On Multiplayer

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I really don't get people who can play end-game content and games like Counter-Strike over and over and over again. Nothing ever changes and nothing is ever achieved.

For the same reason people play chess, cards or football. Because competition is fun.
Its FUN, remember that ? Fun, what we used to have before gaming felt like a second job.

i do really hate some of the ppl i meet in an online game, like the 14 year old douce bags who think they are better than everyone and attempt to insult you, and theres the internet gangsters, the 6 year olds who should not be playing an M rated game at all, for the most part, people online suck ass cuz they just wanna start an internet fight, or they are cockey dildo's. but there are a few really cool ppl to meet, and the actual gaming experience can be rather fun, i love MW2 online, its just the ppl fighting (who i use the nifty MUTE button for) and the insufferable ammount of campers. but really, online is fantastic

I disagree ENTIRELY with what you said about MP. I think MP should not be a bonus, but rather an integral part of the game ON PAR with SP unless the game was designed with one or the other in mind.

Good article, Yahtzee, but maybe during the 'dry' gaming season when pretty much nothing is coming out, you could do multiplayer reviews. Like Team Fortress 2. I didn't see that in your Orange Box review.

Although i enjoy campaign more than multiplayer and i too like to see a conclusion, online multiplayer seem to be a necessity these day's, developers are getting lazy and making very short campaigns which is then in turn bolstered up by multiplayer, which without would make a very disappointing game that is an afternoons work.
I play Call of duty 4 online, but I've gotten to lvl 55 and i have no interest in trying to get all the gold weapons or whatever, so the entertainment value is starting to wear thin, the only reason i come back to it is that there is nothing else for me to play, i cant afford to go out every week and buy a game that ill finished in an afternoon or the next day at the max.
So when it all comes down to it online is the only option, sure i could go out and socialize but im a gamer, apart from talking about games or bashing religion, conversation with me is quite dull.
When ever a possible i try to by a game that will last me a long time, like RPG's, that's the only time i feel im getting real value for money. Fallout 3 was one i went all over the map finished every mission and then called it quits at 60 hours, as well with oblivion i clocked 160 hours before getting a new game, That is what i like to see a game that last for along time and is still enjoyable, not dev's saying "Fantastic multiplayer modes YAY!! and some campaign thing"
What i want is a good solid single player campaign that is long but still enjoyable, and sure why not throw multiplayer in for good measure.

congratulations if you can make sense of this.

Yhatzee, a while back you reviewed Left 4 Dead, which focused entirely on it's multiplayer aspect. Left 4 Dead did have single player, but this was obviously just tacked onto the game. You seem to believe that the single player in Modern Warfare 2 is also just tacked on. If that's the case, then why would you review the multiplayer aspect of Left 4 Dead but completely ignore the multiplayer in Modern Warfare 2? Both games had a single player that was just tacked on. Both games focused far more on the multiplayer. So why did you only try the multiplayer in Left 4 Dead?

Also, who the hell are all of you guys playing with online? I have never had a huge problem with assholes in online multiplayer. Most people just want to enjoy the game. For every asshole I have played with I have encountered numerous people who do nothing to agitate me. This idea that the online communities of video games suck seems to be grossly exaggerated.

Good article, Yahtzee, but maybe during the 'dry' gaming season when pretty much nothing is coming out, you could do multiplayer reviews. Like Team Fortress 2. I didn't see that in your Orange Box review.

He did review Team Fortress 2 in his Orange Box review, albeit it briefly. Speaking of which, why did he bother with Team Fortress 2 of it's purely multiplayer?

I'm sure someone has burst this bubble already, but...
Half-Life: released 1998
QIIA: released 1999
Unreal Tournament: 1999
Counter-Strike Beta 1: 1999

Half-Life 2's sales were surely bolstered by anticipation of CS:Source (certainly true in my case) same way the Orange Box sales were enhanced by Team Fortress 2. I don't think Half-Life demonstrated anything about internet multiplayer that wasn't already donning on the rest of the industry.

In my opinion, Yahtzee's desire for conclusions to his gaming experiences shows a propensity for a linear, literary quality compared to the more open, architectural experiences appreciated in good multiplayer gameplay.

I like online multplayer because AI technology sucks compared to actual people.

Oh there's a disclaimer on MW2 that loads in when you pop it in saying that Activision can pull the plug on the multiplayer forever and without warning.

I guess the Single Player HAS to stand up on its own now.

