You all know that I love me some co-op. In fact, more often than not, I’d rather play co-op over some kind of versus multiplayer. To me, there’s nothing quite like jumping into a game with your friends, and playing alongside them while you chat about how things are going or how much better you are at everything. Not that I do that… often.
Anyway, I’m one of the biggest proponents of co-op appearing in most games, but it doesn’t mean I want there to be a death to single player as we know it. In a recent interview, Patrick Redding, the multiplayer director of Splinter Cell: Conviction, had some interesting things to say about playing games solo.
I see this co-op as fitting within a trend or a tendency that I think is emerging – actually it emerged a long time ago, but I think it’s just moved into the mainstream – which is that before, co-op was a relatively hardcore gaming paradigm for people… They don’t want it to be a solitary experience, they want to be able either to sit on the couch with their girlfriend and play, or be on Xbox Live with their best friends and play, and feel that something is unfolding according to some design intention, and they’re getting a chance to experience that but it doesn’t have to be that alone.
While I’m not saying this spells doom for single player gaming, it’s a telling perspective from someone inside the industry. No doubt this is why we see single player games getting multiplayer add-ons, or why Splinter Cell: Conviction only has a 5 hour solo campaign. Don’t get me wrong, I am dying to play the co-op, but it did surprise me to hear that the solo was so light.
So what do you guys think? Do you agree that nobody wants a solitary experience any longer? Personally, I see a place for both, and I don’t see why they have to be mutually exclusive. Tell us your thoughts.