Video games have been around for a long time now and in that time they’ve evolved in many different ways. One noticeable difference is the prevalence of multiplayer modes or just flat out multiplayer games.
Back in the day when multiplayer meant you plugged two controllers into the console or if you were fancy and having a party, you’d have a multi-tap, and I was there for that. There’s something very nostalgic about your 14 inch TV screen being split in half and having to squint to see what was going on on your side. I feel like we’ve lost that now. It’s very rare that you get a game that does local split-screen or even on the same screen as is the case in many sidescrollers, these days they favour online multiplayer and that just doesn’t have the same appeal to me.
Don’t get me wrong, I have and do enjoy the odd online multiplayer. For example I spent years living in World of Warcraft, and even games like The Division and Destiny have good memories for me. But it’s just not the same.
For a start you don’t know most of the players that you play with. I know if you have friends on your given console you can, but in the most part it’s strangers. There’s no longer that thrill of sitting on your bedroom or living room floor, next to your friend and trying to screw up their game by messing with consoles.
Another issue for me is just how toxic online multiplayer can be. There’s always that one git who thinks it’s clever to tell you he “f*cked your mum” or if you if you beat them that they hope you “get cancer and die”, I mean, there’s really no need, is there? I know that this may be a minority of wankers that do this, but it does ruin the experience for those who just want to play the game for fun without being insulted.
I don’t like the way that online multiplayer is also just forced into a game for no reason other than to prolong the life of the game. Like The Last of Us and Grand Theft Auto V have it and I don’t see the point. It doesn’t even make sense for it to be there. Plus, if you’re a trophy hunter, these online modes have their own trophies that are part of the main game. So if you don’t want to play online, you’ve got no chance of getting those elusive platinums or 100%. Again this can ruin the experience for some players. This could easily be solved by having them as a separated DLC kind of thing that keeps them away from the main list. But, that’s just me being picky.
Then you have games like Call of Duty. I won’t go into my opinion of these games (let’s just say it’s not favourable); I’ll just say what bugs me about the multiplayer. Now, I’ve not played a CoD game in a while, the last time I did, it still had local multiplayer, and that was fine. My brother and I used to play it together on occasion. But what’s been the same for as long as the games have been about is that they’re weighted towards those that play the game constantly. Because the games are very similar, as soon as a new game comes out, some players are a million times better than everyone else. These players aren’t put into their own groups together so they can piss each other off; no, they’re put with the new or casual players that then get annihilated and then insulted – more than likely, purely because they have a life outside of CoD.
Some games have multiplayer thrown in because the main single-player game is so damn short. For me, it would make more sense to expand the main game rather than duct taping multiplayer onto it like some kind of half-fix. Sometimes, when this is done, it ruins both aspects of play.
As I said at the beginning, I’m not against multiplayer games, but if it’s done wrong or it’s all there is, then I just don’t see the point. For me, it just seems like a money-making exercise so the publisher/developer can sell pointless little loot boxes or kinds for characters that you’ll never see because it’s a first-person game. I’d be far happier if more games had local multiplayer or co-op modes.