There arenít very many multiplayer games in which Iíve strived to attain perfection, or at least attempted to be good at them. Unfortunately, there arenít enough hours in the week for me to devote time to everything, and that bothers me. It isnít because I want to pursue a lifestyle like that of Mr. Fatal1ty. Itís because you need to be competent in order to have fun with most games.
There are many situations in which I am enjoying a game but I donít have the patience to learn all of the strategic nuances and the gameĎs vocabulary. This has recently happened with Demigod. I donít hate the it or think itĎs bad. I even had fun with it the few times I played. I just donít care enough to be good at it, and itís gotten to the point where me being a novice makes it a chore to play. Having fun suddenly becomes hard. I get an uncomfortable feeling that everyone is sighing at my every move, which probably isnĎt true (IĎm self-centered like that). In fact, itís probably quite the opposite and not one person is noticing my fumbling idiocy.
More difficult is trying to get into games with an established multiplayer community. Everyone knows what to do, and everyone seems like they know how to do it well. Youíll find that new words have been added to the English language to define actions and things in the game. Itís a confusing, cold, and lonely environment. It will either scare you away, or youíll love it enough to fight into it. That is, if you care enough to do so.
Itís a battle for attention. If there isnít something that I find extremely appealing, it gets tossed aside. It happened with Gears of War, Killzone 2, Grand Theft Auto IV and a collection of many other games I care not to mention. Iím often mystified by the immeasurable number of video games that add multiplayer components to their game that didnĎt need it. It is especially baffling when it looks like they went halfway on it. Itís like they cared, but didnít have the resources or time to flesh it out, or probably added it just to check off something for the back of the box. Instead weíre getting watered down versions of both the single player and multiplayer.
I donít mind it if I can see that resources went where they should have, but I always feel like I could have gotten more out of one experience if the other wasnít there. It sometimes isnít even the fault of a developer. Iíve seen and played a lot of games with new and interesting ideas that I should be paying attention to. I, however, already play games that Iíve invested so much time in that giving them up for that is difficult. To actually love something enough for a commitment is something that transcends innovation for me, unfortunately.
There was a case in which I was given the option to purchase a game without a multiplayer portion. It was the recently released Ghostbusters. I donít think it was something that was intended to work in favor of the costumer, but it did for me at least. The PC version of the game was released without multiplayer and priced for half of what it cost to purchase the console releases. A few people looked on this as a negative, but I jumped in knowing that I was dropping something I never would have played for very long anyway.
Itís just difficult trying to be competitive in an environment where the bar continues to grow higher and higher while youíre off trying to have a life. The guys (and girls) who constantly play these games with an indefatigable commitment will constantly create barriers for new gamers to come in and enjoy themselves. What Iím essentially trying to get across is that people who are good at video games are fun ruining assholes that need to be dragged from their entrails and hung on crosses.