Hot Topic - Are Single-Player Experiences a Dying Breed?

Hot Topic - Are Single-Player Experiences a Dying Breed?

Written Monday, November 29, 2010 By Dan Webb
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The release of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood this month marked the wave of a new era where predominantly single-player experiences started to introduce an online component. BioShock 2 led the charge earlier this year, receiving mixed results in the process, while Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood followed much later, but to a much warmer response. Next year Dead Space 2 is set to continue that trend in January 2011 and even Mass Effect is rumoured to be having a dabble. So what we have here is four huge single-player franchises, all of which are/may be setting their sights on the multiplayer arena. So that begs the inevitable question: are single player games dead? The short answer is no, that's just stupid talk, but purely single-player experiences for the most part might be heading the way of the dinosaur, but as a gamer, that’s nothing to worry about.

"No puppies were hurt in the making of this sandwich..."

When we spoke to Cliff Bleszinski, Epic’s Game Director back in September, he pretty much hit the nail on the head as to why developers are introducing multiplayer into single-player franchises. “The biggest mistake that you can make as a developer right now would be to make a game that is like a 6 hour experience that has no multiplayer, because what happens is gamers will be like 'I’ll rent it' or 'I’ll just buy it used.'”

“You don’t want gamers to date your game, you want them to marry your game,” as he quite nonchalantly put it.

In short though, your favourite single-player games are getting multiplayer slapped on because in a time when it’s just as easy to rent a game for a month than it is to buy it, developers and publishers need to rethink their strategy. It’s about making your purchase feel like a long term investment and it’s like Cliff says, a by-product of game rentals and used game sales, which in part, is probably down to the still relatively high price of games – especially so far into the console cycle – which furthermore, is more than likely down to the excessively high development costs of triple-A games. It’s all rather complex if you want to look at the underlying reasons behind it all, but just take a look at how Vanquish and Alan Wake sold to prove the point though. Both great games, both with underwhelming retail performances.

That said, it’s got nothing to do with single-player experiences really, because as we know, the original Dead Space, Alan Wake and even Assassin’s Creed II provided experiences that were second to none. It’s more to do with that perception of “value for money” and if you were strapped for cash – we are in an economic downturn after all – you’re going to choose the game that offers more life than one you can blitz in a weekend... especially when there are so many different options out there for consumers. Whether that’s taking Call of Duty over Vanquish, or Mass Effect over Alan Wake, people want to feel like they have got their money's worth. That’s not to say that there aren’t exceptions to the rule, take myself for example, if a game is worthy enough, no matter how short, I would splash my cash on it without a hesitation.

"Alan Wake didn't exactly "splash" Remedy in the cash."

Alan Wake is a terrific example of that. One of the year’s finest games, but because there is no incentive to keep hold of the disc after the 8 hour campaign, you’re likely to rent it and rinse through it. Two DLC episodes that were rather short and sporadically released weren’t enough really to persuade the consumer that a purchase was essential. It may be a reason why Namco didn’t get the sales that Enslaved deserved, that SEGA didn’t get the sales that Bayonetta deserved or that Konami – despite what they say – didn’t get the sales that Castlevania deserved. Why would an everyday consumer want to pay £40 for a single player title that offers 6-8 hours (Castlevania not included here, which is why it maybe fared better than the rest) when they can get Call of Duty or FIFA that will last them countless hours. Assassin’s Creed now fits that bill.

And before you mention 30+ hour RPGs like Final Fantasy, Dragon Age, Mass Effect, and so on, I think you’ve answered your own concerns... they’re 30 frickin’ hours long! I don’t know about you, but I think £40 on a 30-hour experience qualifies for value for money – that’s £1.33 per hour.

That doesn’t mean tacking on multiplayer to a chiefly single-player experience is the way forward, oh no, we all know how that ends, but Bleszinski had an opinion on that. “I don’t think it would make sense to tack multiplayer onto a game like Alan Wake, but that said, there’s all sorts of creative things you can do to that type of genre to keep players coming back to your game or to keep it going with episodic content or asynchronous co-op like Demon’s Souls and all sorts of stuff.”

Episodic content is a fantastic way to extend the life of your favourite game, but the key to success here is regularity. Although Mass Effect 2 didn’t have problems at retail, it’s a prime example of how not to launch DLC as its release schedule has been somewhat sporadic, with some dropping in March, April, June and September thus far. Now if I didn’t completely adore the series or collect my games, the truth is Mass Effect 2 would have been sold back to the retailer a long time ago... especially, considering the first few packs hardly set the world alight – thank goodness for Lair of the Shadow Broker though!

"Not all Bethesda's Fallout DLC was this... broken."

Dragon Age and Fallout 3 on the other hand showed how episodic add-ons should be treated, with the latter especially having constantly expansive and interesting add-ons that gave you a reason to hold onto your game. Everyone wanted to wait for the next episode. If after a year the DLC stops, then the used game sales aren’t really going to affect the publisher’s remit as they’ll have already made a vast proportion of their money through DLC sales and people buying the game new. It’s essentially why publishers are experimenting with the online pass – which we touched upon a few months back.

“But wait Dan, if there’s too much DLC, I’ll sack off the retail version and wait for the Game of the Year/Ultimate Edition!” So... what’s your point? You can do that if you want, the publishers will still welcome your money with open arms in a year’s time as well, but if you can wait a year to play your favourite game, then you’re a much stronger person than I.

Back to the whole tacking on a multiplayer issue. Yes, that is a fatal mistake, but I’m a firm believer in the notion that if you’re going to throw a multiplayer experience into a predominantly single-player franchise, it needs to be in the spirit of the single-player experience it’s trying to emulate... a la Assassin’s Creed... a la Dead Space... not a la The Darkness, which makes me shudder to this day. And yes, I’m putting faith in Visceral that their Dead Space 2 multiplayer will be a fine addition to the franchise. Why? Because it’s in the spirit of the game and the notion of humans vs Necromorphs not only works, it’s feasible.

"ACB's MP done right, except maybe the matchmaking."

There is also a common misconception that adding multiplayer can be to the detriment of the single-player experience, but that is complete hogwash. You could sit there and throw BioShock and BioShock 2 my way as proof of your assertion, but the truth is that those are two games made by two entirely different teams. The games were bound to be different. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood though – from a single-player perspective – is pretty much head and shoulders above Assassin’s Creed II’s, both in terms of story and gameplay features. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

So do I think that single-player experiences are dead? No, of course not. Myself, and many folks like me, much prefer single-player games as a form of escapism and there will always be a place for them in the industry.

Do I think that exclusively single-player experiences are dead? For the most part, maybe, although there’s always going to be your sprawling 60-hour epic RPGs that don’t care about people buddying up together to play games.

Will the inclusion of multiplayer in predominantly single-player franchises work? Well, that’s a question to be taken on a case by case basis there. Each developer differs. Each franchise differs. As far as Assassin’s Creed goes though? It works. It works fantastically, and we have every faith that developers of similar class and talent can do as Ubisoft Montreal has done.

However, it will always be there as an afterthought for most people, although if the day comes that Assassin’s Creed forgets its strong single-player roots and it potentially becomes a predominantly multiplayer franchise, we might not be so optimistic. The scary thing is, there isn’t much you can do if that happens but to place your faith in the developers to know what they’re doing, and know what the original fans who made the franchise popular in the first place would want. Remember though folks, money talks, and having a multi-faceted game with both single-player and multiplayer is much more marketable than a game with a limited shelf life.

[Editor’s Note: Hot Topic is a monthly feature here on X360A, where we take one of the month’s talking points and discuss it until your eye-balls bleed through sheer delight. Now that's intense!]


User Comments

Forum Posts: 2717
Comment #1 by Ryot Control
Monday, November 29, 2010 @ 05:52:00 PM
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It's a shame that so much emphasis is put on multiplayer. But it seems that the perception that if the experience can be shared, then it would create an opportunity to sell more than one copy. Originally, I played videogames to get AWAY from people, it was a short vacation from the people and personalities I would deal with on a daily basis. (And it seems to come out in its most purest forms in competitive multiplayer online.)

As long as the single player experience is done right, then pure single player games can have just as much re-playability than any multiplayer game. Same as the other edge of the blade: A tacked on and uninspired multiplayer experience can actually detract from the complete game experience.

Its actually planned DLC is killing the industry. Just make a whole squeal already.

Forum Posts: 2784
Comment #2 by DeekBoy
Monday, November 29, 2010 @ 06:25:30 PM
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I love multi player at times. But when they add it onto games that I love (bioshock) and its just not that good. It takes away from it all. Especially when they add achievements with it that are a hassle to get because the mp is so bad.

Don't get me wrong, assassins creed mp is amazing and new experience that had made it so I have yet to play black ops mp. I want my single player experience back. I want to zone out in a different world without 12 year old calling me a noob... those were the days

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #3 by Wotto316
Monday, November 29, 2010 @ 06:28:39 PM
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I don't mind multi-player so long as it's done right, still prefer single player like Fallout and Final Fantasy etc though. Kinect is awesome for multi-player though I have to say (mainly sports and Dance Central), so long as you have room! As for DLC, bit of a mixed bag, can be a rip off!

Forum Posts: 58
Comment #4 by Chizwick
Monday, November 29, 2010 @ 06:30:28 PM
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I can't stand online multiplayer when it's competitive, but I wholeheartedly welcome co-op for any game out there.

Forum Posts: 312
Comment #5 by Kronos1982
Monday, November 29, 2010 @ 06:33:12 PM
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Webb made a lot of great points. Some games just wouldn't be good co-op/multi candidates. Mass Effect I am still on the fence about. It's such a wonderful single player experience. Throwing in a mutliplayer mode doesn't make much sense. Co-op could be good, but it'd have to be a completely different story. You can't have two Shepards and make it work the way you had two Chuck Greenes in DR2.

There are some that have the potential. I'll be honest in saying I did not have much hope with Brotherhood's multiplayer experience, but am still a supporter of some sort of co-op component akin to Splinter Cell's Deniable Ops mode.

In all honesty, if Fallout went the co-op route, I'd be absolutely THRILLED. I always thought a post-apocalyptic RPG would be awesome with a friend. Something similar to what Dead Rising 2 did might work, that didn't interfere with the guest player's on screen display and allowed XP leveling without saved story progression so they could still go on with their own choices later.

I don't think single player ONLY games are dying yet. If you have a great story, with plenty of substance and post-release DLC and support, there's no reason to believe otherwise. Developers just need to listen to the consumer more often, and be mindful of the good suggestions and feedback out there.

Forum Posts: 118
Comment #6 by Demendred
Monday, November 29, 2010 @ 06:44:21 PM
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That puppy looks taste-er, cute

Forum Posts: 68
Comment #7 by Deadly Noob92
Monday, November 29, 2010 @ 06:54:21 PM
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im also sick of having little kids cuss me out on live.

Forum Posts: 351
Comment #8 by mksystem74
Monday, November 29, 2010 @ 07:12:33 PM
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I've bought many games this year and have only completed a few of them. The two main ones would be God of War 3 and Mass Effect 2. And they were both solely single-player games. I do enjoy multiplayer for games, but that distracts me from the single player experience. I bought Bad Company 2 the day it came out and I didn't even tough the single player for 4 months and I barely got in to it. I never feel my money is wasted with a game, something attracts me to a game so I buy it. It can be single player only, co-op, have MP, etc. If its a game I want, I'll get for the game first most. Anything extra they add on I consider a bonus.

Forum Posts: 73
Comment #9 by Atessero
Monday, November 29, 2010 @ 07:20:17 PM
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Not everyone wants to play with cheaters or 9 year olds who shouldn't be playing Halo or COD. Many people, including myself, prefer being immersed in a world within the game. We love being guided along by the plot, watching a movie that we have control over. Multiplayer is alright for some people but others just want to play a game, not scream ourselves horse because the player on the other end is hiding in a wall and repeatedly killing you. Give us a good story like Mass Effect and Fallout, and you have a game that will keep players entertained for weeks and even months. I would prefer single player over multiplayer ANY DAY.

Forum Posts: 5343
Comment #10 by Capn Doug
Monday, November 29, 2010 @ 07:23:02 PM
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The problem arises when the delivery of the single player experience is harmed by the inclusion of multiplayer. Assassin's Creed 1 and 2 were primarily a story the the developer was telling. It seems as though the same holds true for Brotherhood, and the multiplayer is simply an additional facet of the experience, as opposed to another tacked on mode of gameplay or a requirement to play the game.

