Singleplayer Vs. Multiplayer

I came across a forum post about a week ago where the initial poster was saying that “today’s generation of young gamers are scary.”  He didn’t understand it when he was told by kids that “SP is boring in games, it is all about the MP.”  It’s truly unfortunate that this is becoming more and more common place but at the same time I understand exactly where these kids are coming from – single player IS more-often-than-not really quite boring!!  There is nothing motivating the player to want to continue except for the drive to “see what cool looking thing comes next” or to see the next “cool looking cut-scene”.  The average gamer (especially teenagers) nowadays will toss aside or ignore the SP in a game so that they can get online and play MP with their friends.  Obviously FPS are at the forefront of this movement, this “shift” toward what will soon become MP-only games.  Even RPG’s are headed this route thanks to MMORPG’s but thank god the market is still thriving with single player RPGs – for now – as games like Dragon Age have recently proved.

What is to stop a first person shooter from taking elements of an RPG and creating a truly engaging storyline where you not only experience the same exhilaration and fast paced action you would as if playing MP, but at the same time are immersed into a storyline that makes you think and actually wonder/care about what comes next?  What is to stop a FPS game from existing that works like a good, serial television show – except being interactive at the same time?  I say NOTHING and I personally believe a lot of people, like myself, are craving for these kinds of games to make a re-emergence… to feel again like we are playing inside of a unique and fulfilling story.  It’s unfortunate that most FPS  nowadays can be  made (and make shit loads of money!) with very little creativity needed… as instead all they do is focus everything on programming and art to improve upon realism.  Realism?!  I don’t care for or want realism… I want to be immersed into a world outside of my own!  Not feel like I’m apart of what I read in the news every day!  The old “throw money at it and it will sell” ideology that Hollywood thrives on (I’m looking at you Mr. Bay!) is unfortunately taking hold within the gaming industry as well.

I personally love to play single player FPS and have played just about anything that has come out in the genre over the past 10 years.  While there have been some great single player gems over the years (Halo, Deus Ex, Half-Life 2, Bioshock to name a few), they are slowly becoming the outcasts… the “rarities”.  The problem is that with every new game I purchase, I’m seeing more and more of the exact same thing – the single player side of the games are being largely neglected, the story almost non-existent, and yet the graphics (the visual shock/awe value) increases exponentially to the point where you see INSANE amounts of money pumped into hiring 500 artists to build the most realistic and pretty game they possibly can.

I think the recent financial success of Modern Warfare 2 is an indication of where we are unfortunately headed and so I’ll use it as an example.  In my opinion MW2 has one of the most useless story lines I have ever seen in SP… considering the “cut scenes” between missions, the story could have been interchangeable with a thousand different things and could still keep the missions themselves exactly the same.  BUT the settings were incredible and some of the action they created was really quite exhilarating.  So while it may have given me an adrenaline rush and I may have said to myself “holy shit that was cool looking” over and over… there was no use of my brain required.  It’s like smoking crack… you get a rush from doing it but then after the rush subsides you realize there was NO substance to what you just experienced and you just feel tired more than anything.  For that matter it’s exactly like watching movies such as Transformers or 2012.  Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer is admittedly flawless in a technical sense… but to what end?  The fun is no longer coming from a cool story that “pulls you in”, but rather from the exhilaration of doing essentially the exact same thing over and over but in a thousand different ways.  Co-Op I think is at least a step in the right direction – as Co-Op single player campaigns can often combine the best of both worlds.  I can’t express how much fun I had playing through the Halo, Gears of War or even Left 4 Dead campaigns with friends.

In the end what I’ve said here is nothing new – multiplayer specific games have always had their place in the FPS gaming world with games like Unreal Tournament, Quake 3, Counterstrike, Tribes, etc, etc.  The main point I’m getting at is this: things are getting worse and something needs to be done.  Why can’t we have the best of both worlds in our FPS? Give us the exhilarating and non-stop pace gaming experience (MP and SP!) along with an immersive and unique storyline!!  If everyone made FPS games like this, maybe then we’d see the current generation of young gamers actually enjoy playing single player again!  If we keep going in the wrong direction and a focus on MP games packed with only the latest graphics is what makes the most money… publishers will take notice and MP-only FPS games will completely take over!  We can’t let that happen!

What is on the other side?

On December 10th, 2009 the anomaly was exploited for the first time, thanks to iDGi-1.

I was fortunate enough to be the first person to experience this “alternate dimension” and have since been attempting to gather my thoughts on just what it is. I had hoped to return to work on January 1st so that I could more closely monitor all of your experiences – but unfortunately an urgent personal matter came up which forced me to stay close to home.

We decided to open the portal to you, the public, on January 1st and have since been able to gather an overwhelming amount of information. I have only just returned to work today and our writers are bursting with new ideas for ProjectB6 – our intended purpose of allowing this portal to act as a tool for our team to create a wholly unique gaming experience is working beautifully. We owe this entirely to you! Thank you!

We still don’t fully understand what this other dimension is (and I use the term “dimension” lightly as we truly have no idea just what it is). We are certain, however, that this alternate dimension exists within a time outside of our own. As I am sure others will attest, it is a true out of body experience… very surreal. We are not “traveling” in any normal sense of the word, but rather it seems our consciousness is being transmitted into a wholly alternate world. A world which is clearly being monitored by someone or something that insists on calling us “seekers” and acts in a very child like manner.

We have been specifically interested in and monitoring any and all objects which have been brought back from this other dimension, into our own. So far we have been unable to decipher the purpose of these objects and what their connection is to the entity on the other side. It is for this purpose that I have opened a, Twitter page, where we will be sharing our revelations with you. On top of this, I am officially making my personal email public for anyone who may have any questions or concerns regarding their own experiences within the other dimension.

Vidal Desertch : vdesertch@interdimensionalgames.com