What about Team Fortress 2? Surely it isn't bad, you said so yourself.

But then again, the game is constantly changing. So in any case, you are right.

It depends on WHERE you go to get your online gaming experience.

Now in FPS territory, I agree with Yahtzee completely. Especially in MW2 - yes, the online portion being flooded with too many experienced players IS a valid reason to dislike the multiplayer. If I want to have my spirit broken, I need look no further than my bank account. And this is something that a lot of critics agree on. It doesn't make the game invalid - I loved the first game just for it's campaign, and it's sequel just as much.

That's weird seeing as they have those amazing Matchmaking features to let you play against people with the same Skill as you...
It was one of THE main reasons to drop Dedicated Servers for PC after all to offer a better experience for all the "casual" players out there xD

Also like to add the extreme lack of multiplayer respect with aimbots and wallhacks, Steam and such may have a big banhammer, but they always miss a few.

That said, I love a good storyline to a game, hence I'll play L4D2 with friends, if you do this and follow the campaign, it all fits oddly together, and some of the quotes are just priceless.

Cod4 was fun in singleplayer, same with MW2, but I wonder what can they do next? Future Warfare, eat space marine plasma!

I don't like multiplayer because I really don't care if people are better than me at a video game. Plus most of them piss me off when the physics of the game are more like suggestions than hard rules (ie every fps ever and most fighters). Shotguns are notorious for working at long range one minute and being loaded with peas when right beside someone the next, and I can't tell you how many times I stopped playing Halo when I die to someone who had the same gun as me and started shooting second.


But they weren't AI. That's the point. They were thinking humans acting stupidly and you took advantage. That kind of gameplay would be slow and unstimulating if they really were bad AI. But those are humans who are having human reactions to getting punk'd over and over. Sure they're being idiots but who doesn't enjoy picking on idiots?

Now, would those strategies have worked on AI? Probably not, because there would be no reason to use them. If it were in the campaign, that would happen every single time you played the missing without variation. Humans may be predictable but they do learn.

Your trying to tell me that I'm going to have a new experience everytime I play multiplayer. But I'm not because the people are stupid and tend to do the same stupid things over and over and over again. I honestly haven't gotten variation in this. Even the people that are good tend to react in the same way. They tend to stick to the same strategies that worked for them in the past.

for example... I came across a crew that picked a place to camp. One would take out targets at range while two would take out targets at close range. I have come across that same gameplay battling across many different crews and strangers playing with each other. My method to kill this is by the use of grenades with suppressive fire.. I never changed my method since it always works.

If I was playing with the same group of people every match then yes I can see your argument. But I don't have that type of time. So I end up playing with strangers who does the same stupid crap who isn't able to learn. I don't see the difference between this and bad bots.

Personally I always preffered singleplayer even in games like Unreal Tournament. I happen to have UT, UT 2004, and UT3. I actually played UT2004 online once then realized people weren't as much fun as the bots.

I also have TF2 which came with the Orange Box because I was determined to make it through Half-Life 2 (I still haven't because the game just wasn't fun enough for me to keep playing unlike Portal). TF2 would've been so much better if it would've had bots. I tried playing online then 15 minutes in I realized I wasn't having fun and promptly shut it off.

Point being if you're going to have multiplayer make sure to include bots for those of us with an intense dislike of our fellow human beings.

Point 4 of this article speaks particularly loudly to me. Granted I did purchase Quake III and a couple of the Unreal Tournament games, I didn't get as much out of them as I would have something with an actual story to play through.

I also notice there hasn't been an Unreal game period in what three years now? Quake went back to having an actual story with Quake 4, which I personally enjoyed. I'm glad to see these the multiplayer only games disappear. Having one or two on the market is fine as long as they are well constructed games but the huge flood of them in the late 90's almost turned me off gaming period.

So basically, even though I have more or less the same restrictions as Yahtzee, I still play online games. Apparently, "I'M A REETAARD"

I play MP but only TF2 and L4D2,why?Because i know they will still see FREE updates in at least months from when im playing them.TF2 was released late 2007 and is STILL getting major updates,I just don't understand,it's only $20 bucks and the updates are free.

Oh and there is a small fallacy with who you play with, if you choose to play with randoms they can generally be shit and you lose even if you're playing exceptionally well,if you play with a clan then people will find cookie cutter tactics and it will get boring.The best online games are where EVERY tactic shines.