Originally, it seemed like a game was designed to be a single player with multiplayer tacked on, or vice versa. Does Halo really have a story? No, it is about pooning noobs online (those noobs are often named Capn Doug, but that is beside the point). What's the point of the co-op/online achievements in Rock Band 1? About 100g. That is primarily a game that is designed to be played locally, so venturing online really is pointless and felt like a chore to get gamerscore as opposed to something fun to try.

The one that concerns me most is the talk of Mass Effect getting co-op. I had originally said it would be an interesting idea to have your allies be human controlled, but I am rethinking that position. Your allies provide as much, if not more, to the story as the NPCs and the world itself. It would be difficult to provide the same level of storytelling without sacrificing the freedom that you get from allowing your character to choose their own fate, as well as the fate of their allies if the developer must plan for the actions of two dramatically different player styles in the same game. Some games must retain the single player only campaign or risk losing the story that made them great in the first place. By sacrificing story to gain more money, developers will kill a franchise and maybe the industry as a whole.

Forum Posts: 152
Comment #11 by Dark Umbra
Monday, November 29, 2010 @ 07:25:42 PM
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I used to be a multiplayer-aficionado, but I've switched to single player games and I find that they are a much better experience and I like them more than online shooters...

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #12 by mapleleafs32
Monday, November 29, 2010 @ 07:36:35 PM
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I feel like single player campaigns were what created the industry itself. Why cant we come back to that? DLC is a pain in the you know what because its expensive and it adds achievements even when you haven't even downloaded them. Some multiplayers are great like rainbow six Vegas and transformers but im tired of playing multiplayers that aren't good to get achievements (im looking at you bioshock).

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #13 by Balden Eagle
Monday, November 29, 2010 @ 07:40:32 PM
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Just as long as they dont make online achievements i'm fine.

Forum Posts: 883
Comment #14 by i got squeezed
Monday, November 29, 2010 @ 07:43:31 PM
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@ 7 Thats your problem, everybody complains that 'pre-teens' trash talk, theres a simple solution that Xbox gave us, MUTE them in lobby so you play in peace, and mute anybody else. I for one, mutes everybody unless I'm in a party with friends.

Forum Posts: 159
Comment #15 by ttsutaoka
Monday, November 29, 2010 @ 07:43:35 PM
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Well, what's keeping single player games alive? Mainly, die-hard fans that are annoyed by online gameplay and stick to solo playing, people without internet connection, achievements, and in some rare cases, re-playability.
For myself, I was stuck without Xbox Live for 3 months, and continuously played Halo 3's campaign. Most of the games that I buy that are predominantly single player are the games that have high rates of re-playability. Just Cause 2, Assassin's Creed II, Mirror's Edge, and Dead Rising. Some games have co-op thrown in, but most games include multiplayer counterparts. This is what keeps most games alive, unfortunately.

Forum Posts: 1067
Comment #16 by The Elite Elite
Monday, November 29, 2010 @ 07:43:52 PM
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Like others have said, I often play video games to get away from people. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a good multiplayer experience, but for me I like to have only a handful of multiplayer games. I find myself getting bored after an hour or so in COD or Halo, killing the enemy team or capturing their flag for the dozenth time. That time can be extended when playing with a group from my friends list, but ultimately I still get bored after a while.

However, I can play games like Mass Effect and Dragon Age for hours at a time. The depth of the fictional worlds in those games, the interesting lore, the likable (and sometimes unlikable) characters, the ability to customize my player character to be whatever I want he/she to look and act like. I find that much more compelling than the latest shooter to play the same old games of Team Deathmatch and CTF in. Heck, I find I enjoy co-op games more than a vs. match. I rather enjoy working with fellow humans against the computer more so than I enjoy playing against other people.

Forum Posts: 481
Comment #17 by iNf3Rn0 Lan
Monday, November 29, 2010 @ 07:44:12 PM
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Quickly skimmed the article and I have to agree with the main points.

Since I didn't read it fully, I do think this though:

Games with long campaigns (20+ hours) should stay single player. Assassin's Creed is about 15, but I still think it should have stayed SP. The multiplayer feels tacked-on, but at least it is decent. Maybe I'm just mad developers make multiplayer achievements that promote boosting. Instead, they should stick with rewarding players with challenges and other features for the multiplayer.

Games with short campaigns (5-10 hours) should... er, maybe add multiplayer? Games like CoD and Gears have it expected. But as in the article, what do amazing games like Alan Wake do? It's not built for multiplayer at all. Same goes for Enslaved as well. I love those games, but they're not simply not worth $60. I think if these single player games were $20 or $30 they'd sell well, but there's no way the developers could profit that way.

Forum Posts: 2162
Comment #18 by mjc0961
Monday, November 29, 2010 @ 08:07:07 PM
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My biggest problem with them throwing in MP everywhere is that a lot of developers don't make sure that it works properly. It might be a PS3 exclusive, but I hold up Uncharted 2 as a prime example of mutliplayer that needed a lot more work done before it got shoved out the door. When I launch my first game ever of mutliplayer and the game pairs me up on a team of other newbies VS a team of level 20's, 30's, and yes one level 50 guy, that is just broken. And you can't tell me there's no way around that at launch either. Games have been making multiplayer modes for years now, proper matchmaking should be something that's been figured out long ago so that everyone can do it properly. And they had both a beta and a demo for the game's MP, so they should have noticed the problem long before launch. That was just lazy on Naughty Dog's part and really made me lose a lot of respect for them.

And then there's Red Dead Redemption. I like the MP for the most part, but when I'm trying to play with some buddies and we all spend more time getting disconnected, reconnecting, rejoining with each other, watching infinite loading screens that make us have to quit the game and relaunch it, and then more random disconnects once we FINALLY get a damn game started, well I'm sorry but I have to say that ultimately Rockstar did a rather shit job on that aspect of the game. And it does pain me to say that because once it actually lets you play there is some great fun to be had, but still, the nearly broken state of the game is pathetic. Especially when you consider that 3/4 DLC packs released for the game were centered on the multiplayer. All those bugs should have been ironed out long before I downloaded and started playing Legends and Killers content, and yet here we are post Undead Nightmare and it's still broken.

In short, I get that developers are going to be throwing in multiplayer to try and keep people playing. And that's fine by me, as long as they take the time to actually make the MP work properly. After all, what's worse: People reselling a game after they finish the single player which was the only thing on the disc, or people writing off a developer altogether and not buying their newest games because they still have a rotten taste in their mouth after a major component of the last game they bought was broken? Because I'd rather just have a great single player and nothing else. A bad multiplayer mode thrown in too drops my overall feel of how good a game is and how likely I am to buy something else from the same developer in the future.

Forum Posts: 534
Comment #19 by dark lord me
Monday, November 29, 2010 @ 08:10:38 PM
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What he said about people renting single player only games instead of buying it, i sometimes do that. I rented Alan Wake because i heard it was short. However the first thing i look for in a game before i buy it is how long the single player is. Halo you have Campaign, firefight and forge. They are all awesome online but those are your single player stuff. You look at Mass Effect or Fallout and oblivion. Those games will last you like FOREVER i myself have put over 250 hours into those 3 combined and that's not even including ME1. I dont play online too much because it has become so infiltrated by people who think they are pro and modders.

I buy a game for it's single player not the multiplayer. If it has awesome multiplayer all the better but it's not the most important thing

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #20 by phantom gangsta
Monday, November 29, 2010 @ 08:13:02 PM
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i go chris brown on multiplayer.yeah i hate multi that much and im 17

Forum Posts: 157
Comment #21 by Compgeek_36
Monday, November 29, 2010 @ 08:13:29 PM
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I am all for the long single player experience. I don't particularly enjoy any sort of multiplayer except for split-screen. There is something said to experience a game side by side with another. I understand though that the market for games is for multiplayer and I am okay with that, and I do enjoy the thinking outside of the box multiplayers(spies versus mercs in the SC series, etc) but the poorly executed multiplayers and the same, shoot the enemy, really have soured me to multiplayer games.

Another point is EA and their server closures. This should never happen, for when I purchase a game(and yes, I am one of those that wait for the game of the year editions, looking forward to Mass Effect 2, Fallout New Vegas, and countless others) I expect to be able to play it at any time.

There are lost of cases where it's the 'you got my chocolate in your peanut butter', but too many times it's 'you sneezed on my choclate, and smeared it all over my counter, again'.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #22 by phantom gangsta
Monday, November 29, 2010 @ 08:21:00 PM
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if we ever want gameing to become a art.we need to focus on the singleplayer to make it invoke complex fealings instead OFMG HE USED ARMOURZ LOCKZ.

Forum Posts: 661
Comment #23 by Atarii
Monday, November 29, 2010 @ 08:41:55 PM
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I will always value a great single player campaign more than a fantastic multiplayer. Single player is were a developer can show artistic talent and deftness.

Forum Posts: 140
Comment #24 by Eternaltriumph
Monday, November 29, 2010 @ 08:45:05 PM
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I truly believe multiplayer is the future of gaming, for better or worse.

What people fail to realize is that the world has changed extremely quickly with the creation and growth of the internet. Our society revolves around wire transfers, bits of data and the ability to get information on a whim. As such, video games have to evolve with it. Being able to play with a friends in Canada, Britain, China (Those crazy bastards brave enough to break the law to game!), USA and Australia, all in the same party is amazing.

It's nice to have multiplayer, but developers always have to remember games became a revolution when they started to tell stories. Stories of a plumber rescuing a princess, of a hedgehog rescuing bunnies from a villian, of four light warriors hunting crystals to save the future from tha past, and stories of a young boy who embarks on a journey through realities to save the world from harnessing the power of the gods. Remember the stories, Devs.

Take note that games like MAG don't last because gamers are humans, not machines. We like to fit the role of a character. We like to BE the story we wish to tell. We are all gamers, but we are all unique. Some people play only for story. Some have friends over for a few rounds of Street Fighter. And some welcome the addition of online as god-tier gifts. Do not leave behind the past that built you for something new; just learn to build on it.

On topic of Mass Effect 3...I don't think Multiplayer would end the feel of it. Fable added multiplayer and it had no impact on the story. You just had a partner who can free roam your world. Why not have a friend over on the ol' N3? Why not have someone ride the Terminus system with me? Why NOT add in a side note about Shepard using a trained friend that he'd feel safe with as he tackled the Reapers? It could be great.

Forum Posts: 167
Comment #25 by bookeworm
Monday, November 29, 2010 @ 09:11:28 PM
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if the single player experience disappears, I will no longer be a gamer. Yeah, multiplayer can be an interesting break, but single player is where story and meaning are in a video game. I pray games will never go that direction.

Forum Posts: 21
Comment #26 by UCFknighthood
Monday, November 29, 2010 @ 09:36:45 PM
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I think the multiplayer does give a higher perceived value, but marketing has a lot to do with it also. I knew about the first Assassins Creed and Mass Effect months before they game out. They got hyped. Enslaved from what I hear is a great game, but I just happened to stumble across the review here or on another site. When companies throw their ad dollars behind a good game, it will turn out positive for them more times than not.

Forum Posts: 12
Comment #27 by LazloZania
Monday, November 29, 2010 @ 10:19:04 PM
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You seem to have left out the Left 4 Dead series, which I feel has done an exemplary job.

Forum Posts: 144
Comment #28 by gerowniko
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @ 01:13:24 AM
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"if a game is worthy enough, no matter how short, I would splash my cash on it without a hesitation."
Indeed. Most of the time I prefer single player games over multiplayer games, because I enjoy the experience much more.

For me, the issue of games being short is solved by the amount of quality games out there. :)

Forum Posts: 58
Comment #29 by psycotic wookie
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @ 02:22:31 AM
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take red faction guerrilla as an example,great single player experience in my opinion,pointles and crap multiplayer ruined the overall experience for me,it annoys me when competitive multiplayer is tagged on to single player games,why can developers not give us more co-op options

Forum Posts: 158
Comment #30 by Darth Stigious
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @ 02:57:04 AM
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PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE DON'T LET ELDER SCROLLS V BE MULTIPLAYER. I think I may lose my faith in the games industry if they continue to turn single-player franchises into multiplayer bollocks. STOP THINKING ABOUT THE MONEY AND THINK ABOUT THE FANS YOU ARE DESTROYING!

Forum Posts: 4705
Comment #31 by jackanape
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @ 04:10:24 AM
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I think what also needs to be considered is the fact that adding multiplayer can sometimes be to the detriment of the single player experience. As it seems that the bigger multiplayer gets then the shorter the actual campaign becomes. Games like Call of Duty and Halo focus more on MP and the campaign offerings have gotten progressively weaker. Likewise the story in Bioshock 2 could not match the first - would it have been better if they hadn't had to work on MP? Who knows.

