My Player One and Only
Behind every game experience is someone with a sense of humor and a burning desire to mess with your head. These are the experiences best enjoyed alone. In this week's issue of The Escapist, Issue 214, "My Player One and Only," we're taking a look at the phenomenon of single-player gaming.
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Wow, that must've been awesome. I play games all the time, but I haven't gotten that kind of a thrill in ages.
Single player games are by far the most significant innovation that video games have brought us and their past, present and future is bright. These articles almost make them sound like some sort of sordid oddity that is only worth talking about when there is a third party either watching or commenting.
Single player video games let the game creators directly communicate to us without us having to learn a complex rule system and find a group of people who will play the game as the creator intended. It almost sounds religious said that way, but you can more easily lose yourself in a world without too many other things getting in the way. A video can give you a scare you when you are walking along and then, suddenly the ground falls from under you. A pre-video game game would have you learn some rules for falling into pits so you were utterly bored of the concepts of pits and falling by the time you actually did it. A multiplayer game would have you arguing about whose turn it was to fall into the pit or someone would push you into the pit repeatedly for jollies because he was bored with the game.
Single player is important for many people... like me for example. I don`t feel the need to share my gaming experience in most cases. I play to entertain myself not to meet the dickheads from the real world I`m tring to escape from in the first place.
I have to say, multi-player doesn't even cross my mind when I buy a game, and I'd probably be more swayed by split-screen co-op than true multi-player. Nothing better than a well told story. It's what keeps us playing. That, and the bigger gun at the end of the level...
I play single player games almost exclusively. Occasionally I play a few rounds of an online FPS, but that's it.
I think it's because I prefer to "sink my teeth" into games and take my sweet time to smell the roses. I have full control over my game experience in single player.
With multiplayer games everything is so competitive, fast, harcore, always more, always bigger... and then there are the 14 year olds and the profanity.
You know, it's funny how things seem to have come full circle for me. My first thread on the forums here was decrying what I perceived to be a downfall of the single player experience, and now a year later the magazine is about that very topic. I started gaming on single player games, and I have always enjoyed them more than their multiplayer counterparts. Now, I'm not saying that I don't ply multiplayer games; I have been known to put in a couple hours on CoD4 or TF2 myself. But these days I find myself refusing to buy a game that has no single player elements. I always get annoyed when games like Overlord or its ilk tack on a random multiplayer addition that makes no sense, just to sell more copies.
But my problem isn't just multiplayer games, it's online only multiplayer, and multiplayer to the exclusion of single player. My favorite games growing up were Perfect Dark and Super Smash Brothers. Games I could sit down and play on my own and enjoy, or pick up a controller next to my siblings or friends and enjoy it just as much. But as someone that grew up without internet fora long time, single player remains one of the most important things in my gaming life. Shadow of the Colossus, Breakdown, Devil May Cry. All list in my favorite games of all time, and all of them have no multiplayer elements. Could they have them? Sure. Breakdown could have had a deathmatch mode tacked on. DMC could have thrown in a versus mode. But they didn't, because the designers chose to focus on the single player.
As much as I love the social experience of online gaming, I always come back to sinking my teeth into a good single player RPG, FPS, or other epic sort of game.
I had a my few years of multiplayer gaming, but I will always be a single-player at heart.
I started out young with adventure games and indeed maths-based games (like this or this!) but never had the opportunity to play multiplayer games beyond two player Atari games until the internet was in full swing in the 90s.
These days I'm always glad to see good single player games, because it reminds me of the reasons why I became a gamer in the first place, for those amazing experiences you can't get from other media.
Oh, Russ. We all know you usually scream like a girl. It's ok, we still like you! On a serious note, though, this issue is gonna be great! I'm an avid solo player, and only ever play a few multiplayers, and rarely online.
Ya I agree with that. No matter how much entertainment MP games provide, there are always things I had to get by playing singleplayer games. I've myself had many experiences that were to unique to singleplayer games. Playing Doom 3 in a completely dark room was something totally different from killing terrorists in cs or cod4. It just had to be experienced that way.