And now let’s talk about single-player titles, with complex narrative elements, closer to the world of cinema than to video games.
If multiplayer games are pure adrenaline and team play, good singleplayer titles provide several elements that will take the player to impossible worlds. They make him the star of adventures of all kinds and, on many occasions, entertain him with a level of visual quality that is often impossible in a multiplayer game.
It is likely that we will soon regret some of these statements, as the level of new-generation hardware begins to blur the line between “scripted” and open-world titles, or with giant maps (as is often the case with multiplayer games), although it is currently hard for an exclusive online title to compete with giants of the calibre of God of War in technical terms.
The defenders of the single player have more than a few arguments to position themselves; there are elements such as surprise, suspense or a good storyline that only single player titles can provide.
There are epic moments that it would be impossible to recreate in a multiplayer game. The narrative has been part of a complete game experience since Zelda became Zelda and, over the years, has brought the world of video games closer to literature and film.
While it’s true that there are genres that especially benefit from narrative, such as RPG or adventure, it’s undeniable that without those movie storylines it would be impossible to enjoy the same way the latest Tomb Raider, the Uncharted saga or, soon, the new Spider-Man.
It’s also true that there are elements that pale in comparison to the possibilities offered by multiplayer games. For example, once we finish a title with a powerful narrative load, what are the odds of playing it again? There are always options to increase the difficulty, the classic New Game + that changes elements and increases the level of challenge…
But going through the same dialogues, the same situations, at least in a short period of time, is unfeasible. Even some players find it boring to compete against CPU-controlled characters (of any kind); the challenge posed by a human player is unmatched and by no means repetitive. Although it’s also true that with the recent Dark Souls trend and the like, the single player mode has brought a level of challenge that nobody was used to and has brought out a lot of titles based on the mechanics used in the From Software saga. Although many of them also allow multiplayer online gaming…
Many are the cases of titles that have been designed with one way in mind and have ended up opening their options to the other at the request of their followers, the community or the times we live in (here we are referring to the e-sports revolution, of course).
We have mentioned the Uncharted saga, which has always based its gameplay on narrative, but had no choice but to open its possibilities to an online multiplayer mode with the arrival of its second instalment. Among other similar cases we find the Ultimate Team mode used in the FIFA saga or, directly, the fighting genre (with the Street Fighter saga at the top), which, from elbowing our friend in the arcade, has led us to fight with opponents from all over the world via the internet.
If you like the world of video games, it’s easy to find incentives to play both multiplayer games and single-player titles. If you prefer an explosive, long-lasting experience in which your level is measured every second of play, online games will put your reflexes and your ability to the limit. Spend months upgrading your character, acquiring upgrades and becoming the best player you can be while you enjoy fast-paced games in which you compete against humans. If you’re looking for “calculated” experiences, narratives that rival any Hollywood super-production, a scripted gameplay full of surprises, you’ll love single-player games.
Our choice? Don’t close yourself off from any genre, from just one of the two mechanics mentioned above: enjoy the best games and keep the best of each one.