Forum Posts: 42
Comment #32 by Kaged
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @ 04:14:54 AM
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All I have to say is remember our roots. Single-player games were king in the days of NES. Multi-player is great, but we wouldn't have it without any sort of single-player experience.

Forum Posts: 695
Comment #33 by Devolon
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @ 04:56:18 AM
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So it's all about money, then? MP should be included in games because it helps you sell copies? That's weak. We are gamers, not shareholders.

As a gamer, I think this "bang for the buck" argument is absurd. I mean, we're talking about video games, aka a completely optional purchase. I need bang for the buck for my car, my fridge, my clothes, because I need them. Video games are "wasted" money anyway, like my smokes, the movie theater, a rock concert, etc - it's just arts + entertainment, money that you burn for your leisure once you have paid all your bills and your stomach is full.
Trying to rationalize this kind of purchase is weird IMO, and it's killing half the fun.

And as a gamer, please admit that competitive MP is simply not working this gen - lag, glitches, player behaviour, unbalanced design -. Only japanese fighting games manage to pull it off, but, if you're a demanding gamer, MP shooters are a complete joke ATM, unless you're playing in LAN with friends.

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Comment #34 by jtr1gg3r
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @ 06:40:20 AM
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I dont mind multiplayer on single player franchises. I was happy to welcome AC to the party, so to speak.

But Dead Space 2 seems an exact replica of Left 4 Dead's VS Mode. So why would I pay £40 for Dead Space 2?

In short I dont mind MP at all, unless it's seems like a last minute decision and just rammed in there. I think Assassins Creed went in the right direction, releasing a 2.5 instead of having it bundled in on AC2, because that would've ruined it probably.

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Comment #35 by Darkdefiler84
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @ 08:33:05 AM
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Wow, you certainly seem to mention Assassin's Creed alot. There's a million games out there and you used about 3 games to "prove" sweeping statements.

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Comment #36 by Webb [STAFF]
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @ 09:01:08 AM
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@#36 - The point was to use a handful of huge single-player games who have added multiplayer in recent times. What's more relevant there than Dead Space 2, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, BioShock and (maybe) Mass Effect?

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Comment #37 by StephenJ360
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @ 09:11:36 AM
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Fantastic article.

Although I did just want to say that Vanquish was not, nor will it ever be, worth any more than $30. It is absolutely a fantastic game, I'll agree... But a 3 hour campaign is ridiculous! And it had hardly any replay value, I MIGHT play that game again one more time. But aside from that, no. Not worth it.

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Comment #38 by doomey
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @ 09:52:04 AM
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I hope single play is not a dying art.

I for one couldn't stand it when they added Multiplayer to AC and Bioshock, not that I am unsociable, but hey sometimes I want to play a game by myself.

It seems to be these days a lot of MP is just tacked on to make the game more appealing to gamers who cant beat games "by themselves" ;)

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Comment #39 by SenseiPjH
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @ 10:15:22 AM
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It seems that if you dislike other people ruining the competitive multiplayer experience; you mute them and ignore them, and are essentially playing single player again anyways - sat alone in silence shooting/stabbing/racing/fighting against what might aswell be bots...

I like multiplayer, i just tend not to bother with it very long unless i really love it (read: get addicted to it..). There is still much more to be gained from unravelling a compelling story alone. Then again, this takes 6-8 hours nowadays, as mentioned in the article, so why pay 40 quid for a new game? Not really worth it anymore it seems?

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Comment #40 by a dying animal
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @ 10:46:26 AM
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I always tend to keep gaves with multiplayer longer than games without it. However i would rate games without multiplayer higher because the developers have focused on the cmpaign meaning that the end result is amazing. Those who also work on multiplayer end up with lower quality campaign.
For example my 2nd and 3rd favourite games for campaign are assassins creed II and Bioshock. However the developers tagged on poor quality multiplayer for the next instalment in order to profit. Which means the single player experience is bad. Both assassins creed: brother hood and Bioshock 2's multiplayers were poor and the campaign is what i would call average.
Now batman arkham city has some form of planned co-op which i expect to not due well and mean the campaign is lacking in quality even though i have high hopes for it and the first one is my favourite game for campaign.
Multiplayer should be left to those few selcet games that offer quality across every aspect of the game and the people genuinly want and expect it from them. A few examples of these are Halo, CoD and Battlefield.

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Comment #41 by Arenazombie
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @ 10:48:38 AM
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I think it just has to fit in a game.
I don't need more of the same generic shitty half assed DM&CTF MPs but if developers have new Ideas then they're welcome.
Who needs a bad copy of L4Ds versus with DS2? It may be fun for the first few hours because its something different but in the long run you'll be going back to L4D.
I know its more and more becoming big business but developers have to go back to taking more risk and being more creative. It seems like we keep getting kinda same-ish games which follow just cheap formulas to keep you playing (DLC and MP tacked on) which I think is a rather lazy way.
They could rather be trying to increase replayability, increase play length or think of other ways to keep people playing their games.
There is a lot of stuff games have done in the past which I would gladly see to be revived like for example a random map generator, level editors, random game events like Item drops, quests or stuff, in game unlockables (yeah achievements are great but unlockable levels would be even better), character customisation or Dialog options with real gameplay impact (not cheap like Mass Effect, where it changes only a few dialogues slightly, more like Baldurs Gate, where you get completely different questlines),
Stat and Item carryover with like stuff unlocking in later playthroughs on higher difficulty, probably completely different storylines with different parts for each variant spread through the game.
But why make a creative game when its much easier and cheaper to create just another generic CoD(Clone) or God of War(Clone) that sells even better?

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Comment #42 by Xwarzone P
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @ 12:00:08 PM
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Let's look at a few sales figures for a random game, say, Call of Duty 7. They're measured in the millions.

People multiplaying CoD7 weeks after release? Hundreds of thousands.

Shall we look at other sales vs. MP users after release? It's an even bigger bloodbath. The matter is settled.

Developers should stop listening to the reviewers, and both should stop listening to scrub-infested forums, because those are the only places where MP is overtaking single player. And it's been like this for as long as I've been in the industry.

While you're there, devs: stop padding your single player with checkpoint grinding. Your game is short. We know. Make it GOOD instead of padded, and hoping multiplayer will save the game... 'cause the numbers say otherwise.

Forum Posts: 98
Comment #43 by Nick Is I
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @ 12:56:51 PM
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I wish we could go back to the days of Zelda OoT. That was my favorite and arguably the best single player experience ever. I could care less about multiplayer if the game offers an extensive single player that has a good replay value like Fallout and The Elder Scrolls.

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Comment #44 by wrenphilth
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @ 01:59:44 PM
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I have still yet to play Multiplayer of Assassins Creed Brotherhood, as well as many other games I dont know just havent been in a multiplayer mood as of late just too much whining and people that take the game way to serious. I fired up Call Of Duty: Black Ops shortly after it got released and was sorely disappointed because it just felt like a Modern Warefare 2 cut and paste. I got cussed out for being a Newb, simply because I had forgotten how to play the game from playing Battlefield for so long. and I had more fun with the Dead Ops Arcade and training mode then the campaign and Multiplayer. So in away I think that is why I have been playing We Love Katamari while all my friends have been playing that one simplistic nature beats the game in every punch. and as they made in points before I do prefer Dragon Age and other games over many multiplayer titles. Dead Rising 2 (american Gladiatiors style multi) has been dead since shortly after being released and it sucked you had to have 4 players to even starts shit throw some AI in there. Bioshock 2 was a lackluster game all the way through and multiplayer reminded me of some horrendous games I would like to forget from the early xbox days. Then there is the whole complaignt that games just are not as difficult these days. Ninja Gaiden 2 for the NES took me about 13 hrs with a game genie to beat this game had no passwords you went from start to finish or died trying. Now you have Force Unleashed II (which was a decent game) that you can finish in 4 or 5 hours... I know programmers are on time crunches and stuff but does that really make a game worth $60 to the consumer if 4 or 5 hrs later you are done and throwing it in a used store to get a fraction of your money back then they complaign about not getting money due to sales of used stores

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Comment #45 by vgfanatic1
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @ 02:24:56 PM
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I wish there was a video game rental place by me...

I don't mind multiplayer on sp series, as long as the campaign isn't cut immensely because of it (ex. Bioshock 2), and unfortunately, I think this will start to happen a lot more. I don't know about you guys, but the addition of crappy multiplayer at the price of brilliant single player turns me away from buying games. Until I heard that AC:B's campaign wasn't ruined, I was debating against buying it.

Still, I hate buying like 5 hour games for the same price as ones that can last well over 25-50 hours (ex: Fallout, Multiplayer games, Oblivion, Mass Effect, lol anything thats a good lengthy rpg with good re playability).

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Comment #46 by Frank_The_Bison
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @ 02:40:31 PM
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I think if a developer is going multiplayer for the first time, they should really focus on keeping it updated and fixing what's wrong as soon as they can, with AC:B the multiplayer is fun but it takes forever to get into a ranked match and people have really hard times connecting to large parties for player/private matches.

Forum Posts: 74
Comment #47 by The Ju1ce
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @ 02:46:47 PM
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"It’s about making your purchase feel like a long term investment and it’s like Cliff says, a by-product of game rentals and used game sales, which in part, is probably down to the still relatively high price of games – especially so far into the console cycle – which furthermore, is more than likely down to the excessively high development costs of triple-A games."

too long

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Comment #48 by Fam Kers
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @ 03:05:02 PM
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Its just to bad that when you wait to but a game, the multiplayer is dead most of the time due to nes releases. I hardly ever buy my games on the launch day and its a shame to get a game later in the year, only to find out that the achievement are going to be hell since no-one is online anymore. The try to get you to buy games on the launch, and don't resell them by means of the DLC.... That's just to bad for a budgetgamer like me

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Comment #49 by WhIpLaSh 014
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @ 03:43:37 PM
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In my eyes, and mostly my eyes, a game sells because not of story (excluding Bioware and Square games) but how addictive it is to play. Take Black Ops for instance. It's Call of Duty. 'Nuff said. If it's a game like, say, *INSERT LONG THINKING* Hour of Victory, where the game is really, really bad and had no story whatsoever, it's most likely going to get rents/buys from Gamestop. Unless a game that is good has DLC coming out, that's my only motivator to at least play it again. Like Battlefield Bad Company 2. Now that they are releasing the expansion pack and the new maps, I can now go back and play it again.

All this is soley my opinion.

Forum Posts: 55
Comment #50 by Genosha
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @ 04:13:54 PM
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I hate it when games have online features that you need to complete to get the best out of the game. I like easy hack-slash games like Darksiders, Wolverine, Ninety-Nine Nights on the last one I was really disappointed that the online features are necessary to complete the full game. Same goes for Banjo-Kazooie N&B, to get it completed you need to go online. And for some games (Beatiful Katamari anyone?) online content is only played during the first few months by the real achievement hunters, and then the online content dies out like hell aswell. Personally, I really enjoyed Alan Wake's old-fashion off-line only singleplayer content. Finally something different. My copy of Bayonetta has over 80hrs of gameplay in it. Not because I suck at it (altho, Alfheim 11 >_

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Comment #51 by Chanens417
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @ 04:52:01 PM
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My only problem with adding multiplayer into these games is that the community does not last long with them, unless of course they are the juggernauts (COD, GOW, Halo). Take Transformers for example. It is an awesome multiplayer experience with only around 500 players at peak hours (unless there is XP weekends). Those are then divided down into different playlists so you may be searching for a game with only 80 other people. It can lead to long wait times, laggy experiences, and drop outs. So for me, if a game has multiplayer and I can't afford it early in its release, I will usually end up never experiencing the mulitplayer aspects. However if a game is three years old and only a single player experience, I can still enjoy the whole package. (like the first assassin's creed for me right now. Man I waited too long, this thing is awesome!)
There is only so much time people can play each multiplayer game. The more there are, the less users each one is seeing.

