Monday, 13 February 2012

"There's no multiplayer"

When I was writing my review of Hard Reset, I noticed that some of the existing reviews criticized the game for not having multiplayer. You know what? That's stupid. Really stupid.

Hard Reset is a single-player game. This fact has been known since well before the game released. The developers decided they'd rather try to make a strong single player game than a game with mediocre single and multi. That's a perfectly reasonable approach, and I commend them for not just halfheartedly slapping on a gimmicky multiplayer like some other developers do. Not to mention Hard Reset is half the price of AAA titles.

If we knew in advance that Hard Reset wouldn't have multiplayer, why is that a negative point in the reviews? No one criticizes Skyrim or Metro 2033 or Zelda for not having multiplayer. No one criticizes Team Fortress 2 or Counter-Strike for not including single player.

In fact let's look at this with a hyperbolic analogy to show just how ridiculous it is. Let's say I'm going to buy a car and two things catch my eye: a flashy convertible for $30,000, and a cool motorcycle for $10,000. The motorcycle has better fuel economy and fits my budget better, but I decide to buy the convertible because the motorcycle doesn't come with an optional roof. That's stupid. Motorcycles just don't have roofs. No one expects them to because it's not a thing they do.

So why would a reviewer play Hard Reset and whine that it doesn't have multiplayer? If what you want is a multiplayer game, why would you buy a single player game and then complain that it's not what you wanted?

The unfortunate fact is that a lot of people place far too much importance on multiplayer, to the detriment of single player games. I'll follow up tomorrow with another little anecdote and rant that happened after I reviewed Battlefield: Bad Company 2's single player campaign.

1 comment:

  1. To quote Yahtzee "a game should be able to stand up on the single player alone".

    However, thanks to certain military shooter franchises, I guess it is easy to understand the opinion of "it's just not a first person shooter without multiplayer".

    Too bad they're wrong, but I at least understand how they got there. Sort of.