Playing Games Everywhere!


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Where modern multiplayer gaming went wrong.

I constantly try a lot of games, a lot of those games end up being multiplayer games. I have somewhat of a slight "problem" with current multiplayer games of this generation though, and this issue seems to be only getting worse.

I remember watching the battlefield 4 presentation during this years E3, the one in which multiple EA Staff members were playing the game. One player was playing as a commander, others where communicating game relevant info to each other. They worked as a team. As I was watching this thing, I couldn't stop thinking: NO ONE PLAYS LIKE THIS!

It was quite funny but frustrating at the same time. Sure, it "seemed" like the style of playing portrayed during the presentation is what modern combat games are intended to be played as, but that type of actual game focused interaction hardly ever happens anymore. The only way you will get to experience playing like that is by joining a clan and hoping you team up with players who commit to at least try play the game as intended.

To put things in perspective, imagine if yourself visiting your local basketball court. You decide that day you wanna play a couple of games with friends and unknowns. Everyone is ready to start the game, it's 5 vs 5 full court action. You start the game but as soon as the game starts, Johnny and Pedro start doing cartwheels around the court. Dave is singing loudly in your ear and jumping like a bunny rabbit. Others are talking in a corner. You say: what are you guys doing?!?! And the response is: I PAID 60 BUCKS FOR THIS GAME JUST LIKE YOU DID AND I CAN DO WHAT I WANT. And that's the mentality. Welcome to modern Gaming.

I remember back in the days of the PS2 era sometimes. When I played the absolute best online experiences, the greatest shooter I've ever played was Socom 2. That game, along with the absolute best MMO that I've played "Everquest Online Adventures" have set such a high standard for everything else I've played that they have basically ruined online gaming for me.

After witnessing the unveiling of the new Everquest Next game, I can honestly say right now that there is no mmo out there that will ever compare to that EQOA game. H-Hour is coming out so there is hope for Socom yet.

I often wonder what was so different about those 2 titles from current games that just cannot be replicated by anything out there. I've come to the conclusion that nothing is out there that's half as good as those games back in the day not because there isn't the skill out there available, it's just that the mindset of people and primarily developers has changed.

Publishers and dev's want as many people as possible to play their game, it makes sense. They want your money. In that need for everyone's money comes the high price of wanting to please everyone, which is impossible. And in wanting to please everyone, every game now has a completely toned down difficulty and a Jack of all trades approach to design.

I remember back in Socom 2 that when you died. You are dead, it's game over till the next round that was it. A lot of times you went out there just hoping you didn't end up dead, you had to team up a lot with others to actually be walking around at the end of the round and not watching others play. The game rules downright enforced team play. Playing a clan wars made your palms sweat.

In EQOA, when you went out there to explore you really explored. Enemies your level were actually dangerous and there wasn't "quest helper" mods for you to run on a ps2 to help you out. You preferably killed things in a team and were expected to play your role as best as possible. Due to this team based approach, excellent design which made the world feel like an actual world: you could walk from one end of the continent to the other without loading times, and other great decisions which enforced the style of play there hasn't been a game like it.

Today's games are just too centered on the current individualistic mentality that plagues todays society. If you look at the past 7-8 years, multiplayer games that have been highly successful money wise completely cater to an individualized style of play like World of Warcraft and Call of duty. Playing Wow for example is like playing a massively singleplayer game. You really don't need anyone for almost anything. Publishers know this.

SOE announced that that there will be 40 classes in their game you can "unlock" and you can combine abilities from one to the other. That along with the Landmark "make your own maps" and weapon gems and so on and so forth will basically guarantee that almost everyone you talk to is someone you won't play with again till their done doing all of that crap.

I sincerely think that if there is any hope for amazing multiplayer games whatsoever, it will have to come from indie devs. Big game companies think too much about their income to have the guts to make games like that anymore.

Today's definition of multiplayer basically means that they are other people who "interact with you" as you play, not necessarily that they are "playing" with you it seems.

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Ravenor3048d ago

SOCOM had plenty of people who did their own thing, I don't feel it's incredibly different from something like Battlefield or Planetside 2 in that respect. Just like SOCOM, you won't win if no one is acting like a team and trying to take objectives.

Also playing WoW by yourself is a great way to have a bad time and miss half the content. You can't raid, do dungeons etc without working with a group of people. I would also enjoy watching someone play Arena's with a solo mentality.

I understand, I had a great time playing SOCOM 1/2 too (I was more of an FFXI guy than EQOA) But the reason I had such a great time wasn't because those games involved some gameplay secret sauce that doesn't exist anymore, it was purely the people I played those games with that made them fun.

_FantasmA_3047d ago (Edited 3047d ago )

I blame Halo for the downfall of multiplayer shooters. Regenerating health and a weakass 2 weapon limit are some of the stupidest things to ever be in game, and yet they became the standard. Why??

zerocrossing3047d ago

Halo did well to popularise console multiplayer shooters, but the problem is most multiplayer FPS's still haven't developed much past the original formula and are still using tired old game mechanics purely because they are proven to work, instead of trying to push the genre further like Halo did in the first place.

Raf1k13047d ago

Standard FPS mechanics were toned down with Halo to make it more friendly to play on a console. Those giant circle crosshairs weren't seen previously as far as I can remember.

Making games easier makes them more appealing to the masses which helps them sell more. This increase in sales leads to more dumbing down to get as many people buying as possible because publishers want more money.