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Comment #52 by plebster
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @ 05:06:38 PM
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Its funny how people are writing out long, thought out comments since 'This week in comments' rather than the usual "First!" or "Multiplayer ftw :D"

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Comment #53 by Hackerman
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @ 05:09:47 PM
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Great article i never thought of multiplayer in single player games like that

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Comment #54 by ianuvan
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @ 06:08:24 PM
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The problem I have is not so much with them tacking on MP but the fact that more games now think its acceptable to ship with such short SP. MoH and TFU2 to name a couple. If they are going to add MP then it should not be an excuse to have a crap or short SP

Forum Posts: 206
Comment #55 by lordthrash
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @ 06:23:14 PM
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I hate multiplayer. The problem is that the game companies are trying to hard to cater to the casual gamer rather than the hardcore gamer. Perfect example, the kinect. But back on subject, the single player is and always will be where the action should take place. The story should pull you in and keep you entranced and interested for multiple playthroughs. Sadly, a lot of games fall short of this. On the other hand though a lot of multiplayer that is very bad is tacked on at the last minute just to hold your interest longer. I don't see multiplayer going away(although i wish it would)so i think they should at least get rid of multiplayer achievements. I am very picky on games i choose to buy because i refuse to grind out stupid ass multiplayer achievements. I was sad to see AC go the multiplayer way as well as Dead Space. I loved the first Dead Space but sadly i probably won't even play the second, all because of multiplayer.

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Comment #56 by Jrome360
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @ 07:12:05 PM
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I think the single player experience is the essence of video games. The multiplayer experience can be fun, but is often buggy and complicated for the average gamer.

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Comment #57 by Mgetter
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @ 09:21:53 PM
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In my opinion, tacked on multiplayer ruins the overall experience. Focus on what really matters, screw Cliff Blezinski. If they are going to tack it on, dont force me to play it to earn achievements, that really makes me hate a game. ironically, almost all the games they mentioned in the article, esp those with bad sales, ive bought this year.

Forum Posts: 279
Comment #58 by Mgetter
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @ 09:25:03 PM
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Rereading this, the dev says the SP campaing of Brotherhood is head and shoulders above AC2, yet everything Ive heard points to the contrary. Its more of the same without the same "stand-out" moments

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Comment #59 by toonsage
Wednesday, December 01, 2010 @ 12:59:16 AM
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Well said webby fantastic article :D

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Comment #60 by BlO0DJUNKi3
Wednesday, December 01, 2010 @ 01:20:53 AM
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If a game is single player only, there are many more and probably better options to help sales than tack on multiplayer. Let me first clarify that adding and tacking are 2 different things here. Adding multiplayer can be good, see ACB. Tacking on , see BS2, is not.

If you're going to develop a single player only game that lasts about 6-10 hours, why not drop the price? a $49.99 game would be much more appealing to people who are deciding based on worth. For every 5 you would have sold at 60, you only need to sell 6 at 50 to even out. Chances are, a top notch title like Alan Wake could've sold twice as many copies if it were only $50 and came with everything it did at $60. Even if you only even out and bring in the same amount of revenue, you'll have more copies out there and more people interested in buying DLC.

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Comment #61 by Issun
Wednesday, December 01, 2010 @ 02:28:40 AM
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No multiplayer experience will ever match the brilliance of games like Fallout 3 or Super Metroid. Not ever.

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Comment #62 by chrishalls
Wednesday, December 01, 2010 @ 06:02:18 AM
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Great article, very interesting reading, thanks!

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Comment #63 by Grummy
Wednesday, December 01, 2010 @ 07:49:55 AM
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Like it or not, achievements are now a huge part of the gaming landscape. Crucial? Not really, we'd all survive if achievements dissapeared, after all, we've all played games without them for years (or at least, most of use have), but in modern gaming, they are an intricate part of shaping a game, how we play and the success or failure of some games (mainly smaller, poorer quality titles such as the Fantastic 4 game-which I enjoyed). As much as achievements have given new life to low budget games, it has also had a profound effect on the bigger titles, particularly ones which bring multiplayer. The best multiplayer available is with CoD (personally I prefer Bad company, but that's my preference, it doesn't change the facts), and the MW games showed that you can have a stellar multiplayer to go hand in hand with the singleplayer experience without relying on achievements to entice players. This is becoming a real issue, no matter the quality of the multiplayer component, it is generally easier and less stressful to 'boost' achievements, and the most dedicated booster will inevitably find a way to beat the system and arrange a game that allows boosting. I have no problem with this sort of behavious. Yes it can disrupt games, but if the game itself isn't that great, then it's a none issue for me because the traffic of players will be severely limited. As the good games have a large traffic of players, this boosting is largely unimportant because you never struggle to avoid the boost games and find a good, normal match instead.

However, the core issue still remains, that many games use achievements to boost the popularity of their multiplayer, even if it is poor quality. Understandable of course, but it costs money to run servers for mp games, and if a game is poor, people are only going to use them purely for boosting. The traffic of gamers will die off quickly, leaving you with an empty lobby which you still have to pay for. That is the cost of providing multiplayer in a game that doesn't require it. As goo as the AC:B MP may be, it is primarily a singleplayer games and the MP component is unnecessary and doesn't really add anything to the mix that wouldn't be missed if removed. Hopefully time will show that it is a MP experience here to stay, but in a world dominated by CoD, followed closely by Halo, and with GoW and Bad Company having respectable numbers too, it is hard for any game to make an impact, and the value of the attempt is negligeable.

For my money, I think games should look at adding purely co-operative MP experiences rather than deathmatch types. Sure deathmatches are great, but unless you manage somthing extraordinary, you're not going to put a dent in CoD and Halo. But co-op doesn't require reliance on numerous other people (unless designed that way). All it needs is you and 1 or 2 friends. Supported by making achievements more universal, and more designed to make a player experience more of the game and you have a situation that is good for everybody.

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Comment #64 by maur1c1o
Wednesday, December 01, 2010 @ 12:36:08 PM
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No way thats rediculious single player aint never gona be a dying breed its a different experiene totally compared to co op personally i love playing single player and allways will co op is great depending who you playing with.

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Comment #65 by DefEdge
Wednesday, December 01, 2010 @ 01:38:56 PM
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I prefer single player because I'm just not dedicated enough to go online and try to be good at something I have little chance of competing in against the 24/7 'pro' gamers out there. I like single player a lot more than multi, but I am a tad biased.

Think though, about this multiplayer co-op thing for a minute though. Let's say we turn the entire game (campaign, co-op, pvp) into a multiplayer experience trying to get more life out of it. You know what we get? An MMORPG, Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game, for those not in the know (if you do, sorry, I'm not trying to insult anyone's intelligence here.) Look at a few notable examples. APB tried this, but there wasn't much of a story there. Final Fantasy 11 tried this, and while it still seems to be going strong, unlike Final Fantasy 14, it is far too much of a time sink, not to mention the achievements are extreme.

There could be some future to that though, but you'd end up paying money every month instead of a dabble every so often (or if you buy the game specificly for the multiplayer, I am not pointing fingers) because there would be no single player experience. But let's look at some ideas.

Would you play a Gears of War title if it was multiplayer only? Sure, you could have the campaign, but it might be an MMORPG in that sense. You pick a side and fight it out in battles against players, or maybe even CPUs. Do you fight for the Cogs, or do you side with the Locusts because you hate the Cogs? Even though you could someday win the game, you have to fight an army of other players who are fighting for their side. Also, only a few people can actually 'beat the game' at a time, then it would have to be reset so others would get the chance. However, there are a LOT of people on WoW who spend their lives doing raids and would repeatedly 'beat the game' just so they were famous and get the best loot. Although loot might not be a good idea, because you would be dying left and right in the wars instead of keeping it. But then again, that's sort of how APB worked, but there wasn't a campaign. You just got a job and worked it to increase your rep, which increased your level, which got you access to better gear and customizations for your character and vehicles.

How about Call of Duty? I hear there is one in the works, but I'll give an idea. Once again, you are joining an army (or maybe a band of mercs, who knows) and doing jobs trying to advance the story. Someone's going to win, and unless you are dedicated enough, it probably won't be you. You take orders from some higher power, you do what you are told, you advance. Or you die a whole lot and don't get anywhere. Keep in mind that even if it is a team effort, only a few of the team members are competent, the rest are cerried by the better players. I am usually one of them, as I stink at multiplayer. I don't try to stink at them, but it's my skills and mental focus of that game that keeps me back, plus since I am only against real players, I have to hope they slip up to win. In a face to face I'm lucky to hit the target, and they are unconsiously aiming for my head without effort. I spray and pray, they just fire a shot. I'm pretty well screwed. (Stupid tangents)

The thing is, while some multiplayer is a good idea, it isn't always needed, as the article states. We need these single player experiences to keep the games fresh, otherwise everything turns into a race to advance faster than your peers, like it is now with most shooters. You may or may not cheat, but why do people cheat? Either you want to be better faster because you want the game to cater to you, or you don't have the time to invest but still want to be the best around. Why are so many leaderboards filled with glitched players and blockers? Good example of this is Super Meat Boy. Most of the levels are filled with at least 20-50 slots at the top of folks who somehow completed the level with 0.00 or complete a level with a character that is not even accessable in it. (Cotton Alley is restricted to Bandage Girl only, why are some of the top players able to use Meat Boy?)

Where was I getting at? I type this stuff out and then lose the train of thought. Bottom line for me: We don't need all of our games to be multiplayer just for the sake of extending the dollar you spend on them. We are all going to do what we are going to do. Buy, rent, steal, 'borrow', whatever, we are going to play a game that we enjoy, and not touch the games we don't (though if it has easy achievements we might put on the rubber gloves and dip our hands in the toilet bowl for a game). But we will play what we want. Don't kill single player just because you are afraid that we won't buy it. Make a good game with a good experience and drop that price some, and we might be more tempted to bite. Make it a memorable game that we would want to hold on to. Don't do what the Wii does and release shovelware, something nobody in their right mind would touch (though I bet if Wii had achievements...) and maybe we'll enjoy these games longer.

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Comment #66 by Michael Logan
Wednesday, December 01, 2010 @ 02:40:08 PM
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I have never and I will never buy a game for the multiplayer aspect alone. Singelplayer is and will continue to be the most important part of gaming to me.

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Comment #67 by SN1P3RSTU113
Wednesday, December 01, 2010 @ 03:27:43 PM
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Ugh! Stop with the long-winded comments o_o That's what forums are for!

OT: Love Single-player games. Im the kind of gamer that wants to immerse themselves in an awesome story and I seriously hate it when I got when of my friends talking when there's a cutscene on. >:(

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Comment #68 by Acid Mother
Wednesday, December 01, 2010 @ 05:08:29 PM
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Replayability is a hit-or-miss, it seems. I still, after all these years, cannot understand why I can go back and play Metroid running purely on muscle memory and still have a blast, meanwhile Gears 1 is almost instantly boring, after all the hours of Gears 2.

I once thought that it was the true sign of a legendary game, but now I think it's a mixture of frustration, challenge, and reward, balanced so right it hurts. Yeah, that's the foundation for a replayable game.

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Comment #69 by Swegabe
Wednesday, December 01, 2010 @ 06:08:04 PM
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I miss the times when almost all games used to have unlockables to give it more length and replay value, achievements/trophies seems to have destroyed that.

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Comment #70 by II OE II
Wednesday, December 01, 2010 @ 06:41:50 PM
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Im the kind of person who doesn't enjoy playing competitive multiplayer. Sometimes i will if i have friends online to play with mind you. I really did wish that more games had co-op built into them. Take Call of Duty for example (OMG, not CoD again!) but in every mission you have other allies that run around with you and usually do nothing, so why not add in co-op to fill those useless AI slots?

Also, im 100% game for adding a co-op function to games like Dragon Age, Fallout, and Elder Scrolls. I would like nothing better than to play these games WITH another player for once.


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Comment #71 by ITD Soldierboy
Wednesday, December 01, 2010 @ 06:56:35 PM
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@10 I will only say one thing. You're an idiot if you think Halo didn't have a genuine story...

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Comment #72 by Nix42
Wednesday, December 01, 2010 @ 07:02:48 PM
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I think its sad, but yes the single player action is dying
when i get mad at multi player, I switch to trusty single player game
Fallout has still become defiant and has not switched to multi player
Even Resident Evil surrendered.

However, some games have equally (and sometimes better) experiences in single player. Red Dead Redemption is a perfect example. A western with a deep story that keeps a gamer close to his TV.

The most embarrassing part of this is that games are coming out and are becoming popular for just their multi player. If you asked 100 people who bought Black Ops if they bought it for single player or multi player, about 85 of those people would probably say multi player.

Another cause of the downfall of single player is achievements (Ironically I'm posting this on a website like this). Although most people play games for fun, there are some people who just want achievements.

Unlike many people, I keep games like RE5 (I know....Just for the single player), Bioshock, and Mirror's Edge. They can be enjoyable and provide a great experince. Hell, I would keep Viva Pinata (Best Game Ever....Just Saying).

