On Multiplayer

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How true. I always pick up games for the single player. Like you say, the multiplayer is just a nice bonus if tacked on to something that's good individually.

And, yes, fuckwads abound in every corner, especially within the nooks and crannies of the gaming world. Although they aren't really nooks or crannies, they're big open spaces filled with dicks wearing headsets.

I'm in the same boat. I've tried multiplayer with a friend a few times, but you're right, you come in and before you can even get your bearings 50 people who play that game's multiplayer 5 hours a day slaughter you. And just waiting for the fucking game to load is boring, you're just stuck in a lobby with a bunch of braying morons having a pissing contest about their skillz. It's like, dudes, you don't have to take this shit so seriously. Congratulations, you mastered killing newbies in Halo, what else have you done today?

I also have always thought multiplayer should be a bonus feature, not the main selling point, but I hear so many people perusing the game stores constantly concerned if a game has multiplayer, and if it's anything like Halo's/COD's. Would it really hurt to try something new?

comadorcrack:
And yet. I come back to Team Fortress 2. The greatest multiplayer game ever created. Because no matter what your skill level. You'll never be left out of the fun. ""

Team Fortress is shit

Caliostro:

littlerudi08107:

Left 4 dead did have a single player mode with AI bots you idiot. And it was a lot better than playing online with other people.

Sigh... Why do I bother.

Yes, it has an offline mode with bots. And the bots are stupid as hell. Playing Expert with bots (specially on the second iteration) is about as fun and functional as stabbing yourself in the kidneys with a spoon. The game is clearly meant to be played online with the offline mode being more of a "ok, if you're a socially inept bag of suck or just wanna dick around with sv_cheats, play this". Valve have mentioned that before.

You can play most online games (say, counter strike) and modes offline and with bots alone, thus rendering your entire point null.

Wow, you're the coolest guy on the forum.

Caliostro:

littlerudi08107:

Left 4 dead did have a single player mode with AI bots you idiot. And it was a lot better than playing online with other people.

Sigh... Why do I bother.

Yes, it has an offline mode with bots. And the bots are stupid as hell. Playing Expert with bots (specially on the second iteration) is about as fun and functional as stabbing yourself in the kidneys with a spoon. The game is clearly meant to be played online with the offline mode being more of a "ok, if you're a socially inept bag of suck or just wanna dick around with sv_cheats, play this". Valve have mentioned that before.

You can play most online games (say, counter strike) and modes offline and with bots alone, thus rendering your entire point null.

Maybe people just don't want to shell out the money for Xbox LIVE but want to try out the game anyway. Besides in every Left 4 Dead game I played, no one ever talked to eachother, that's the reason why the characters had automated responses like, "Pills here!" Besides I find the bots to be way more helpful than my teammates ever were. Just because a game is meant to be played a certain way doesn't mean it should be.

How is my point null? Everyone I've played with online has never been helpful. Only choosing to heal themselves and keeping all the guns to themselves.

I totally agree. When a game's main selling point becomes its multiplayer, it reverts back to shit like those budget titles where the campaign sucks. Oh wait MW2's campaign did suck. Well thats a little unfair. It was good but way too short. I think the only reason IW made the campaign was so they had a legitimate reason to make a MW3, which I predict will suck.

Amen Brother! Sing it! Screw Multiplayer!

littlerudi08107:

Maybe people just don't want to shell out the money for Xbox LIVE but want to try out the game anyway. Besides in every Left 4 Dead game I played, no one ever talked to eachother, that's the reason why the characters had automated responses like, "Pills here!" Besides I find the bots to be way more helpful than my teammates ever were. Just because a game is meant to be played a certain way doesn't mean it should be.

How is my point null? Everyone I've played with online has never been helpful. Only choosing to heal themselves and keeping all the guns to themselves.

I find that people will often remain silent in Left 4 Dead unless someone else is actively using their microphone (which is usually me). Ever since I started constantly using my microphone, I've almost never ended up in a game in which nobody else talked. So if you want people to talk, try talking more often. It worked for me.

I've never been much for multi-player myself, and titles that are nothing but multi-player can go die in a fire for all I care about them, so I echo Yahtzee's sentiments that it's a damn good thing the Quake 3/Unreal Tournament era didn't have all that much influence on future releases in the long term. Many of his complaints are the same ones I have (the best part of online gaming (people) is also the single worst part because people suck), but the real reason I can't get behind anything without even a flimsy pretense at a story is the sheer pointlessness of it.

