Hello, Sushians. I’ve come to give you very bad news: single player video games are nothing more than a gimmick. I know, this may come as a shock to you. What, with games like Dishonored, XCOM, Deus Ex, Skyrim and Batman: Arkham City gracing our screens over the last couple of years. I mean, it’s easy to be fooled by these great titles with fantastic mechanics or engrossing stories. But you really should know that playing by yourself is a gimmick.
At least, according to Gogogic CEO Jonas Antonson. Antonson has a few thoughts about single player titles in a recent interview that might not be too popular around these parts:
“I also think that it is worth to note that the single player mechanic is a gimmick – games are meant to be played with others and it doesn’t matter if it’s in-person or online. The first games were designed as multiplayer experiences, but when computer and console games became a thing there was a need to construct an antagonist and/or a protagonist for commercial purposes.”
Antonson goes on to talk about how toddlers make up someone to talk to when they play games, and even points at the “high score list” in arcades as a way to make games social. I understand what he’s saying — on one level, playing a game in a social setting transforms the entire experience. It’s nice to compare experiences with other people in a meaningful way, as we’re seeing with a game like XCOM. But on the other hand, I think it’s too much of an overstatement to say that all single player titles are inherently gimmicky by not including a social component.
So what do you guys think? Is this WTF worthy? Is Antonson off his rocker in his assessment of single player as a gimmick? Does every game need some kind of social component in order to truly matter? Go!
Source – Games Industry
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.
Woah. So Uncharted 2 is one incredible game. If you have been on the fence about getting a Playstation 3 (or a PS triple, as some would say), you no longer have any excuses. Go out and get this game right now. I’m being serious. There will be punches if you ignore me on this.
Now that that’s out of the way, on to what I was really trying to say. This morning I finally finished this fantastic game, and I found myself sad to see it over. Most of the time when I beat a game, I usually find myself excited about my accomplishment, being able to move on to something else. It’s only with movies and books that I get sad during an ending. Which really says a lot to me about the quality of Uncharted 2’s storytelling. In fact, I was so engrossed throughout the whole game that it was often hard to put the controller down. On nights that I needed to go to bed earlier, I would purposely avoid the game because I knew once it was one, it was go time.
Honestly, I can’t really remember the last time that a game struck me with that same sense of “holy crap I can’t put this down”. For a single player game, it’s certainly been awhile. What about you guys? When was the last time you suffered from “can’t put the controller down” syndrome?
In the case of Gamers v. Sackboy, pertaining to whether his game, called LittleBigPlanet is fun or not, the jury has reached a verdict. And the verdict is GUILTY!
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