So sure, single player has lost its prime, but I know I won't rage quit because there isn't a camper. There isn't a booster. There isn't a hacker. There are just computers and you.

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Comment #73 by Jacket i pos i
Thursday, December 02, 2010 @ 02:32:21 AM
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I'm really surprised to have so many people supporting the single player. And very few actually enjoying multiplayer.

You people need to think about it in a different way. Everyone keeps bringing up Fallout 3, Oblivion, And Mass Effect. ALL RPGS. Don't get me wrong I LOVE rpgs. But what are you supposed to do about action/adventure games? You can't make them 30+ hours. Why? Because that completely destroys ever having a sequel. And that means less money for the developers.

I personally enjoy both. I have spent over 100 hours into Oblivion, and Halo. I think they should just keep rpg games single player. Or even having co-op. But not some sort of multiplayer. And action/adventure games.. eh.. I don't know. It depends on the game I suppose. Lets say they added multiplayer to Force Unleashed 2. That could have been a great idea. Or a horrible failure. It's more so on what the developer decides to do with the multiplayer.

Just my 2 cents. :P

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Comment #74 by laundryman
Thursday, December 02, 2010 @ 06:10:08 AM
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I've noticed this ever since Condemned 2: Bloodshot came out a few years ago. The quality of the single player severely dipped off from the first.

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Comment #75 by Callam001
Thursday, December 02, 2010 @ 09:19:28 AM
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If a game didnt have a single player mode i probably wouldnt buy it because online gets boring

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Comment #76 by mutiny
Thursday, December 02, 2010 @ 09:51:19 AM
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Before I start my rant I just want to say, I'm primarily a single player experience "type of guy" but also enjoy dishing out a few dome pieces in CoD. With that being said, I personally don't feel like single player gaming is dead or dying.

When it comes to multiplayer there's really only one genre in which I seek out multiplayer & that's the FPS. I feel like a FPS title, such as any CoD or Halo, would suffer greatly if lacking multiplayer whether it be a co-op or just all out multiplayer simply because the story line for most FPS titles is relatively short. That's not saying it's not possible to make a FPS without multiplayer, there just needs to be a better, more gripping, perhaps longer storyline if a developer opts to leave it out. Gears does a great job of this & I feel like, multiplayer or not, I would have & did enjoy both Gears titles simply for the reason that the story is so awesome & well written not to mention the game is all around well developed.

Now if you go throwing multiplayer into every game/genre all willy nilly, it could & would most likely lead to more frustration & ended friendships than it would a good time. Not every game is "neighbor friendly" & I personally don't feel that developers should make an effort to do that. In most single player experiences, having a friend with you would most likely just hinder your ideal of what to do or of what should be done first & he/she would most likely just get in your way or vise-versa. I don't feel that multiplayer is the future the slightest bit, more of a "reverse" of that idea if you will. Not saying that multiplayer is dead, just that I think it's starting to go overboard. Introducing it into an already popular single player franchise might not be the way to go either. Both experiences have their place in this gaming world & both could easily co-exist in one title if done properly. Unless a game specifically calls for a certain experience, one should never overshadow the other but instead should compliment it & add to the depth & experience of the game & should also be completely optional, not a necessity because you've run out of single player experience.

Dead Space & the recent console Fallouts are two great examples of awesome single player games because of what the game offers in the arena of gameplay & storyline. Both titles feel like you're playing what could easily be a Hollywood movie because they draw you in to, not only the characters & story but also the environment around you, making for a gripping, enthralling experience. Now if you take something like either of those two & throw in a buddy, he or she may not want to play the way you play or even at the pace you wish to play, thus hindering yours & their experience. Something like an optional co-op might not hurt if its done like Gears did where at certain moments each player goes their own way but even then you both basically have to play at the same pace & that wouldn't help a genre like Action/Adventure or Action/RPG like Dead Space or Fallout. Not to mention with the addition of DLC to 360, which I feel is fantastic, there's so much that can be done with any given single player experience to expand on the existing story or even add back story. Like in Fallout 3, which has episodic DLC that has nothing to do with the main storyline ultimately but adds depth to the world as a whole & just flat out gives the player something else to do.

I feel that developers shouldn't necessarily focus their efforts on making multiplayer games simply to get people to buy new instead of used or in place of renting because whether the game has mass replayability or not, with sites like gamefly that afford you the opportunity to rent for an indeterminate amount of time, people may be more apt to just rent as desire to play a certain title arises because they may not have the monetary means to purchase games or simply just because that's cheaper, whether it has lasting appeal or not. I honestly don't think the price of a new copy makes a difference either because $60 for a 360 title as opposed to $50 for an original Xbox title is ultimately an ignorable difference & never was a concern for me. Really, buying used doesn't hurt the industry either because money was already earned for the sale of that/those copy(ies). The only sense in which it "hurts" is that they don't earn money for selling copy 1 million & 1.

I don't feel like the future of gaming should be resting solely on the back of multiplayer nor do I feel it should lean on single player but instead, have a steady balance of both experiences or even mash both into one title to please the palate of all gamers. I personally feel like the future should be quality, "playable movie" type games that get you involved in the game, characters, environment & storyline.... that, in my opinion, is what would make a gamer want to hold on to their games to keep playing over & over again, reguardless of how many times they've beaten it simply because it's an excellent game with an enthralling story & good gameplay. Just how we hold onto our favorite movies.

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Comment #77 by AltarofPlagues
Thursday, December 02, 2010 @ 01:01:11 PM
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I know it didnt exactly set the world on fire, but Transformers war on cybertron has an excellent multiplayer that was well played when it first came out, then it died. but what got me was, why was there no split screen coop? does nobody play sitting next to one another anymore?

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Comment #78 by HELBRECT
Thursday, December 02, 2010 @ 01:22:36 PM
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I think the Gaming world needs something COMPLETELY different that is both successful and sustainable. As Ubisoft has proven with the AC series, Single Player games can still be highly successful and original, with the urge to come back for more. It's also aparent that the highest selling games are the ones with successful multiplayer modes: Call of Duty, Halo, Gears of War. The thing is, these differences are attracting different gamers. Whilst many of the people on this site are looking for Achievements, we do all still enjoy some good online multiplayer BUT I think it's fair to say we've all been in one of those 'AMERICAN SUCKS' 'NO ENGLAND SUCKS' games on CoD and thought, WHEN THE HELL DID ALL THESE 12 YEAR OLDS BECOME SUCH SMART ARSES. I think it's the balance between a good Singleplayer and Multiplayer WITHOUT the masses of idiots who only wish to spoil your day by screaming abuse down the microphone. PROBABLY hard to get down to, but i think games like: Guitar Hero, Quantum of Solace and AC Brotherhood are the best examples - minus the moderately long matchmaking times.

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Comment #79 by gof22
Thursday, December 02, 2010 @ 04:37:33 PM
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I was kind of sad that Assassins Creed: Brotherhood had a shorter story than the other games. Multiplayer is fun but it should not get in the way of developing a good single player story.

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Comment #80 by Nin10domyk
Thursday, December 02, 2010 @ 06:35:36 PM
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One of the many reasons I believe single player games won't die is because some ppl don't have live. Many of these multiplayer games require you to have an internet connection in order to play multiplayer. The other thing that really grinds my gears about xbox live is that in order for your achievement to count is that you must get it while live is active. If you achievement-perfected a game but got one offline, it won't count towards completion on your live account. PS3 has it a lot more convenient by syncing your trophies that you got offline by the clock on your XMB. If xbox could have that, there would be a lot less complaints especially for ppl just getting live after completing a game such as Halo 3 while offline. (All those achievments, gone!)

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Comment #81 by Raining Light
Thursday, December 02, 2010 @ 06:38:06 PM
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I dont really like multiplayer. I always seem to stink at it. If it has achievements I boost for them or just dont get them. I dont like it and I feel like left a game incomplete because of it.--Give me a great story and I will play single player forever.-As an industry I understand why they are doing it, I just hope I dont have to put down my controller for good.

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Comment #82 by JGar77
Thursday, December 02, 2010 @ 09:12:59 PM
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Single player should always be more important than multiplayer, in my opinion. This was the case in Battlefield Bad Company--it was the first Battlefield game in which the campaign was given such a heavy emphasis. It was advertised extensively and it was obvious that DICE put much more effort into the campaign than they did the multiplayer. Bad Company was original, as well; in the stream of what have now become stereotypical, near-future fitional modern war games, Bad Company stood out as a hilarious, unique adventure, bordering on possible, but replete with unbelievability. Imo, if you're going to do modern war, it should either be like BC or be as true and real as possible (Six Days in Fallujah).

Bad Company 2 did not follow suit. Placing heavy, almost exclusive, emphasis on the multiplayer experience, Bad Company 2's campaign was a stereotypical, boring, and unenjoyable experience. The comedy was replaced with f-bombs and the plot continuity was diminished (no Mike One Juliet, gold, or mercenaries). While BC2's mp was undeniably awesome, the disappointing campaign downgraded my impression of the entire game.

I love Alan Wake--and I played the crap out of it. But in order for single player exclusive games to improve their sales, they need to be longer. Halo is another good example of a great campaign experience, but because it's mp is the main focus, the campaigns are never long enough.

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Comment #83 by Obi-Brown
Friday, December 03, 2010 @ 05:10:55 AM
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so every game is gonna have multiplayer. i'm gonna miss being able to get 100% achievements without having to wade into the bullshit of playing online and dealing with asshole gamers

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Comment #84 by ChipSpudskin
Friday, December 03, 2010 @ 05:18:17 AM
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The thing with most single-player games is that after one or two playthroughs, there is often little of interest left because, you've explored almost everything the game has to offer. Even a game like Mass Effect with the variation of the different classes, I played through it twice and started a third playthrough but, I just felt uninterested by the thought of playing through the same missions that I'd played through again and knew exactly what to expect!

Multi-player offers more replay value. But, I think there are some features that are unacceptable by todays standard, like a lack of host migration.

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Comment #85 by Akatsuki Sw1tch
Friday, December 03, 2010 @ 07:28:20 AM
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How can people say that single player games are a dying breed, I would much rather play a great involving single player game over some Ho hum not again VS multiplayer Bullshit.

Bioshock didn't need it & assassins creed neither (One of a few reasons why i never bought brotherhood) Now don't get me wrong i don't mind the odd bit of VS now and again but online Co-Op is where it's at for me, Playing along with with your mates & having a laugh (What game are all about)

Now developers here's an idea instead of tacking on multiplayer to every friggin' game that seems to come out actually make the game GOOD/ENJOYABLE/BS FREE & shockingly people will play it.

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Comment #86 by ii Brad Train
Friday, December 03, 2010 @ 10:57:30 AM
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I think Fallout is going to have Multiplayer or even the next Oblivion

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Comment #87 by Killbomb
Friday, December 03, 2010 @ 04:51:13 PM
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Maybe if companies released the shorter, single player only games at a reduced price, they would end up with higher revenue. I'm sure many more people would be willing to cough up $40 for an 8 hour game as opposed to $60.

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Comment #88 by DisturbedMDD
Friday, December 03, 2010 @ 05:15:08 PM
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What we need is another badass RPG. What we The Elder Scrolls V.

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Comment #89 by Dcon6393
Saturday, December 04, 2010 @ 12:12:12 AM
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Basically, that game would make my year. Two Worlds 2 is looking good though, check it out, it could hold you off til ES:V

I do think multiplayer overshadows single player in the market, but companies have to shift with the wants of the consumer. Red Dead Redemption was an amazing single player and multiplayer game, it is Rockstar, but games can be made with both. I think the only reason i bought Black Ops was because my cousin was getting that and not Halo: Reach, even though i prefer Reach. (He now has both thank goodness) I think multiplayer only sells if it is popular. Slapping multiplayer onto a sub-par game will not make you or your online buddies want to buy it.

I feel that the single player story has to be great or there has to be great multiplayer, or both. Having average both will doom a game to failure. Another problem is the massive amount of games on the market now, all competing for your money, a lot more games are gonna fail.

I also agree that achievements are a big part of the gaming world now. We like to have pats on the back telling us how good of gamers we are. This tends to overshadow games without achievements (indie games). This is bad because some of those games are fun and addicting (Avatar Golf, Creed Arena, etc.). I am not saying remove achievements, but the affect on the gaming community is very apparent.

