I am cursed to be forever 12 years old, both in my looks and attitudes. I'm the kind of person who laughs at my own jokes, and is shamefully honest. The few things I have going for me are my genius wit, and obsession with games. I've been gaming for ever and don't see myself slowing down. My first love of games was "Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire". I would play the level where first get the jet pack dozens of times in a row and never get sick of it. Now that I think about it, I'm going to play it again now.
Multiplayer is a weird baby these days. A mention of the “M” word can send people cringing at tacked on gameplay features like Bioshock 2 or Batman Arkham Origins. Or it can frustrate people these days with the ‘love or hate’ communities of games like Call of Duty.
Multiplayer used to mean the party games; Goldeneye, Super Smash Brothers (64, people, the classics). They were ALWAYS fun, hands down. You could actually get on with your snotty nosed cousin from Norway when you had a Needler in your hand, sitting in the passenger seat of a Warthog. We see many developers grasping to re-invigorate the local multiplayer scene, which is beautiful. Towerfall Ascension, Monaco and Divekick are testaments to how the genre is not dead. Local multiplayer transcends the game itself. The funnest part is screaming in your partners’ face, not that you kicked him in the face five times in a row (although that is an amazing feeling on its own). You just can’t get those moments over online setups.
Take Grand Theft Auto Online for example; ignoring its flaws, it is a hella fun game. The concept is brilliant, but something is missing when your only direct communication with your criminally insane partner is over a crackly voicechat that cuts in and out. I think I had more fun spawning in a limo in front of my buddy while speeding down the highway in San Andreas’ poorly made multiplayer. When in multiplayer, you had little to no freedom as you couldn’t move further than four dead prostitutes length a part, you could only drive one car between both of you, and the camera was horrendous. The only redeeming quality was that your friend suffered the same pain as you on the couch to your right, which noticeably makes a massive difference.
I’ve played a decent amount of Frozen Synapse lately and found it works better as a local multiplayer game. A turn in Frozen Synapse is very labor intensive and strenuous, when you and your partner finish your turns, you see how it played out and continue into the next turn of deep thought, as you wipe sweat beads from your forehead. When you are in the same room as your adversary, it becomes incredibly different.
“Finish your turn, you slow piece of shit”.
Not only is it more of a race to finish your turn, but the excitement of the result is tenfold. Seeing your ‘perfect plan’ fall to pieces is hilarious to someone else. That disappointment and despair needs to be laughed at, otherwise it becomes ‘serious war similar 2000’.
If you haven’t got your grubby mitts onto Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator you are missing out. This is possibly one of the greatest examples of local ecstasy around at the moment. I’ve played this countless times with my mates, and the joy of shoving someone off their station, demoting them an arbitrary title and swearing at another crew member while doing so will never get old. This unique game is basically Star Trek. Your crew man individual sections of a single spaceship from their computers, while the captain sits/stands/walks/runs between all crew, commanding them where to go. 6 people all up, working as a team. There is no doubt in my mind that chaos an anarchy is ensured with every single game. When the Engineer cracks it, and shuts down all power to the ship, when the Helmsman doesn’t follow orders, the Weapons department couldn’t read the captain’s mind of what weapon to load, when you want to physically strangle your friends, that is what local multiplayer is about. That is what multiplayer should be about. Not about “crushing noobs” using your ten year old hands, and screaming “Your Mum’s fat!”.
Local Multiplayer is not dead, and I hope it is never going to die. What do you think? Have I missed the mark entirely? Let me know.
Sod me, Terraria is fun. Maybe it’s super fun to me because I play it with my friends, maybe it is legitimately an amazing game.
To those of you who are uneducated; Terraria is a magically crafted 2D RPG aventure. Trying to sell its genius to my non-gamer friends is like putting a freshly picked potato into a DVD player and expecting a baby.
“So it’s Minecraft without the third dimension? Sounds shit”.
You sound shit.
My discovery of this gem came at an awesome time, as most of my friends went off to University, so all of my Playstation gaming buds couldn’t game with their, obviously, best bud; me. My only other friend who dug gaming as much as me, Brady, had a 360. The only options we had were one of us buy the other console or we invest in PC gaming.
Oh boy, Steam sales. I used to be confused as to where I spent my money, now Valve has a vacuum directly into my wallet. Now that we had decided on a console we needed a game. Our laptops were both arsehole so we had to find a game that wasn’t too graphics intensive. Our internet was shithouse so we had to find a game which didn’t require 10mb/s. Our computer knowledge was bollocks, so we needed something that didn’t need port forwarding, typing directly into a console or (Insert ridiculous computer guff here). We wanted to play decent, multiplayer, adventure with character customization. What are our options? Not much, we found out.
My original thoughts were just that of my ignorant friends in the present (so maybe I shouldn’t disown them as much as I do... Nah, they’re bloody morons). I’m convinced Terraria is a beautiful game, irrespective of my experiences. We jumped into the game after there was a ‘hard mode’, which to simply means; there was a lot of content for us. It begins as a survival game, working up the tiers of tools, weapons and armor, from copper to gold. Then, the game really changes when you start finding unique magic items, vanity hats and so soo much more. I was submerged in jealously at Brady’s Nightmare Pickaxe, and filled with confusion when he said “I got it from a boss”, “THERE ARE BOSSES IN THIS GAME?!”. And thus begun our 100+ hour journey.
The mysticism of this game for Brady and I came so much from us both experiencing the game together. Saints Row games pull a similar model off (not quite as elegantly as Terraria), of making the single player game fantastic, then making it playable with a friend. Not making an exclusive “co-op mode”. My aspirations for Sony and Microsofts’ new babies is that the games rework the multiplayer, which we have already seen this shift with Dark Souls and Watch_Dogs. From what we have seen, The Division and Destiny promise to meld the single and multiplayer, which I am completely looking forward to. Let’s hope this dream isn’t fabricated on a bed of lies as this industry loves to do so much. HYPE HYPE HYPE. -- Then Aliens: Colonial Marines. Only time will tell if I need to rework my fantasy to something more realistic, like: “Maybe DLC won’t be a money vacuum for no content”... What a load of balls.