Like many social outcasts who don’t tend to jump to further social interaction when attempting to escape social interaction, I play almost exclusively solitarily. My introversion can be such a strong force that even in games that are renowned for their multiplayer I nearly always choose to play with or against computer players. As it just so happens, I’ve sunk hundreds of collective hours into Left 4 Dead, Empire: Total War, Civ 5, Sins of a Solar Empire, and Battlefield 2 and the times in which I connected those games to other human players most likely numbers under ten. To me, multiplayer options often feel unreliable and rigid, on top of being shoehorned into games that could have potentially been stronger single player experiences had the multiplayer development money gone into the main campaign. This, of course, directly opposes the opinions of most, as many games, I understand, are bought solely for their multiplayer, be it competitive or co-op. I know, though, that there are those, like myself, who are distant from this realm. Here, in as friendly a manner as I can muster, is a guide to creating multiplayer modes that even I would abandon my solitude to join.
Here we are on a Tuesday and what are we talking about? Call of Duty, yet again…I know I am kinda bored of it too but man oh man does it rule our lives sometimes. In this post I’ll attempt a dialogue with…myself.
Matt: So what are we talking about in terms of CoD today?
Matt: What about multiplayer, Matt?
Matt: Ah good question Matt…we are gonna discuss if it CoD multiplayer is dead or not.
Matt: Lovely topic Matt. Please go on.
In case you’re wondering, no, I don’t plan on every Friday until March 6th to be Mass Effect related; however, being a hardcore fan (as in, MULTIPLE 100% play-thrus of both 1 & 2) makes it difficult to deny the increasing proximity of Mass Effect 3’s inevitably successful launch. Still, I’m very much aware of how many other awesome games are out there and worthy of your time. For instance, I recently bought Arkham City and I’m having a great time with it. I considered having it on Project Warpath but (at this point) I’m content with the 4 that will be battling for #1 on my list. In case you need refreshing, the contestants are: Saints Row the Third, Modern Warfare 3, Mass Effect 3, and Bioshock Infinite. So far, Saints Row the Third is holding the top spot simply for its mastery of free-play and limitless opportunities to have fun. MW3 is a good game but has no place competing for the top spot of anyone’s list. As much as I play it, it’s nothing more than COD 4 on steroids. For Mass Effect and Bioshock, their biggest strength will/should be narrative immersion.
Essentially, a good story that sucks you right into the thick of things and makes you care about what’s happening is how Mass Effect and Bioshock can dominate the Warpath. In fact, our Moar Powah! chieftain Judge once said that gameplay comes before graphics. Couldn’t agree more. With that said, I think it’s possible to go further and say that even the best gameplay is useless without a strong, narrative backbone supporting the action. Storytelling is something that Mass Effect does incredibly well. Not simply telling a good story but allowing the player to be a part of how it unfolds. Anyhoo, Project Warpath will certainly be interesting in the coming months as Mass Effect 3 and Bioshock Infinite wrap things up. As for the above video, Bioware releases another reveal of the multiplayer feature that Mass Effect 3 is boasting along with its anticipated single-player campaign. With 4-player functionality and plenty of races to choose from, this “controversial” addition just looks better and better. 3/6/12 come soon!
-Fifth Fleet Out-