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Comment #90 by MALIFO
Saturday, December 04, 2010 @ 02:44:22 AM
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All I can say is, I absolutely hate when I'm talking to a friend about how awesome the story was for a CoD or Halo (etc.) and they tell me they don't care and only got the game for MP. Then they later on call themselves a hardcore gamer.
No. You aren't. The hardcore gamers where the guys who played a single-player game (years ago), beat the game, beat it again on the hardest difficulty, found all the collectibles/easter eggs, and unlocked all guns/weapons/clothes/etc. For the FUN OF IT. No reward, no points. Just because you loved playing the game and you wanted to keep enjoying the amazing experience over and over so you decided to go find some secret stuff.
You are not hardcore/cool because you buy the game everyone's going to buy, and play it with all your friends, then buy the newest installation because "it's better and newer". I'm sorry, what? Better? If it was better than why don't you think for a second. If after one/two years the developers made another game, won't they do it again? What's the point of buying any series game if there's going to be a "newer and better" one down the line.
You are just buying a game and playing because you think it's cool to chill with your friends on XBL/PSN. Please, don't. Go and actually hang out with them, we all know you want to. That's why you say "I have a life." Right?
The real gamers are the ones who buy a game, because they want to interact with a story that they will want to remember for years. Even when they are done with the story, they aren't done. The gamer loved the gameplay so he continues playing it because the player doesn't want to leave that universe they have become so involved in.
So buy the end of the day, single players will always have a place in the true gamer's hearts, and they will never truly die out.
To you developers who make SP only games. Extend the levels, make us grind through fights and mazes. It is what we LOVE to do!

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Comment #91 by MALIFO
Saturday, December 04, 2010 @ 02:45:51 AM
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Wow...Two grammer errors within 10 seconds of posting, and re-reading. Damn. haha

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Comment #92 by cheeseoid
Saturday, December 04, 2010 @ 05:16:11 AM
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i don't think single player will die. many people still enjoy playing sports games offline (e.g. fifa, pes, nhl) and as long as the single player component in each game is good, then its nothing to worry about.

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Comment #93 by Bachlott
Saturday, December 04, 2010 @ 07:34:35 AM
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If developers are really looking for a way to increase profits it really shouldn't be multiplayer. I can't tell you how many games that I own that I ever really enjoyed playing online with others for more than a half hour at a time.

The other problem with it is the fact that most developers think that everyone only plays shooters now so they pack even non shooter games with the same type of online multiplayer modes as shooters. We truly need more co-op online play.

Games like Alan Wake didn't sell well even though it's supposed to be amazing. Well, personally I didn't buy it after hearing it was so short. If the game had been say $40 instead of $60 I would probably have picked it up immediately. And they probably would have sold more than triple the number of copies.

And finally if you're sales suck so much you might try an option that's been around far longer than any of us. Advertising! TV and bus/bilboard type ads will bring more recognition of the game and a lot more sales. Yes I saw ads for Black Ops, Halo 3, ME2, Blur, FFXII and a few others but truthfully these games actually needed less advertising then they got. With maybe the exception of Blur. The others were always going to sell a crap load of copies anyway. But I don't think I ever saw an ad for Alan Wake, Enslaved, or Vanquish. Other than in magazines, but paper mags seem to be a dying breed as well.

So I guess in summary, ads make a difference and a drop in price of some of the really short games $10-$20 would probably increase the number of sales by an amazing amount.

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Comment #94 by JGar77
Saturday, December 04, 2010 @ 09:20:34 AM
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@#88 and #94--dude, yes!

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Comment #95 by braddelo
Saturday, December 04, 2010 @ 12:34:35 PM
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Oh no! What did we ever do before multiplayer?!?! Single player will always rule. They just need to look into the past for quality examples.

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Comment #96 by falloutsurvivor
Saturday, December 04, 2010 @ 01:14:36 PM
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i pretty much have mixed feelings on this, games are expensive and i want a game that im gonna get my money's worth i want a game with an awesome single player but some games like call of duty and gears of war should have an awesome multi player to back that up, some games shouldn't have a multi player like bioshock 2... or fallout.... just throwing a multi player into a game dosnt make a game better.

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Comment #97 by switzr1
Saturday, December 04, 2010 @ 05:24:28 PM
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I'm admittedly not good enough at multiplayer games to be competitive with most gamers, so even though I play MW2 and Black Ops multi a lot for the fun of leveling up at my own pace, I still prefer single player games. Besides, most of my friends who have XBL don't have the same games as me.

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Comment #98 by gamerscorhunta
Saturday, December 04, 2010 @ 06:26:14 PM
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Single-Player experiences, I believe, are not dying out, but rather fading out for the decade of socializing. This decade, FaceBook, MySpace, websites much like this explode everywhere, so why is it expected that a company should not try to make an attempt at the multiplayer to make as elongated and enjoyable as the campaign, which most games are making cooperative. Exactly, as to why we are taking on this topic as the "we are making no progress" sense, where we are actually making more progress than any other generation of gaming. This entire article is mildy written, and rather not giving both sides of the war, giving this controversial topic a biased sense.

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Comment #99 by hardyz314
Saturday, December 04, 2010 @ 09:42:45 PM
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Nice article Webb. I personally like MP for top-name games, as I actually enjoyed the Bioshock 2 MP, too bad the community isn't as active anymore.

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Comment #100 by LOUGHHILL JR
Sunday, December 05, 2010 @ 01:43:44 AM
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no one plays single player any more. halo reach is mainly multi-player and the last 3 cod were mainly multi-player as well. before cod 4 everyone was playing a variety of games but now its all about cod and halo.

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Comment #101 by vVISLAYERIVv
Sunday, December 05, 2010 @ 02:10:45 AM
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Its funny because I have only played the multi player for AC:B. Havnt touched the single player.

OT: I think developer's might as well put in MP, as long as it doesnt effect the quality of the SP. If you dont like the Mp of a game simply dont play it.

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Comment #102 by iruhlman
Sunday, December 05, 2010 @ 08:12:44 AM
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well pretty sure its official we can now thank MS and its Xbox system for really sitting down and building the network that brought millions of us together. Both through its Live service and our OCD achievement addictions on a forum like this one.

There's no turning back now so multiplayer surely isn't going away, neither will the achievements tied to them. I see alot of people bitch about them here but it really isn't about your precious 1k score. Devs put them in various places within the code to get you to experience as much of the game as they feel you should.

And as noted the facebook explosion has brought many "non gamers" into the mix. Farmville is now worth more than EA and all in the span of a few years.

Wii might be the most popular console (sales) but looking at multiplayer numbers its clear the xbox blows them all away online.

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Comment #103 by K1dn3yFa1lur3
Sunday, December 05, 2010 @ 10:50:00 AM
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Grinding out MP is so tedious. I can spend hours replaying SP games as long as they are good.

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Comment #104 by Freeman
Sunday, December 05, 2010 @ 11:30:19 AM
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no matter much i enjoy multiplayer. I will always love a good Singler player expierence more.

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Comment #105 by Callam001
Sunday, December 05, 2010 @ 11:54:30 AM
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@101 thats completete bullshit i still play single player so do thousands of other people

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Comment #106 by IXISHADOW
Sunday, December 05, 2010 @ 03:20:17 PM
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@#101 That is the most ridiculous comment I have ever read.

Back on topic, this article was a fantastic read. Thanks Webb.

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Comment #107 by Xeley
Sunday, December 05, 2010 @ 04:56:31 PM
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If I have to chose between a great single player experience with a great story and amazing atmosphere over an amazing multi player mode I'd chose the single player any day.

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Comment #108 by Jack Pumpkinhed
Sunday, December 05, 2010 @ 07:10:13 PM
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I believe that the core issue here isn't single player or multiplayer, it's the drive to get a high gamerscore. Don't get me wrong, I am completely wrapped up in that same issue (as I am sure almost every member of this site is) but I've come to realize that when I beat a game that's single player, I will rarely return to simply enjoy the game (unless I'm missing achievements, in which case I blow through it). For instance, Alan Wake was an amazing survival horror-esq (as it's pretty much a dead genre ;-;) single player game that I loved playing. However, I don't play it anymore because I've got all the achievements.

What I think needs to be factored into this equation is how much time is spent enjoying MP, and how many people are simply doing it grinding the achievements?

Example: I play L4D2 a lot, because it's fun as hell (versus mainly). Add in the mutations and you're getting variation that keeps the MP interesting.

HOWEVER I am still begrudgingly playing Bioshock 2's horribly MP because I am a completionist.

If Game developers are going off of sales and sell backs, then the numbers won't exactly match up because people won't rent a game like Bioshock 2 simply to keep it for months at a time grinding the damn MP achievements. They'll buy it and just hold onto it for a while.

Long story short, not every damn game needs multiplayer. If I'm wrong, then I want Alan Wake II to have a "Shoot Barry in the goddamn face" multiplayer, and for "Silent Hill 8" to let me play as Pyramid head already.


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Comment #109 by Joebeest86
Sunday, December 05, 2010 @ 07:52:58 PM
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I love playing video games but quite frankly I am not interested in paying 60 bucks for a 5-10 hour singleplayer experience regardless of how awesome multiplayer is. I have other things to worry about. I love multiplayer in my games whether it be coop or adversarial. But ultimately most of the time I am playing at home by myself and when I pop in games like the latest Medal of Honor and blow through the campaign in 5 hours I feel like someone saw me coming and stole my money. I have really started doing my research now and I don't buy anything on release day until I hear the reviews and see if it will be a game that is gonna provide a lasting singleplayer experience. Otherwise the game goes on my Gamefly queue.

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Comment #110 by Kahless34
Monday, December 06, 2010 @ 06:50:24 AM
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Perhaps the single playing approach should take a different route altogether, scrap the traditional retail route and go for download only.

We are all aware of the - "No refunds are available on this product" - line.

Cut the expenses of the physical product and shipping and create a game that is worthy of me downloading it. No loss to pre-owned market, no lending it to a mate.

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Comment #111 by SuddenJonatan
Monday, December 06, 2010 @ 08:04:58 AM
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Alan Wake is the best game ive played this year

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Comment #112 by Scnew
Monday, December 06, 2010 @ 08:11:55 AM
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Pretty good article. Though I'd argue about AC:B's story being way better than AC2's.

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Comment #113 by Necromancer
Monday, December 06, 2010 @ 08:14:20 AM
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I doubt anyone will read my comment in the midst of all the other ones!

However please stop turning all games into multiplayer. Locally is fine but I hate the idea of playing with random teenagers that all they want to do is trash talk. It tarnishes a good game for me.

No matter though... I still prefer RPG over ANY other games and the ones like Dragon Age, Mass Effect and Fallout are wayyyy longer then 30+ hours.

Plus if all else fails I've a shit ton of JRPG's on my PSX and PS2. That even after 3-4 years I've never touched. So I doubt even if you guys turn my favourite games into MP. I'll still have something to do. So go ahead :P
Since it's pretty much a target at the mainstream gamers. I don't believe for a second that it involves the replay value factor.

It's called in actuality you want more mainstream gamers i.e. everyone who already plays online games to buy great single player games.

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Comment #114 by IMF G3NGH15 KH4N
Monday, December 06, 2010 @ 10:52:31 AM
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It's sad to say.But it seems that way,which sucks because IMO games like Bioshock/Assassin's Creed/Dead Space,Etc. are best played as a single player experience.Unfortunately Game Devs all seems to jump on the bandwagon of the new hot trend of the day,every game doesn't need MP.Just like Hollywood doesn't need to make every Frickin' movie 3D.What ever happened to being original?

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Comment #115 by Snake Pliskinn
Monday, December 06, 2010 @ 04:16:02 PM
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I completely agree with most people here. Being a gamer for over 20 years, it is the single player experience I play games for! Generally, mulitplayer games are very bland and not story driven. I find death matches, capture the flag etc so boring and repetitive that I rarely play them. I like co-op games like Resident Evil/GOW, but I don't think mulitplayer sections of single player games should have achievements. I've found myself turning to XBLA games this year. Most of these are single player and they are far more creative. Games like Limbo, Ilomilo, Super Meat Boy, Plant Vs Zombies are far more fun than most of the retail games released in the last 12 months. And that gets me on to sequels - where is the originality in retail games these days? Blops/Fallout: NV/Fifa 11/Fable 3/Halo Reach. It's a sad state of affairs when excellent original! single player experiences like Enslaved and Alan Wake struggle to sell well!