And i disagree entirely with your opinion that all games need single player,why?One word,Team F-3 words Team Fortress 2.It is amazing multiplayer,but it would be the shittest game on earth if it had single player,really how would single player for a game like that work?

I'm gonna disagree with you there Yahtzee. I don't mind games that focus on multiplayer.

I dislike games that focus on multiplayer whilst ignoring the single player. UT2004, although primarily an online shooter, still has plenty of offline character.

@ 300lb Samoan:

thank god someone said it. If anything Half-life marked a tailing off of the proper single player shooter - a point nicely illustrated by all those lovely MP only games that came after it and that were spawned from it(don't forget TFC as well!). Incidentally, this also totally destroys the point Croshaw was trying to make by mentioning Half-life in the first place. Poor research. If he's that muddled, he obviously doesn't have an appreciation for the succession of the games one would get from actually having played them at the time. You can't try and comment on something you didn't experience first hand by not doing research and trying to bullshit your way through. You will slip up, and you will get called out.

I'd say that other developers were still catching up with the lessons from the first Half-Life by the time its sequel came out, in fact.

As to the rest of the article, it successfully points out (once again) that playing MP on consoles with pubbies is shit. Whoop-de-doo, that's hardly a revelation. Seriously, how many times has this point already been made? The rest is just opinion.

I think yahtzee needs to be a little more open minded, not all multiplayer games/gaming is as bad as he makes it sound, even here in Aus things can be pretty good. I'm living in the state below his and I seem to be able to find good servers with little lag most of the time, I also have several friends who I regularly do my online gaming with.

That's the key to making the experience enjoyable, is having actual friends who you can do it with because yes trying to play multiplayer with random assholes online is NEVER going to be fun. Yahtzee not being able to do that for review purposes is perfectly reasonable though so people shouldn't give him a hard time about it. I cant imagine Yug and Matt would go out of their way to buy every game he reviews with multiplayer just so they can play together and make his job easier.

Only big multi-person teams of reviewers can really do that so the MW2 fanboy he quoted is pretty much a straight up moron.

you say; 'i get shot by fifty people and never get a kill, because everyone knows the levels'

While this is SO true, I think you should have put it into your review, then maybe IW would do summat about it, wouldnt that have been more constructive?

Also; no dedicated servers...change that fifty, to five

p.s. even though MW has a better multiplayer, WaW has a much more mature, non-douche and jockless fanbase, its a shame the gameplay is not as strong

i wish people would put more work into single player and just put multiplayer in there for a quick game. more solo less multi

(I'm not reading through 200 replies to see if any of this has been said yet, so I apologize in advance if it has)

I have to say, I completely disagree. Sure, if you prefer single player, then of course the game must focus on a strong single player game with multiplayer as "a nice bonus". However if you enjoy multiplayer games, then whats wrong with wanting a game that has been specifically tailored to multiplayer? A lot of the best multiplayer games don't have single player at all, and they don't need it, they're for people who enjoy multiplayer.

As for this idea that all people are shit, it's simply not true. I've been a multiplayer gamer for a long time, and honestly I meet more decent people then I do douchebags. It's simply the age old problem of the douchiest people also being the loudest, and thus getting severely over represented in peoples perception. Anyone can seem like the majority if they're loud and obnoxious enough while the decent folks are relatively quiet and well mannered. (of course this also depends on which game your playing, as different gamers attract different sorts of gamers)

In conclusion, if you're all about the single player, thats fine. Game are played for enjoyment sake, so if you enjoy it, play it. Just don't go telling those of us who love multiplayer that we shouldn't have games custom tailored to our enjoyment just because they aren't your thing.

So you sucks at games? Fine by me. One less nub on the Internet.

Not gonna go over the points others have handed out (to which some I agree and others I do not), but I do see where Yahtzee is coming from.

I also play most games Single Player only because I'm much more invested in the story itself rather than the actual "shooting", which is exactly the reason why I didn't care much for MW2.
However, as much as I do appreciate the Story-telling, deep details and rich worlds built to explore, I still find myself from time to time looking for an experience made only on adrenaline rush which I can only get while I play multiplayer games. Of course it means that the game has to be good enough for me to care for our teams advancement and sadly for me the only game where I actually enjoy the multiplayer is Team-Fortress 2 (probably because of the rich diversity in classes, abilities and game types, which I haven't really found to be great in Modern Warfare 2).

