special connection. Now if you can still play it solo and have a great experience, then it would qualify as a great single player experience despite being designed for multiple players. But if it relies on multiple people for the proper experience, then someday it may be little more than a space filler.

In 2013 and 2014 there was plenty of great single player games released. GTA V, The Last Of Us, Bayonetta 2, Bioshock Infinite, Gone Home, Broken Age, The Walking Dead Season Two, The Wolf Among Us, Shadow of Mordor, Child of Light, A Link Between Worlds, Transistor, Dark Souls Two, Shovel Knight, South Park, Guacamelee, State of Decay, Dragon Age: Inquisition, The Evil Within, Assassin's Creed 4, etc. And...can we all just take a moment and thank the makers for the masterpiece, gameplay wise AND aesthetically that is Bloodborne (my game of the year for 2015.)

Multiplayer games are a lot like reality television. They were all the rage for awhile, and absolutely everyone was trying to cash in on it, but eventually people realized that there was still a strong demand for scripted programming.

There is still a place for multiplayer modes and multiplayer only games but it seems like developers are realizing that multiplayer isn't a requirement. There was a time during last Gen (ps3/xbox360) where it seemed like every single game was forcing an online multiplayer component. Games like Arkham Origins, Dead Space 2, and Mass Effect 3 come to mind. There were some interesting ideas here but the execution wasn't ideal and it didn't add much more to the games. Hopefully we reached a point where developers aren't adding online modes just for the sake of having online.

A properly made single player game is like a good book. You can keep coming back to it for decades to remember the other times you played it, and you can also pull some new thought or idea from it each time thus understanding it in new ways.

A properly made multiplayer game is like a good party. It's a blast in the beginning, but as people start passing out and leaving things get stale. Eventually the servers die and you have to move on to the next party.

It is definitely encouraging to see that developers are still focused on solo experience. More single player worlds to get lost in with memorable characters and engrossing atmospheres. Pure escapism. Those seem to be the games that create the fondest memories, that stay with you, not just capture the flag. I don't mind games adding online multiplayer components but developers need to make sure these modes are worthwhile and not half baked. Multiplayer can be great. Tacked-on multiplayer...not so much.


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Tags: video games , bloodborne , Playstation 4