By that I mean that the only point to the multi-player only game is to (ostensibly) have fun doing [activity] - for all the graphics and added complexity, you might as well be playing multi-player Tetris (with a bunch of ignorant racists who try to spoil your fun whenever possible). I literally can't find titles like online-only shooters to be engrossing because, in my mind, they're just a really advanced version of Pac-Man. Multi-player only titles are high tech throwbacks to the olden days of video games, where titles were defined by their mechanics and everything else was just window dressing.

Obviously games should be fun, but without a narrative framework offering me some semblance of purpose for engaging in those virtual activities, I might as well be playing a game of catch (with mip-mapping and added violence!) - sure it's fun for a while, but it's hardly worth getting obsessed over because it's still a bloody game of catch.

To phrase it another way, multi-player gaming is essentially sports without any of the positive benefits from exercise, and while I might enjoy playing some softball every once in a great while or what have you, I find anything but exceedingly casual interest in sports to be utterly baffling and bizarre (and don't get me started on games that are simulating playing actual sports!), so I understandably feel the same way about their video-game equivalent.

Except the Battlefield series, which really has no single player component, but is truly an excellent game (built around multiplayer).

Gildan Bladeborn:
I've never been much for multi-player myself, and titles that are nothing but multi-player can go die in a fire for all I care about them, so I echo Yahtzee's sentiments that it's a damn good thing the Quake 3/Unreal Tournament era didn't have all that much influence on future releases in the long term. Many of his complaints are the same ones I have (the best part of online gaming (people) is also the single worst part because people suck), but the real reason I can't get behind anything without even a flimsy pretense at a story is the sheer pointlessness of it.

By that I mean that the only point to the multi-player only game is to (ostensibly) have fun doing [activity] - for all the graphics and added complexity, you might as well be playing multi-player Tetris (with a bunch of ignorant racists who try to spoil your fun whenever possible). I literally can't find titles like online-only shooters to be engrossing because, in my mind, they're just a really advanced version of Pac-Man. Multi-player only titles are high tech throwbacks to the olden days of video games, where titles were defined by their mechanics and everything else was just window dressing.

Obviously games should be fun, but without a narrative framework offering me some semblance of purpose for engaging in those virtual activities, I might as well be playing a game of catch (with mip-mapping and added violence!) - sure it's fun for a while, but it's hardly worth getting obsessed over because it's still a bloody game of catch.

To phrase it another way, multi-player gaming is essentially sports without any of positive benefits from exercise, and while I might enjoy playing some softball every once in a great while or what have you, I find anything but exceedingly casual interest in sports to be utterly baffling and bizarre (and don't get me started on games that are simulating playing actual sports!), so I understandably feel the same way about their video-game equivalent.

I feel exactly like this! Mind you, I can appreaciate how exercise makes you feel great and excited about a particular sport. But I digress.

I have no problem with the fact that some people enjoy games that are multiplayer only. Getting something like Modern Warfare 2 and expecting single player focus after all the reviews and comments that have stated its focus is on multiplayer is like buying bread when you want milk.

Akalabeth:

comadorcrack:
And yet. I come back to Team Fortress 2. The greatest multiplayer game ever created. Because no matter what your skill level. You'll never be left out of the fun. ""

Team Fortress is shit

Its good to see poignant arguments being put forward with valid reasoning behind them.

Sad Robot:

fluffybean4:
I dont understand why everyone takes the people are shit thing so seriously. Maybe you have to be British and cynical like I am to get it ...

This is sort of what I thought. Well, yeah, internet is srs bznz but come on. This is comedy. It's done in the form of a game review but it's observational humour about games and gaming culture and cultural phenomena related to what ever game is being "reviewed". It's like watching your favourite stand-up comedian or whatever. You watch it because of their take on things, you like the style of humour, the way they perceive things. You may not agree with their views entirely -- surely no one bases their world view entirely on some comedian -- but it's all a bit of a laugh and sometimes, depending on the comedian how often, they make great observations that stick with you. Zero Punctuation is, funny, intelligent, high and low brow and more often hit than miss. It's not really a review although it can give you an idea of whether or not you'd like the game. That's not to say it's any lesser in any way than a review, just that it's function is different; if you want something detailed, methodical and more conclusive, then I suggest you have a look at the real Escapist reviews -- yes they actually have those -- or reviews from some other site or magazine or show.

Um... cool?

Or just play the single player.