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Comment #116 by Deano Supremo
Monday, December 06, 2010 @ 09:22:59 PM
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Developers are getting sloppy with singleplayer sadly. They all see mainstream games like CoD: Black Ops and Halo Reach focusing on competitive multiplayer and making big bucks, then follow that sad trend. To date, the only game I've played with a decent, fun, enthralling multiplayer is Goldeneye 007 (the original, not the Wii version). Nothing else will ever live up to the epicness that was Goldeneye. As video games become more and more accepted by society, the more mainstream they will become. Casual and easy to learn gameplay will soon become the norm, with hardcore, difficult and challenging gameplay simply being a choice by tweaking options.

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Comment #117 by Str8upk1llah
Tuesday, December 07, 2010 @ 12:43:40 AM
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Single player games are far from dead. Thats about all I care about personally, although I'm a rare type of gamer. Tacking on multiplayer definitely needs to stop though. In some games it works. Take a game like dead rising 2 though, definitely could have done without terror is reality and its crap achievements. Crappy multiplayer achievements I have no interest in getting is actually one reason I get rid of games. When I 1k a game I always keep it. If it has multiplayer that sucks and no one cares about, that makes developers lose focus of the singe player, it is a franchise killer. (Bioshock 2 comes to mind heavily).

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Comment #118 by Str8upk1llah
Tuesday, December 07, 2010 @ 12:47:37 AM
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Oh and as an addendum to that, for the love of god bring back local multiplayer. *looks at skate 3, What a waste of 60 bucks.

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Comment #119 by Epsilon 616
Tuesday, December 07, 2010 @ 03:29:47 AM
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For everyone complaining about talking online, Its been a long time since I was in a group online (randomly) that all had their mics in the game chat channel.

Most everyone parties with friends nowadays and Trash-talk (or even just talking at all) seems rare. The party-chat option has really changed trash-talk and in-game talking altogether.

Onto single-player games.....

I love them. Hands down, Single-player games is where I immerse myself. All of my friends are crazy about co-op and online. I like Multi-player, but its always been hard for me to keep up with everyone else. Its like everyone I face has a bigger gun, is twice my level, and knows where I'm at all times. And that is not fun.

And its not like I'm bad at shooters. I got a friend who is redicious at them, but still couldn't tackle Mass Effect 2 on Insanity. And when I come home from work, I like casual multi-player experiences. Uno, Rock Band and ,even, Fable 3 come to mind.

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Comment #120 by deadpool316
Tuesday, December 07, 2010 @ 05:23:55 AM
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More and more SP games the story's is getting short like sw Force unleashed 2 2 1/2 hours to done "joke".I love co-op games but not at the price of the SP mode, and MP is a different story grinding XP out is so tedious i played WOW and SWG i know about grinding. In the end we will never get the perfect games that we all beens dreaming about.

Oh is any one else getting fedup with all the under age gamer's getting you shit on a game that's 18+ i know they no way to police it but mums and dad 's its 12+ 15+ 18+ for a reason its got a age put on it

I had my say thx

Forum Posts: 1
Comment #121 by IrishMurderer91
Tuesday, December 07, 2010 @ 06:50:37 AM
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Its a shame that we are losing all the single player only games to the multi-player trend, which generally means that the developement teams themselves are cropping down good single player story lines to add a multi-player mode. The biggest problem with a lot of the single player games that have turned to a multi-player mode to keep them in the 'great game race' is that they only have versus game modes in multi-player and would significantly benefit from a co-op storyline. games like COD and NFS should keep their versus origins and a lot of single player converted games should just use a co-op mode like Borderlands.

I would just like to see a single player game that has a storyline that will keep me entertained for days and weeks not hours, especially within the FPS genre as i don't call around 6 hours of gameplay immersive.

Forum Posts: 35
Comment #122 by Arcane Paradise
Tuesday, December 07, 2010 @ 09:27:46 AM
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I hope the video game makers read this comment, you quit making single player campaigns, I quit buying your video games, and I am sure I am not the only one who feels that way

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Comment #123 by FrostyDon Mega
Tuesday, December 07, 2010 @ 10:29:34 AM
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There are some games I feel do not need a multiplayer. Assassins Creed is one of those. I tried it and it's interesting the first 2 or 3 times, but it lacks any depth. If they simply must add a multiplayer element to it, don't just slap it on. Just because we buy single player games does not mean we that's all we play. We know what a good multiplayer experience is.

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Comment #124 by iJon72
Tuesday, December 07, 2010 @ 10:55:56 AM
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a lot of single player games have to replay value so multiplayer adds to the amount of people who buy it. although they could focus on SP and MP and get none of them right...

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Comment #125 by TSG Dwaggie
Tuesday, December 07, 2010 @ 02:18:33 PM
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No. Alan Wake.

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Comment #126 by UltimateAuron32
Tuesday, December 07, 2010 @ 04:17:53 PM
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no, PLENTY of games are fine the way they are, i wouldnt want to play Mass Effect 3 online, it can ruin a game, look at MW2, it SHOULD have been brilliant multiplayer, but due to mass cheating its one of the worst online experiences i have ever encountered.

personally im saying that single player is still going strong, i mean look at Final Fantasy XIII in less than year it has sold over 5.5 million copies, which is quite staggering.

as is the success of Halo: reach and Call of Duty: Black Ops, its all about what you can put up with, both have good and bad points, which i will now explain:

Single player:
no stupid 12 year old's screaming at you for "cheating" (read: more skilled)
no idiots going for you out of pure spite
you can play your way without people criticising you "cos i dont like it!!"
no one to send abusive messages like "your a fucking a noob!!" because i take out there equipment... (spy planes, hind's ect...)

douche-bags that spawn kill, player hate, camp, aren't old enough to play...
lack of finding a team that knows what "team" actually means...
people with bad connections RUIN any and ALL online experience
cheaters, hackers and glitchers, though companies ARE clamping down on this

not saying that MP is bad, it isn't, i just dont want to HAVE to play a game online in order to get the most out of it, im a solitary gamer, i like to be able to everything, on my own, not with some random prick who steals the reward then fucks off.

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Comment #127 by DistendedWhale
Tuesday, December 07, 2010 @ 09:11:43 PM
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How about more co op for these epic single player games instead of tacked on, crappy multiplayer?

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Comment #128 by Jacob4526
Wednesday, December 08, 2010 @ 01:14:58 PM
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I believe strongly in a good single player campaign but some people like multiplayer to get the full experience out of a game if you just have a game with a 6-8 hour campaign why buy it when you could just rent it so multiplayer give players to spend more time playing and getting to enjoy the game rather than just beating it once and returning it the next day plus some games multiplayer is a bad idea but on some games the multiplayer is the most enjoyable thing about it

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Comment #129 by NawtyCawty
Wednesday, December 08, 2010 @ 07:10:30 PM
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I dont think single player games are a dying breed. A lot of mutiplayer is just tacked on as an afterthought, and the ones that are intended for multiplayer such as Halo or COD are just full of pre pubescent wankers who get off on the fact they have a higher rank or whatever than anyone else (but no friends in the real world). Just very sad imo.

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Comment #130 by pauly_27
Wednesday, December 08, 2010 @ 08:27:10 PM
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It's a delicate balance. You have games like Alien Vs. Predator, which was a decent single player game (though short) but the multiplayer was god awful, even though the game is firmly rooted in the multiplayer mold.

Nobody wants to be playing online for hours and hours to grind to the final level or rank. It's made worse by people (which I admit I have been guilty of in the past) turning entire servers into "boosting" matches when people just sometimes want to play the game, but when devs put ridicoulous levelling achievements or kill totals into games which you know are going to have small communities right from the off (games like Riddick, Wolfenstein, AvP and The Darkness, for example) what can we do if we want to truly "complete" OUR game which we bought?

I always did say that we should never have to rely on anybody else to obtaion our personal achievements. It encourages what you would call bad and unfair behaviour whilst playing online.

Forum Posts: 297
Comment #131 by Juiceh
Thursday, December 09, 2010 @ 01:31:52 AM
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For me multiplayer is a 5% factor when I choose a game to buy. Most multiplayer games have a value of 10 matches. After the 10th match, the multiplayer becomes worthless, you've seen everything you wanted to see.
And then there's also lagg, bugs and worst of all: People. People tend to exploit glitches, use the noobiest tactics to win and underage kids scream your mic full of garbage.

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Comment #132 by roza
Thursday, December 09, 2010 @ 03:28:31 AM
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To be honest multiplayer can ruin a good single player game. Look at Resi 5. Before Sheva showed up the game looked stunning, with some really interesting ideas then came along co-op campaign. ive been a resi fan since I was 3! (Watched my uncle playing Resident Evil 1) and Resi 5 just didnt cut it. No Horror, No Puzzles (that light-beam room doesn't count Capcom) and the areas progressed way too quickly, they should have merged together better.

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Comment #133 by jedi420j
Thursday, December 09, 2010 @ 02:09:23 PM
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I think amongst the core gamers like most people on this site, single player experiences are where it's at. Unfortunately we are severely outnumbered by 'Joe Gamer' who buys COD and Madden every year, and at the end of the day that's who's dollars these big companies want. They see COD and Halo multiplayer numbers and they want a piece of the pie.

The thing is that when you are trying to compete against the big dogs you need a serious effort in development for multiplayer which then takes time and resources away from your campaign. Bioshock 2 multiplayer is a perfect example of a waste of time, did the developers really expect a large community to flock to it's MP and then stay there? I'd say 90% of the people that tried the MP played it for an hour and then never played it again. Unless your product is compelling enough to compete against the COD's of this world I wouldn't even bother with MP, and would look to co-op modes and episodic DLC to sustain your game.

I do agree with the author of this article's point about the 6 hour single player campaign game being dead. There just isn't enough value in these games to justify a 60 dollar purchase. I'm surprised more developers and publisher's haven't looked at coming out with a more competitive price point. I remember when Mafia 2 was released for example, there was a bit of a drought in terms of quality games being released around that time. I think they could have sold way more copies if that game came out at a 39.99 price point.

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Comment #134 by Magicman10893
Thursday, December 09, 2010 @ 09:08:34 PM
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I realized the fact that multiplayer games were going to be on top and single player only games will wither and die about 2 years ago. Back in the day of the PS2 and original Xbox and before, spending $40 or less for games that only last 6-12 hours wasn't too bad, but now that most of the gaming market is made up of people who have access to online play and the price of games has been jacked up to $60 a piece, single player only games are fighting an uphill battle. When comparing the cost-to-entertainment ratio, $60 for a game that will be over 20 hours at most (that's considering a second playthrough, maybe at a higher difficulty that was unlocked by beating the game once) to a game that you play for over 7 straight days online (168 hours or more) online plus a 6-12 hour campaign to complete once or twice.

Granted, achievements help single player only games, it isn't enough. Before I had Xbox LIVE I would go through my games after I beat them and tried to collect every achievement possible, it wasn't enough to justify spending $60 for a game that I would be done with in a week or two. That's when I also started appreciating RPGs more since they take 20-50 hours per playthrough, with a lot of features that would persuade me to play the game again and again and again. I beat Dragon Age at least 7 times and Mass Effect even more times because of the multiple classes, dynamic and interesting story. It works simply because by the time I spent 40 hours going through the game, playing again as a different class and making different story choices, playing again with the same choices the first time is like playing the game for the first time again. It is like having a dozen games wrapped in one. I've already beat Fable 3 like 4 times, but because it has different weapons in the stalls, good and evil choices, male and female characters, two distinct types of melee and ranged weapons; it is interesting to play again and again to me.

DLC is great to extend the shelf life of a game like God or War or Dante's Inferno or The Force Unleashed, many companies get it very wrong. They tend to withhold pieces of the game to sell at a later date to gouge customers for more money or make shoddy excuses for DLC that reflect the game as a whole, short and not worth the high cost. Fable 3 disappointed me with its DLC because it was pretty much already on the disc considering it took a half of a second to download, as well as Bioshock 2 for doing the same thing a couple months ago. The Force Unleashed and Saints Row 2 were horrible with DLC because you spent between $7-10 for 1 to 3 missions. The DLC in Fable 2, Fable 3, TFU and Saints Row took less than a half an hour to beat and it felt like a colossal waste of money.

Unfortunately for me, the game rental store near me went out of business so I can't even enjoy the games that I would be renting at all. I have to wait months for Gamestop to get a used copy for under $20.