So, I understand people that want pure single-player experiences to explore a new world which was created for them to escape the monotonic world (Just like reading books, listening to music or watching movies) and I understand the other kind of people who prefer the multi-player part of the rush that it brings when you get invested in your winning. (to the point of multi-player games being repetitive I can only say that I never had to expriences which were the same playing in the same map with the same group of people (just one round after the other) and that the rush itself from playing gets as boring just as the feeling you get from being drunk, after a couple of times whats the point? it's "the same", right?)

Part of the reason I prefer the older games like C&C TD/RA1/TS is that their great games in SP alone, the MP is a bonus. Games that can't stand on their own in SP arn't worth having.

I wonder why he doesn't differentiate between competitive and cooperative multiplayer.

I hardly ever play ANY form of competitive multiplayer(Modern Warfare 2, Counter Strike, etc) yet I regularly play Left 4 Dead, Left 4 Dead 2 and LittleBigPlanet.

I play competitive games in a cooperative manner. Rather than playing Dawn of War 1 or Dawn of War 2 against my friends I always team up with them to beat the AI enemies we have to face.

Competitive and cooperative multiplayer have differing appeals and play styles.

edit: Forgot about point 5. I guess he has to make some more friends!

In case you read comments:
There are 4 types of gamer:
Spade: likes to explore the game, find easter eggs, uncover every corner
Heart: Likes to chat with other players, is there for the social aspect of the MMORPG
Club: Wants to kill things. Loves farming/grinding.
Diamond: Wants to earn rewards, recognitions, trophies, titles, etc.

I love a good multiplayer game, but singleplayer is much more important to me. It's nice to see that someone else likes singleplayer enough to write an article about it, even if that someone is a foul mouthed, overweight, Australian Ordinary Person (and what does that equal?). Of course, I say that with all of the love and happiness that the internet can give to any one individual.

Hey jtesauro,

While I'm not the professional you asked for, I would like to give some advice that might help you out.

I saw your post and thought about people's dilemma in dealing with objectivity. Since you are reviewing the game from your perspective, there will be people who will find something to argue against but that is Ok. It was Yahtzee that said, in his Mailbag Showdown episode, that "it's worth remembering that all reviews are subjective, personal opinions." You can't be expected to write a review that will please everyone and their mum since each person will experience a game differently.

Its good to remember that a review is an argument about a game. You are making a specific claim about the game that you want to address, as opposed to reviewing every single detail about them.. Writing the review will not end the conversation but give birth to more arguments as time and people will find new ways to analyze the game.

My advice is to construct strong, valid arguments in your reviews that you are willing to defend. Just like how Yahtzee still encounters opponents to his opinion and addresses them in his Extra Punctuation article, you too will have to deal with the occasional Devil's advocate. Just makes sure your arguments are concise so that your readers know your stance. Remember, you want to convince people that your argument is reliable and that you know what you are talking about. Otherwise, they may pull at your logic if they find any flaws.

Hope this helps.

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 ...


There are some interesting things you mention that helped put somethings I have thought about in perspective:

2. Because of time restrictions.

A few times I have tried to play Travain, a free-to-play online browser game that's concept always interested me, but I was put off by the time commitment you had for the game. Mostly because the game was an RTS where you gathered and build things in real time and I mean literally REAL time. If you had to wait 3 hours for your resources to build up, you had to wait 3 hours for it to build up.

Is Travain that one with the Romans, Gauls, and ...erm, some other lot? I played that for awhile before getting annoyed as my village was repeatly raped for resources by other players.

Yes it is, and the main reason I stop playing it was what you said. I got raided by some other players that called their town "Peaceful Village" like every single day sense I lose the protection shield.

I suppose I could have still tried and survive where I was but it was just so irritating being surrounding by other people who just saw me as a hot spot for loot.

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.

What about the people that haven't got a Internet connection (they still exist).

And while we're at it, what about people with dialup? They're still the majority of internet users in the US, and a significant chunk of gamers, to boot. I confess I don't know about the rest of the world's statistics, but with North America being one of the big markets for gaming, and FPS being largely aimed at the West, it seems important enough.

They're shafted in this, too. And I think all around, the community suffers for it regardless. It's more or less like the whole "User created content" bit. They give us a few tools and say "have fun" and rely on us to make our own entertainment instead of actually filling the game with content. Multiplayer-focused gaming often takes a similar approach, because they can skimp on content, charge us the same amount, and rely on us to keep ourselves entertained with borderline interchangeable gameplay.

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