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1 player vs. multiplayer - a musing on the effects of Titanfall in the gaming world
Can a multi-player game be good without a solid 1-player element? Or is the 1 player experience dying out of mainstream gaming?*Warning - Wall o' Text*
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harpier
05-21-14 05:21 PM
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05-21-14 05:21 PM

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1 player vs. multiplayer - a musing on the effects of Titanfall in the gaming world

 

05-21-14 05:21 PM
harpier is Offline
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harpier
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So, a little while ago I got into a discussion with a friend about the new game Titanfall Xbox 360 and Xbox One. While the concept and visuals seemed cool (of course anything involving vaguely MechWarrior-esque robots makes me happy), I stated that I wasn't really interested in the game partly due to it lacking any kind of single-player campaign. My friend argued that 1-player games are inferior to multiplayer games due to the lack of a social element and that they encourage stronger anti-social behavior. He argued that if I wanted a solo experience, I should watch a movie or read a book. While I certainly don't want to discount books or movies, I argued that single-player games are inherently different due to the immersive qualities of a good game storyline. Still, his argument got me thinking regarding this argument in the modern gaming atmosphere.

I should probably first admit that I can hardly be called a "gamer." I don't own any next gen consoles aside from my DS/3DS, and in general I find that handheld titles are easily accessible for someone with a busy schedule (I'm a music student with a 21 credit hour per semester schedule) and encourage literal pick-up-and-play-ability. I did the majority of my console games in middle and high school, bur since I don't own a TV of my own I haven't brought them with me. Therefore, I'm really not a "hardcore" gamer by any stretch of the word, but I enjoy a good game as much as the next person, and part of the reason why I feel the need for a good story that I can really immerse myself in. This has driven me more toward single player games, usually with RPG elements, to satisfy that desire, and away from the multiplayer sphere that has become so popular thanks to FPS games like Call of Duty, since often I found other players annoying and rude (not saying everyone is like that, but I'm sure we all know the type) an it was increasingly difficult to get used to the feel of a game if you're constantly being sniped or beaten down while trying to figure out how to use the damn camera. Perhaps that's why I'm more drawn to retro games as well as handhelds.

I certainly don't want to put down multiplayer games, but it seems like the most popular games rely on their multiplayer element and usually underdevelop their story modes in favor of it. Now, with games like Titanfall, we're completely removing the need for a single player mode. On top of that it requires Internet connection at all times, and while that isn't overly impossible or hard to believe in our current, technologically dependent world, I don't think you should always be forced to be on the Internet to play a game (what if your Internet is slow, or has a tendency to go out or be spotty? Does the game become unplayable?), or you should at least have another option. On top of that, my friend's statement that single player games are more antisocial that multiplayer games is, in my opinion, somewhat flawed. Yes, you don't necessarily interact with people in a single player, but in a multiplayer game nowadays, we're generally playing online, so we're still not physically interacting with people. And while it is possible to get a bunch of people together on a couch for a rousing game of Smash Bros., I still think that most people are turning to the Internet for the easy connection. So is it better that we're conversing with (often infantile, trash talking) strangers, or that we're being antisocial immersed in the world of a one player game?

So I suppose the question I'm asking, dear reader, is, Can we accept that modern gaming especially console gaming, is becoming more and more reliant on multiplayer and sacrificing a good story? Or is single player inferior,or worse socially exiling than multiplayer? Should we accept games like Titanfall, that require constant online interaction and a single type of game play without having an alternate non-multiplayer mode? Are we okay with a non-fleshed out world just to beat up other people? I don't know, but I'll gladly take the Fire Emblem series over the Call of Duty (or most FPS-style games to be honest. Sorry!) any day.

Sorry for the wall of text! If you've lasted through this, I'd love to hear your thoughts!
-Harpier
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(edited by harpier on 05-21-14 05:30 PM)    

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