It's absolutely absurd to see the number of people parroting the idea that multiplayer is a "bonus" when you see hundreds of thousands of people playing COD4 all the way up until the release of MW2.

Single player does NOT have to stand on its own, a game doesn't HAVE to have single player. A game HAS to be fun and enjoyable to a segment of the population larger than the developer. And clearly a popular game can do that by having fantastic multiplayer even if certain reviewers deign not to discuss it because they're too busy. Imagine, "I saw the first half of 'The Crying Game' and it was meh."

For the record, I hate multiplayer in every game other than the MW series. But clearly Yahtzee (and many posters) have strayed from multiplayer for a bit too long. "Ragequit" has a negligable effect on the game (at least on 360) because they do host migration. And being trounced the first time you enter the fray is mostly true but isn't sound logic because it's fun to kill others in games, even if you die in the process. Unlike other FPS games you can actually kill people easily in MW2. This isn't Halo where your first hit lets the person know where you are so they can turn around and annihilate you. Infinity Ward went to great lengths to make sure if you get the drop on someone... THEY WILL DIE!

I've handed MW to a friend who rarely plays FPS games, and he not only got a few kills, but had a really fun time doing so.

Next, if people are shit, then isn't it fun to kill them in a game!?

Also, WTF is up with needing narrative/conclusions for everything, some games are games of skill. Two teams, one beats the other. Jocular ass slaps all around for the victors! I guess we'll never see a Madden review from Yahtzee.

Also, was PacMan fun? Joust? Rootbeer Tapper? Galaxa(sp?)? I guess those games weren't fun at the time.

Also Also, this is from a guy who likes the Guitar Hero style of games, where's the narrative/conclusion there... hooray you've played all the songs that exist.

A few good points in the article (1, 2) follow by bollocks.

badump tsh! Kind of the reason why I play single player games.

I like the 3rd point a lot, as well as the fourth.

I never play online

comadorcrack:

Akalabeth:

comadorcrack:
And yet. I come back to Team Fortress 2. The greatest multiplayer game ever created. Because no matter what your skill level. You'll never be left out of the fun. ""

Team Fortress is shit

Its good to see poignant arguments being put forward with valid reasoning behind them.

Why? your own argument is completely baseless. The notion new players are having just as much fun as hardcore veterans.

In fact I've never understood the appeal of any Valve MP Game. The only thing worse than TF is Counterstrike, bunch of identical guys using the same silenced assault rifle.

I'm not really one for multiplayer at all but the Valve-created stuff is particular unappealing and why it's got such a mob of rampant fanboys is beyond me.

Ah, Yahtzee. Your refreshing negativity encourages my own withdrawal from multiplayer. It's only a matter of time, you know... JRPGs almost never focus on multiplayer... *drone voice* JOIN US. JOIN US.

fluffybean4:

Um... cool?

Sorry, I didn't mean to sound like I was attacking you; I think I was agreeing with you, I just went off on a rant and your post triggered it.

I quit WOW at level 58 as well.

Sorry Yahtzee, but Team Fortress 2 stands by itself perfectly fine, mind you the characters and, weapons, and maps are so original, many people have made amazing movies and videos of it, so you might count that as it's single player.

And come on, everybody is an asshole? That's cynicism to the point of cartoony. I'm a bit nihilistic in my nature, but to say everyone is stupid just makes look shallow and telling of my personal short comings. Just saying, don't go so f**king overboard.

Ha! Ha!

I agree that you shouldn't justify a shoddy single player game with promises of a thriving online multiplayer environment. Online multiplayer is a thickle friend and will soon have you questioning the very fabric of human civility.

Really, your friend had fun getting pwned in MW2? Does he also like to play against pro NBA players so he can get posterized by them? Excuse, but that is an asinine reason to tell people to play multiplayer. MW2 should have ranked matches between players like TW2. Its why I never had fun Call of Duty online; always getting lvl 55 people who can snipe me with there pistols. You don't see college football players having to suddenly play against the Patriots during there schedule and that's how I feel when I, who has a job, can't play all day memorizing the map and have to be made a fool of. Thanks but no thanks.

Here are the standings of my percentage of time on MW2:
Singleplayer:5%
Online Multiplayer:1%
Splitscreen Multiplayer:94%

I reaaaaaly like to play this with friends in the room, but online gamers take the fun out of it. I like splitscreen because the friends with me are fun, and the game just gives us something to do.
One contributing factor is that unlocks in splitscreen do not ****ing count in online.
Didn't find this out until 10 hours of splitscreen had been accomplished.

