Waiting to Respawn: Don’t Take The Story Out of Multiplayer

"Last week, Bitmob staff writer Rus McLaughlin pondered the usefulness of narrative elements in multiplayer modes in his piece “Multiplayer Doesn’t Need A Narrative.” You can probably guess his stance from the title.

McLaughlin admits that certain games have incorporated stories effectively into their multiplayer concepts, like Max Payne 3’s evolving conditions for each session of Gang War mode or Assassin’s Creed: Revelations’ use of unlocking cutscenes. Overall, however, he finds that the structured, linear nature of most multiplayer match types seriously bogs down their ability to extend a title’s life towards infinite play.

That’s the core argument he postulates – single player is a finite experience while multiplayer is an infinite experience. Both have merits but ultimately serve different needs in selling a game, and thus, don’t really need to intermingle very much.

But are they really that different? Can you really label any part of a game as strictly “finite” or “i...

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