I've been getting ragged on by a lot of my friends, being such a huge survival horror buff, about not having Dead Space 2. I absolutely loved the first one but felt like I missed the boat (or spaceship) on the second one. After some pondering I decided to pick it up and see what I was missing. The first thing that threw me off about Dead Space 2 was the fact there was a multiplayer feature. I was pretty dumb founded, but partially excited about thwarting undead foes with the plasma cutter online. What I experienced was some of the worst multiplayer content I have ever played. The maps were lame and the gameplay sucked. Disappointed I decided to switch over to single player, the main reason I bought the game in the first place, and to my surprise it was amazing! Now I'm left wondering, why on earth did Visceral Games decide to shoe horn a tacky multiplayer experience onto an already amazing game? This is where the topic of the blog came from, is multiplayer necessary for this generation of gaming?
Replayability is a huge factor in modern day gaming. Keeping your consumers tunnel visioned on your individual product and stretching out the life of the game is a major key element in what makes a game successful or not in the long run. The problem was created when successful titles such as Halo and Call of Duty have such a huge cult following due to their multiplayer experience. The online components in those games have created entire communities dedicated to just that one particular game, and game developers want a piece of that action. There has been such a huge success in most multiplayer games, developers feel that creating a game without multiplayer is going to shorten their profits and in turn shorten the life span of the game(or they might even trade it in! oh no!). Multiplayer experiences have gone from an additional bonus to a requirement in the eyes of gaming industries, which is why a lot of games have this tacked on online feature that normally isn't very good. Multiplayer shouldn't be an after thought, you should develop a game ideally knowing if you want to have more then one person playing it with each other. If you decide to just shoe horn in some multiplayer content to increase the games overall packaged value your going to be taking away at least 20% of the effort from single player in order to create some lame multiplayer feature, which in essence would leave you with a mediocre game with shitty online play. Look at classic games where they were severely limited to what they can and cannot do. The single player games of our past are down right amazing, why? Because developers were focusing strongly on the single player aspect of the game and how to improve it. There are also, though, great classic games that feature some sort of ability to play with others that are awesomesauce. What kind of games were those? Normally racing, sports or some sort of fighting, so genre's are another factor if a game needs multiplayer or not.
If you play a fighting game that doesn't offer multiplayer, it's really fucking weird, but a mutltiplayer option in God of War 3 doesn't make sense either. Why is that? Probably because we've grown up understand that certain games have multiplayer and certain games don't. The problem is the fine line between genres is becoming very blurry and were seeing developers trying new ideas, which in the most part isn't a bad idea if it's rightfully executed. Games get better reviews if they are "feature-rich". So adding more content must be a formula to a better review, and a better overall game? Right? Wrong. Focusing on the wrong areas can create a lackluster feeling for gamers and leave them with a bunch of tacky content. Companies are becoming more and more aggressive in approaching a broader audience and are hoping people will hold onto their games and not trade them in. Unfortunately you can't have your cake and eat it too.
So what's your guys opinions on this? Leave a comment and please critique my writing, it only helps me get better. Cheers!