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Comment #135 by DJ DOODLE 93
Friday, December 10, 2010 @ 09:35:46 AM
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I think single-player games will live on for a long while, but i think multi-player modes will eventually get added to some of our favorite series out there. Assassins Creed Brotherhood is a good example, i LOVE that game series, and Assassins Creed 2 raised the bar for the series, however when i was talking about it to some people the first thing that i was asked was "does it have multi-player?" after telling them no they assumed it would be a bad game. far from it i would say. then when Assassins Creed Brotherhood was announced i was planning on getting that first off even before i knew of the multi-player, however, it has been done exceptionally well, although it suffers when finding matches sometimes, it links in not only with the gameplay but the story of the single-player.
Multi-player aside AC Brotherhood has many new features and altough it is shorter than its predasessor, itintroduces many new things, which is how games should be, fresh and full of new inovative gameplay.
If single player games ended up like this it wouldn't be AS bad as apposed to the somewhat Call-of-Duty-esque way of doing it and focusing on a multi-player that most people cant get into to to the amount of practice done on the previous game... don't get me wrong, multi-player added onto a single-player game can be done well as long a it stays fresh.

Long live the single-player games with the mix of gameplay and story that we love! :D

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Comment #136 by x1000FIRESBURNx
Friday, December 10, 2010 @ 04:37:37 PM
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I suppose when the time comes when my videogames will be made, I'll have to pander to the idiots who can't have a good time by themselves..

To me, games are your own personal experience, and being forced to share that experience with other,s whom you'll never meet, but feel compelled to trash talk them, could potentially ruin your singular gaming experience..

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Comment #137 by fisher39
Sunday, December 12, 2010 @ 04:24:46 AM
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The assumption being that after 25hours there's actually a user community still playing the game. 3000 worldwide gamers on Medal of Honor?

when you have to wait fifteenminutes for a game to commence that's not really multiplayer. No, multiplayer is just as ephemeral as single

Forum Posts: 108
Comment #138 by Slayinfool
Sunday, December 12, 2010 @ 08:15:20 AM
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Games that add multiplayer in my opinion need to meet a certain standard. Bioshock 2 and Assassins Creed Brotherhood are perfect examples of multiplayer experiences that won't stand up or last the test of time. Adding multiplayer to these games is strickly a marketing ploy. To help gamers justfiy buying. Even though the majority of gamers are playing these games for the single player experience.

If the single player experience dies out, then thats the day I stop gaming.

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Comment #139 by EddyF 101
Sunday, December 12, 2010 @ 01:14:10 PM
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I wrote an article regarding this topic a couple of months back, check it out :)

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Comment #140 by evilution666
Sunday, December 12, 2010 @ 03:19:27 PM
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No, Single player games are not a dying breed.

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Comment #141 by SpamEatingChikn
Monday, December 13, 2010 @ 12:23:49 AM
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For me personally, I still LOVE a good single player experience but they are up against a lot of competition with mp. A single player game I may have played 10 years ago now takes a back seat to some good mp. This means that when I play a single player game now it has to be REALLY good and an experience comparable to a good book or movie. It's hard to compete with being able to BS around with a bunch of buddies on another game.

The problems with both these genres though is when they try to cross barriers when they shouldn't. I know competition is fierce but like when an actor tries to release a crappy album it's just like when a good single player tries to add multiplayer. Sometimes the mechanics were just meant to be played as a single player, nothing personal.

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Comment #142 by DENAz666
Monday, December 13, 2010 @ 01:59:52 AM
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I love my multiplayer, but no way do I love it more then SP. That will never change for me, SP can be done at your own pace, and is much less stressful and frustrating. MP can be terrible at the best of times, but a decent SP will never get old or annoying.

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Comment #143 by sykur
Monday, December 13, 2010 @ 03:28:34 PM
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i hope it don't get like that,i dont always buy muiltplayer games.i like playing single player more

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Comment #144 by Kerethos
Tuesday, December 14, 2010 @ 09:44:17 AM
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I preffer single player games over games with competitive multi player, as I love following a story and being guided trough it's world. The exception to this, and the one thing that is more often then not quite enjoyable, is co-op multiplayer. To be able to have the single player experience, but with friends.

I'd say Gears of War 1 & 2, Splinter Cell: Conviction and I guess Borderlands are great examples of games that just get better with Co-op and story integrated (though I guess story is rather optional in Borderlands).

That said, I'd still like ME3 to be all single player, but the ME universe could make a great setting for a co-op game - just like a few other game-worlds could.

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Comment #145 by nickstuart118
Tuesday, December 14, 2010 @ 02:18:15 PM
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i prefer some single player games such as red faction, but the multiplayer achivements are so annoying!!!

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Comment #146 by ultimobert
Wednesday, December 15, 2010 @ 02:31:08 AM
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i like to follow the story on the single player but some achievements in multiplayer are quiet easy and some are frkng annoying :P

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Comment #147 by I Solid Smiley
Wednesday, December 15, 2010 @ 04:39:05 PM
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good to know im not the only one who enjoys me a puppy sandwi- err i mean ummm

(runs outside)

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Comment #148 by mavryk
Thursday, December 16, 2010 @ 07:31:04 AM
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Thought would let jack pumpkinhead know that silent hill homecoming lets you play as pyramid head,big knife and all!,you unlock him as a costume for one of the five endings,single player should always be the prime motivator behind a game,the best games are those that have a wonderful immersive story and draw you in to the plot,good gameplay obviously helps but not always,I have played tons of games that were considered crap when they came out and learned to live with bad controls or camera issues cause the story rocked.Multiplayer is fair and well but it seems that publishers like to stick it in there cause they feel they need to then when the game doesnt do that well the folk who supported are left with a mess of achievements that are impossible to get(unless you are lucky enough to actually get a reply from someone on a boosting site!)It would be a sad day if all games had some kind of multiplayer as standard,unless they do what perfect dark zero did and let you play bots and still get cheevos,remember bots?once upon a time all games had them,obviously publishers decided to remove them to try and fleece more people.Anyway a world without bioshock,condemned,fallout or any of the increasingly rare games with an awesome story would be a poor world indeed,if it happens then blame money and the call of duty(boring) fanboys.

Forum Posts: 54
Comment #149 by Furious M1
Thursday, December 16, 2010 @ 12:01:35 PM
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I've never really welcomed multiplayer games - I played games to get AWAY from people. Some mp games are great, especially when you are in a competitive mood but for me, a good single player story wins everytime. Bioshock and Fallout 3 are excellent examples. I do happen to like GTAIV for both the story and the mp - and like someone said earlier about the 9 year olds: mute them!

Forum Posts: 148
Comment #150 by Jamieironmaiden
Thursday, December 16, 2010 @ 05:12:53 PM
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Prefer single player games, dont have to rely on other people

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Comment #151 by graemelunn
Thursday, December 16, 2010 @ 06:35:24 PM
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I personally think it depends on my mood - and how sociable I feel like being. Certainly sometimes there's nothing better than meeting up with friends for a game of Gears or something but there are also other times where all I wanna do is play on my own and immerse myself in a single player experience.

When it comes to achievements, the main issue (and yes I am looking at you, EA) is when I cannot pick up older titles and still obtain the full GS as the servers for the online achievements have been shut off. The achievements are a key part of my purchasing decision and I have certainly avoided purchasing certain titles due to this critical issue. Having asked many people, they would still play the Multiplayer aspect of many of their games for pure enjoyment should the achievements be based solely on the single player mode and hence not reliant on online servers.

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Comment #152 by newbsicle
Saturday, December 18, 2010 @ 07:13:23 PM
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If you're making a 6 hour game you should maybe think about adding more single player content. There are plenty of games that run over 30 hours and contain no multi-player at all. Cliffy B. is right in that more content gets gamers to 'Marry games' but it doesn't mean it has to be a tacked on multi-player every time.

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Comment #153 by NeoSant
Monday, December 20, 2010 @ 12:05:39 AM
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Or they could made an excelent story game with fun (but no to easy) to obtain chievos... that is another reason to keep a game i think... but personally i keep the games i loved like COD and Fallouts... without matter of having a MP (but still is important cause you will played it a lot more with a MP)...

Still I prefered a good story and fun to play game than a consuming Mp.. cause the single player leaves the most exciting part like an awesome story in Black Ops, and letting your character talk and say things in combat =DDD

Forum Posts: 165
Comment #154 by NeoSant
Monday, December 20, 2010 @ 12:12:26 AM
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Adding that Co-op sometimes becomes my favorite part of a game... like you can spend hours playing Fifa with friends but alone isnt that much fun... it doesnt relly in Mp if you make a game with inteligence ;)...sometimes the Mp get me away from the games because it insane conditions of getting chievos... just dont want to rely on the server and other people to complete my games (the best mp of all time.. the MW mp doesnt have chievos... what a coincidence :S)

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Comment #155 by rojita369
Monday, December 20, 2010 @ 11:06:28 AM
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I can't even tell you how tired I am of multiplayer cheevos. I hate playing online with people I don't know- I always seem to get creepy old guys or little kids- it's just no fun! It would be really nice if game studios would put a little less influence on multiplayer.

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Comment #156 by Beastcake
Tuesday, December 21, 2010 @ 04:05:11 PM
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Maybe so... with the recent uprising popularity of multiplayer on every single game. People seemed to realize that some single player games are just not worth the price for just a few hours of content.

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Comment #157 by Or!on
Tuesday, December 21, 2010 @ 04:25:24 PM
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No, they should not have added MP to Brotherhood, games like Assassins Creed and Fallout should stay single player. END OF, I think its a waste of time, no many people play on MP of games like that. Its all Call of duty and Battlefield, companies should stop wasting time on MP and put it in SP, AC Brotherhood lost out on 5 sequences because of the MP, i mean, COME ON!

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Comment #158 by hydrosugar
Thursday, December 23, 2010 @ 01:18:19 AM
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i dont like online multiplayer as a general rule, and if i want a single player game then ill buy it. i agree ^^^^^^ only 20% or so of games should even have multiplayer. that does NOT include assasins creed brotherhood. thats the equivalent of putting multiplayer in something like mario galaxy. i was gonna get it if it was like ac2, but now im not sure. i cant even play online at the moment. when i wanna play multiplayer i usually play with people in the same room(which begs the question why i sold my wii)

the best online games on the 360 are blur and naruto storm 2
CoD can suck it(although multiplayer should be on that)

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Comment #159 by Wardog401
Saturday, January 22, 2011 @ 05:57:00 PM
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more and more publishers feel if they dont have a multiplayer they will not be able to stay relevant, thats the core issue

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Comment #160 by somebodyCEO
Friday, February 11, 2011 @ 06:46:03 PM
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^^ you're right...there are plenty good games single-player only like mass effect 2...I like multiplayer but I would rather have a single-player only game that would be made right! And by right I mean a campaign that would take me some time to end and it should be replayable

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Comment #161 by zed
Friday, March 11, 2011 @ 09:50:41 AM
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itll be interesting to see how a mass effect 3 multiplayer would look like in play and characters

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Comment #162 by tom norman
Thursday, March 17, 2011 @ 04:50:48 PM
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i only go online too mess around with my friends in games like gta on free mode. halo reach is also amazing for custom games. but i find i stop playing a game as soon as a cant get any more achevements(which i spose is sad) but is why i like a good varied, but doable list that will take at least 40+ hours of gameplay.

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Comment #163 by 8bit
Monday, March 21, 2011 @ 04:39:38 PM
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Comment #164 by Spongebrick
Monday, March 28, 2011 @ 09:20:45 AM
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there is some really good single player games out such as COD Modern Warfare (defo 1 maybe 2)....but more recent Batman

However i personally like the option to go through a campaign either single player/multiplayer

playing Gears Of War single player was good but found it so much better using team work to work through the game

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Comment #165 by Katana Breeze
Tuesday, August 09, 2011 @ 09:11:43 AM
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I recently have found myself gravitating more and more towards games with a co-op experience. Then there are the games likes Gears and Borderlands, where in order to fully appreciate the greatness of the games you pretty much NEED to play them through with someone else. Either way, I still always love a good single player immersive experiences (Elder Scrolls!)

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Comment #166 by Catwoman
Wednesday, August 01, 2012 @ 02:40:26 PM
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I enjoy playing games by myself, but it depends what type of game it is. I like having the option of playing on multiplayer maps, if it works for the game that it is created for, but I don't think it works for some games. It would benice if there was maybe multiplayer for a new batman game, with the option of playing as any character of your choice, or extra characters you could unlock or download. I don't realy play mutliplayer maps much, but I hate the fact that some achievements are based on two pwoplw playing the game, I play games in single player because I have no one to ask, if they would play the game in co-op with me, to gain achievements. NOT everyone has a million friends you know? :/

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Game Info
Ubisoft Montreal


US November 16, 2010
Europe November 19, 2010

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