Competitive multiplayer gaming is now a multibillion pound industry and the biggest and best multiplayer games have enthusiastic gamers queuing outside stores for days as they anticipate the latest release. It seems as though whenever a game is revealed, there is always one thing which many people seem to say, “It looks good but, does it have multiplayer?” Gaming these days has become so diverse that classic gaming series’ have now had to alter their gaming experience in order to accommodate the huge demand for multiplayer. I don’t believe that most games these days require dedicated multiplayer features as games have so much more to offer than playing with your peers and competing to be the best on a competitive level.
This past week saw the first glimpse of the Tomb Raider multiplayer being released and has had mixed reactions from the public. To me, the multiplayer looks like most action/ adventure games which have catered for multiplayer including Uncharted and Red Dead Redemption. It features some well thought out ideas including a pick axe to help you reach higher ground but you can also use it to gain kills. The multiplayer trailer has been largely overlooked by the gaming community who believe that Tomb Raider is merely trying to copy Uncharted which is understandable as both games contain the same type of gameplay.
The main problem is most people don’t like change. The phrase ‘If it’s not broken, don’t fix it’ rings true to many gamers and this is due to a trending pattern to the games they are used to. Tomb Raider being the prime example of having a vastly successful single player game from the mid-90’s until the latest Tomb Raider’s multiplayer was revealed. Everyone is used to Lara Croft taking on anything that is thrown at her alone but now it seems to have gone down the route of Uncharted. Tomb Raider has built a huge fan base thanks to being a defining series on the Playstation One but the multiplayer will no doubt put some of these fans off as they only want to play as Lara and not as some random character that has upgraded their armoury to have a golden gun and Prestiged 100 times.
There is no evidence, thus far, to say that the multiplayer will be a complete failure. It is the thought of change which is weighing Tomb Raider down. In my opinion, the same happened with Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood and perhaps due to the focus on multiplayer, the game felt stale and uninteresting compared to Assassin’s Creed 2. I’m sure there are many gamers who play Assassin’s Creed 3’s multiplayer mode as there has been a season pass available to download so it has some degree of interest from the community.
Exclusive single player games are a rarity these days and that is something which shouldn’t be overlooked. Being so immersed in a game that nothing around you seems to bother you. The atmosphere you crave as you believe you are in this virtual reality is something which is so unique that it defines gaming. You can get lost in multiplayer gaming but it is almost like playing the same level repeatedly as you get used to maps, locations and what weapons work best. One of the main reasons I believe why games such as Tomb Raider shouldn’t have multiplayer is simple, single player is what they do best.
The hardcore competitive multiplayer community mostly play the same games religiously including Call of Duty, Battlefield, FIFA and GTA IV and need something else to play until they have the urge to return to their favoured multiplayer game and that’s what I believe games such as Assassin’s Creed 3 and Tomb Raider will be. For the past few years, Call of Duty has ruled online gaming and broken every record in the book. When I ask my friends or people in the gaming community, almost everyone is buying it for the multiplayer and this level of dedication from so many people cannot be matched by a game merely adapting to the competitive multiplayer.
I firmly believe that we have never had it better in the gaming industry than we do in this current generation. Although some developers have disappeared, the variety of games we have is excellent. I feel that this current trend of having multiplayer in games which have made their name with brilliant single player campaigns needs to stop. Call of Duty and FIFA control the competitive multiplayer markets, games such as Max Payne 3 may seem to have a great idea when the game is first released, in terms of competitive multiplayer but in all honesty, they all seem to be the same. Single player games need to keep us enthralled on a story telling level and forget the dreams of overtaking Call of Duty as it seems that day will never come.