With almost every game under the sun now coming with a multiplayer component, mainkly to do with online subscriptions for PSN, LIVE and more being the highest they’ve been in years, we look at how it can damage the overall package of the game and why multiplayer can ruin games.
Adding multiplayer to a normally single player can destroy the entire overall experience, with the developer cutting time on the story development to focus on the multiplayer side of things. Take Bioshock 2 for instance, the sequel to the highly loved Bioshock which featured no multiplayer. Bioshock 2 had a multiplayer segment, to which the story of single player suffered. As we all now know Bioshock: Infinite which launches in 3 weeks has cut the multiplayer segment altogether to focus entirely on an engaging story. YAY!
Majority of games that have multiplayer also allocate a number of achievements to just multiplayer. This can be a nightmare to achievement hunters who want the full 1000G/Platinum. It works in 3 ways which are shown below
- Broadband: No access to online gameplay totally stops accessing the multiplayer segment, thus rendering those achievements totally unattainable for the foreseeable future.
- “Dead”: By dead I mean nobody plays the game. Prime example being Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter which features an achievement which tasks you with becoming No.1 on the Global Leaderboard. Ridiculous.
- No good: If the multiplayer is no good, you won’t stick with it for very long at all, and it’ll probably change your view on the overall package. We’re looking at you Sniper Ghost Warrior which should be avoided like cakes from IKEA.
It can help
A lot of games have pulled off the perfect mixture of fun multiplayer whilst keeping everything gamers love grounded in single-player. Take a look at GTA IV, loved around the world for being innovative with a fantastic story each and every time, to which Rockstar took a risk of adding multiplayer which greatly paid off and provided many months of fun.
Overall multiplayer can damage a series’ reputation by removing focus from its roots, but like all forms of entertainment they must keep adding to drive sales and attract a wider audience.