Yahtzee Croshaw:
Extra Punctuation: On Multiplayer

Yahtzee explains why multiplayer isn't the most important part of a game.

Read Full Article

Online shooters the meat of the fighting is the same since doom, only stirred up by the CTF games of Quake.

Shotgun, run forward, run around someone shoot legs. If they figure out how to counter your chargetardness. Cry camper.

Tequila Shot:
Really, your friend had fun getting pwned in MW2? Does he also like to play against pro NBA players so he can get posterized by them? Excuse, but that is an asinine reason to tell people to play multiplayer. MW2 should have ranked matches between players like TW2. Its why I never had fun Call of Duty online; always getting lvl 55 people who can snipe me with there pistols. You don't see college football players having to suddenly play against the Patriots during there schedule and that's how I feel when I, who has a job, can't play all day memorizing the map and have to be made a fool of. Thanks but no thanks.

Honestly I play to enjoy myself. And when i meet the professional gaming dork and they cry about something like grenades, 203's noob tubes, rpg's and bits of the game they can't handle....

I use the shit out of them. To listen to whines.
Their entire idea of it is Rock paper Siccor, but I demand you take out one so we with tie or i win.

A sniper is vunerable to grenade launchers or just being snuck around on, that's what you do.
A machine gun needs rifle men to keep people from killing the operator so it's rate of fire pins the baddie so they can be flanked ect.

So if you hear about someone crying about blind nades, Marty kills ect...do it and enjoy. Your there to have fun, if you get pwn'd it's like losing the special olymics. So your not the MOST retarded person on the field...hey. And it feels so good to listen to someone demand you not use anything that beats his cheap ass tactic then shove it down his throat till he understands to mix shit up and not just use that tactic.

And you'll enjoy the game.

Agreed a thousand times over.

To use the example everyone knows I'm going to use anyway, Halo 3 felt very much like they had spent most of their development cycle on the multiplayer, and not the campaign. As such, the campaign was too short, and the multiplayer was far too prevalent.

It made me sad.

#5 is the main problem with multiplayer.

A game has to be excessively well balanced and cheat-proof to mitigate #5. Most games don't want to take the time.

I enjoy playing some multi-player every know and then, but I agree Yahtzee that multi-player shouldn't be the most important part of a game. I personally think multi-player should be looked down upon as extra content that comes with the game, not the main course.

In point three, Yahtzee gives a reason why people would spend hours on end game content (to challenge themselves/prove skill), yet says he can't understand why they would do it. Forgive me if I overlooked some small argument, but that seems a bit... stupid.

Regardless, even though I am one of the "skill" gamers, I agree with most of Yahtzee's points. I don't really get any personal gratification out of beating a twelve-year-old (most of whom still laugh every time they hear the f-word) at a game where health bars are so low luck plays as much of a role in success as skill, getting killed by the same "teammate" 17 times in a row is just plain frustrating, and, as Yahtzee said, most of the time you lose because the other person has more time on his hands than you and plays the game religiously. Some games are even starting to give out rewards for doing so. As if they didn't already have an advantage. And if you want to challenge yourself, replay the game on hard mode. If that's enough, do something silly, like avoid using grenades. Or buy a harder game in the first place.

That being said, I do have fun playing multiplayer when there is a friend in the room. However, in addition to Yahtzee's complaints, I don't see why I should pay to have fun with my friends when I can easily do that for a much lower price, if I have to pay anything at all. The fact that so many games use multiplayer as their main attraction sickens me.

Too true. I have only ever really enjoyed multiplayer when I was playing in the same room as my 'friends'.

I hope Yahtzee knows it's possible to mute players in the multiplayer portion, it's common practice with the large amounts of children feeling the need to...say anything. I would say the biggest portion of shit talking began in Half-life (with it's eventual implementation of Voice communication.) and the extremely popular modifications that came out of it, so at this point, anybody with a microphone talking stupid shit over the internet is commonplace now.

But ah, let's not forget, he has to play and review new game by the end of the week, because he's a professional game critic. Tackle one point that he talked about, and we forget about the other four.

I have to say that I have had that mindset since I was a little kid. While multiplayer can be enjoyable, your ultimately paying 50 or 60 dollars for a game that YOU will mostly be playing so developers should put forth a wee bit more effort into their single-player campaign (coughhalocough).

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