So Bethesda have released Wolfenstein to a mostly mixed reception, but I will be cheering for it for two reasons:
1.[font=Times New Roman] [/font]Its got comedy brit soldier types cor blimey, me ol’ china!
2.[font=Times New Roman] [/font]There is no forced in multiplayer.
Now, note my choice of words there, forced
. In some games you get a logical extension to the main game in the form of a multiplayer, your FPS’s, sports games and RTS’s spring to mind. Also there are games where there is no logical multiplayer, and yet some how one was made successfully, and then you get the scourge of the last generation, the forced multiplayer.
So many games have had their teams slashed so that a multiplayer function can be shamelessly crowbarred into the product. Uncharted and Mass Effect for example had multiplayer’s forced into them, into a game that did not need them, and more pressingly, the fans did not want in them. I fear that the reason for inclusion of a multiplayer is twofold- To appeal to as many people as possible, and because online multiplayer is big business. Both of these concepts run the risk of damaging the final product.
By appealing to as many people as possible, you are diluting the final product. FACT. Take for example this rather labored analogy:
“Gray is eating a pizza, he is enjoying it greatly, but he decides to take
away 30% of it and leave it for later. Gray is still hungry, but resists eating
the other 30%. When he returns to it, its gone off, so Gray is both
hungry and disappointed with the meal”
This is the danger, by making a multiplayer, that last 30% that could of pushed the game from “good” to “great” were working on multiplayer. Multiplayer that will more than likely not be played by the majority of those who bought it, those who do are more likely doing so for achievements than for genuine enjoyment. I bitterly completed Far cry 3’s wretched co-op so I could get that platinum trophy. No, I’m not proud of myself.
Second reason, multiplayer is big business. There is one important caveat to that statement:
WHEN IT WORKS WELL.
Call of Duty, GTA 5, Battlefield and Mario Kart have multiplayers that loved and adored because they work well. Average, or acceptable would just not have cut it. GTA 5 is a good example of this, the multiplayer is well structured and thought through offering a whole new dimension to the game. If I was so inclined I would have made up a crew or a bike gang with some friends and had a good time. Stack this against GTA IV, with its forced in racing a 3[sup]rd[/sup] person slaughter ‘em up multiplayer which is amusing…. for about half an hour. Now a desolate place, were scant few lost souls roam.
So was all that time and effort worth it? NO! They could have used that talent and made a better game because of it.
But, and here is the saddest aspect. For multiplayer to be big business, it doesn’t have to be good. It doesn’t have to be okay even. As long as it is playable, people will give it a go, and if people give it a go, a small percentage will pay for a new hat, a skin, a few arenas or to jump a few levels ahead. So despite these shameful experiences, the suits behind these games are making money. And that is really all a lot of them care about.
So I applaud Bethesda for putting their full staff into the single player campaign, and I applaud them even harder considering that Wolfenstein is a FPS about Nazis, a genre made for lazy multiplayer. Along with their other stalwarts Fallout, Skyrim and Dishonored (incidentally three of my all-time favourites) Bethesda are putting 100% into single player because that is the story they want to tell, not the game that will give them the most money. I for one am far more likely to part with cash for single player DLC than for a deathmatch level, and those gamers who are the other way inclined are playing Titanfall, so why should Bethesda bother with tacked on multiplayer?
P.S. I don't think i've ever laughed so hard as when the above image of Scrooge McDuck saved to my desktop as "CAPITALISM DUCK"