When someone does try and change things a little like Killzone 2s slower paced multiplayer (which I thoroughly enjoyed) people complain about it instead of adapting to it like they would have in the past so the devs go back to simply recreating another online Halo or CoD experience i.e. Killzone 3 multiplayer.

Garrison3047d ago

I agree with you on that and furthermore I would say that some of the decisions that went into Halo's mechanics actually make sense given the character being played. (Shields and such)

I think the problem was that all of a sudden every game went on to implement those features into their games whether they actually fit with the content or not. A normal us marine getting hit with a couple of AK-47 shots to the face? Don't worry well just blur your vision a lil bit and then have you back on track son!

Halo 1 did have giant crosshairs, shields and all that stuff but it somewhat compensated all that with the astounding AI it displayed at the time. Playing that game on legendary is quite the challenge even today.

_FantasmA_3047d ago


Yeah I always hated that giant circle crosshair. WTF? How can anyone aim with a circle the size of a golfball. I have the assault rifle because of that. I really don't know why everyone adopted the 2 weapon limit. They say its for realism, then they add regenerating health?? LOL that doesn't make sense.

And Halo 1 was decent, but it was hardly original. The first thing I thought when I played it was "this is Half Life on consoles" That doesn't make it bad game, but it was just another Half Life imitator that got way too popular for its own good. Even the needler was copied from that homing particle gun from Half Life.

Nicaragua3047d ago

It sounds to me like the difference is in the type of games you are playing. games like SOCOM and Counterstrike encourage cautious gameplay where you watch your team mates as by doing so you can gain knowledge of the enemy.

Modern shooters have respawns so that cautious style goes out of the window, also games like COD dont have fixed spawn points which removes the tactical element - and these type of games are the mainstream.

But there are games which fit that older style of playing, they just arent as numerous. The most recent example is The Last Of Us multiplayer which is superb. Small teams, minimal respawns, very tactical.

OhMyGandhi3047d ago

what's funny is that there was a splinter cell article I posted in not too long ago, and I felt the same way.
"I miss the old 2v2 spies vs mercs format, with the limited amount of players at one time, it really made teamwork a damned necessity.
I miss Pandora Tomorrow/Chaos Theory so damned much. Those games were so damned fun, the maps so well design, and the atmosphere of an online match more tense then anything I've ever played. When one teammate baits a merc into a closed area, allows you to grab their neck, hold them in a headlock while their merc buddy tries to shoot at you, and for them to also be grabbed by your spy partner, then both of you snapping both of their necks at the same and disappearing into darkness...there is no greater feeling.
It's like a deadly game of hide and seek, and it showed me what incredible potential online gaming could be, what experiences it could provide...It was an exciting time to be a gamer".

I would expand those experiences to include Burnout 3: Takedown, Crimson Skies, Socom 1 and 2, and Rainbow Six: Black Arrow.

I would, like others have mentioned already, chalk it up to having damn good friends at the time. Xbox Live was a brand spanking new service at the time, and everyone who joined, did for the right reasons. They wanted to see what the "fuss" was all about. My xbox live friends were on almost every day, and something as simple as cross game chat made it easy to hook up and play whatever, even while sitting right at the dashboard. I've had about three or four good friends on PSN that have stuck it out, and others that haven't been online in ages.

weirdly enough, I think the paid membership of Xbox Live forced people online, because they wanted to get every penny out of the annual fee, and you had only the most committed console gamers that stayed with you for hours on end.

I just haven't had that experience. Times have changed. As long as we have me-too shooters that emphasize 50+ players per team to magically work together, we won't have what made multiplayer of yesteryear so damned appealing: intimacy.

I've had loyal friends play halo, usually filling up one entire team, as hours went by without notice, but playing games like COD, Battlefield, and so on, I just don't have it anymore. So many people on PSN, and PC don't have mics to speak their minds, and engage in casual conversation. Subsequently, the tone is overly serious, and plays almost the exact same way every time, with nothing being said to lighten the damned mood.

Garrison3047d ago

I believe you have a point there. There seems to be such a push for tossing in as many players as possible. That along with other factors play into why we have certainly "lost" some great experiences that were already there back when this whole multiplayer thing started.

Tetsujin3047d ago

I agree with the author; when I was on FF11 there was this word called "teamwork" and if you didn't play as a team, nothing was accomplished (Especially with Dynamis runs with 40+ people and you HAVE to pay attention). Now it's 90% run/gun with the occasional friendly fire (Which is irritating), and more trash-talking than actual communication to win a match. Don't even get me started on players who live on the forums more than playing the game(s); especially those who take pics and post stupid comments, and some who join matches just to troll other players and find it funny to YouTube it.

My biggest piss off however with online multiplayer; Ninja looting. I get so tired of people grabbing equipment for trophy purposes (or to sell) over someone who actually needs it, oh and extra credit for ninja looting then logging out/disappearing once the player obtains the items. Defiance did a good job having players only see their drops/loot over seeing what everyone else obtained to prevent this.

Don't even get me started on players who k/d (Kill/Death ratio for those who didn't know what that meant) is more important than actually competing the mission objective.

caseh3047d ago

'Don't even get me started on players who k/d (Kill/Death ratio for those who didn't know what that meant) is more important than actually competing the mission objective.'

If you're playing Team Deathmatch, k/d is the most important stat. Its no good running with players who don't know their head from their arseholes and come out with 5-20.

Outside of that it can sometimes indicate how proficient someone is. Someone with a high k/d who is always in the midst of the action is a player you want on your side. It can however, be skewed by players who only ever snipe for example but you can identify these types players quite easily in games.

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