Why does everything have to be multiplayer?

It’s come up more than once where a game is knocked because it’s not mulitplayer and I just don’t understand this need to compete against other people and if a game doesn’t really lend itself to that people say it sucks.

I’ve stated before Call of Juarez Gunslinger is wickedly good fun in my opinion. The graphics are as good as they need to be and the story gives me plenty of depth and targets. But people are bashing the hell out of it because it’s not multiplayer. I saw the same sort of thing for Dead Man’s Draw. They couldn’t play online so the game was worthless to them. Have we really gotten to the point where simply playing a well built game isn’t enough? I also have this fear for how Shroud of the Avatar is going to turn out.

It used to be the ultimate programming task was to make the computer think and act like a human so it could play games. Chess and checkers were the benchmark. Could the computer beat a master or challenge a beginner? Could it move the Monopoly pieces and learn to trade property? Could it build a hand of cards that was better than yours and be challenged by your bluff?

The multiplayer element is fun, I don’t deny that, but it’s not everything. Personally, I don’t actually like going up against other players. I don’t have all the time in the world to learn every tactic for a game so I know all the best locations to shoot from or hide or crawl out of. A game is supposed to be fun, a way to escape and indulge in fantasy for a short time, not make another career out of it by dissecting every aspect it of. Damn, that’s just too much time. I just want to play for 30 minutes or so and then move on. I have things to do you know.

And have you dealt with some of those people? Assholes! I get enough of that at work I don’t need that in a game. I love the idea of playing against the computer or just playing a game without the interference of other players. I don’t give a damn about your tactics or how you’re hording gold or cash out of every orifice and I don’t feel the need to compete against you. I just want to meet the objectives of the game at my own pace whenever I have the time.

Besides, people my age have spouses and families they need to be with and take care of. Finding the same block of time for a group of people is damn near impossible. I want to unwind when I have few spare minutes and actually not have to deal with people. I’m not interested in games where I have to play against other people or listen to all their crap. Give me the chainsaw, give me the shotgun, point me towards the zombies and then go away. Multiplayer is great if you have the time, but for those of us with lives going on, a story driven single player experience is still a hell of a lot of fun.

I really hope games like Shroud of the Avatar will let me play without forcing me to join a party or have other people come along with me. That will be fun from time to time, but I’m not interested in games that depend on that. Ultima 3, 4 and 5 were amazing games and multiplayer didn’t exist. They were story driven and provided weeks of entertainment. Seems to me that multiplayer is just an excuse for not coming up with a storyline. We spent all our time on scenery and weapons, we never came up with a decent reason why you actually need to use them.

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