mellowed outlaw biker, ex Long Island, New Yorker, voracious reader of heavy stuff, writer, computer geek, PC gamer, electronics technician, military veteran- US Army 1973 to 1976 active,1976 to 1979 reserves, worked my whole life until 2008 when i retired because of my health, married 35+ years same woman, no kids- i don't share my toys well, high-end stereo gear fan/owner, multi style of music lover & collector, WWI & WWII military model builder, anime lover, love strange art and film, amateur historian, college graduate X 2, Zen Buddhist, long time Left leaning non-Hippy law and order Liberal, very opinionated based on education and thought not what i pull out of my butt, own & adore 3 cats all adopted strays, most beloved dog friend, Rottweiler, just passed on 3/2011, have 2 Harleys, many scars including gun shot & stab wounds, tattoos, and many cool stories. life has been a huge adventure that i enjoyed all the way through, even the bad stuff after time healed it all.

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Blog RSS Feed Report abuse Latest Blog: Will single player games ever see a serious revival?

0 comments by Batushka on Apr 28th, 2011

I love single player. My favorite games have always been first person shooters. Just me against everybody and everything! My next favs are combat flight and driving sims. I do like games like the GTA series as well. Online gaming, eh! Not so much!

My first less than gratifying experience with online gaming came with Battlefield 2. After spending 2 days and 200 attempts to come up with a user name nobody else had, I was finally in! For a few seconds anyway. This was before the publisher had included Punkbuster and players were so heavily modded that unless you were in somebody's clique you were toast as soon as you appeared. By the time it was rectified I was pretty well over it.

Next came an invite to participate in some Rainbow 6 games. Two players felt their skills far exceeded that of the rest of us so as soon as the game started they killed everybody else on their team so they could compete with just the two of them. Big fun for me there!

Other online gaming experiences were also kind of frustrating. It seemed most players fell into two camps: they were either juveniles with all the bickering, name calling, hissy fits, and attitudes associated with pre-pubescent males when parental supervision is absent or they were over the top world class players who were way too good to even try to compete against. Some of the latter group also demanded commitment to rigorous gaming schedules and time commitments to participate. In between the two were the annoying "Nuke the Noob" cliques and gangs. The skilled players in flight and driving sims are just so good it's almost embarrassing to even try to play around them.

So, I get I'm older than most gamers and many gamers’ parents as well. I don't really think that alone makes me less than enthusiastic about online gaming. I do get all wrapped up in games and many are the days I started playing at 5 PM and the next thing I know the sun is coming up and I just spent 12+ hours wandering around fighting, looting, exploring and having a grand old time. There are other times I will start a game, get smoked fairly quickly, and then quit until I am more in tune. I may be lost in a tunnel and am frustrated trying to find my way out so I try once more to make my way out, fail, and say "Screw it!" exiting to try again in a day or so. I may start a game and company arrives so I exit out to visit with my guests. Being something of a night-owl my entire life and with insomnia as my new close friend, I may start gaming a 3 or 4 AM or later (earlier?)! And again, I may go 10 minutes or 10 hours.

I have a 1.5 TB drive on my PC and currently have some 37 games installed. I may jump from one to another as the mood strikes. I may stop playing one for a month or more before continuing. And mods- I love complete modding to put a new face on an old game. I've played the original STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl at least 10 times both original, tweaked by me, and with every complete mod I could find. I've played other games through again and again siding with different factions, playing the good guy, playing the murderous jerk, or whatever. I've spent more time in free play mode after finishing some games than I did playing them.

I'm also leery of online only games because of the here today- gone tomorrow nature of game publishers. Remember Auto Assault anyone? Even successful games like WoW may well be more versatile to individual style of play but first, I don't care for the theme and second, I don't like monthly subscription fees.

Regardless of how I feel like playing, when I do it in single player it's different. I'm free to try all kinds of things, to get fragged frequently, to play an hour or 20 hours. I'm free to lose interest or get in way too deep. And what I do doesn't affect any other human controlled player! I can hone my skills, do stupid stuff, whatever I want and reloading a previous save erases all bad stuff. In single player I can choose when I want to play. I don't have to pass anybody's skill assessment, listen to headache inducing bickering, I don't have to get beat up and fragged until the other players decide to leave me alone. I don't feel the need to prove anything in real-life and I certainly don't in the virtual world. Even the people who do treat me with civility, I don't have to feel obligated to play on a team or be there as long as they need me to.

But, over the past near decade it seems everything in PC gaming is pushing more and more toward online play. Single player is almost the afterthought multi-player once was. Homefront is a great example- it sure is a great game but single player is like the 10 minute cartoon they used to show before a feature presentation. It's simply much too short! I know when I do game shop fewer and fewer games seem dedicated to single player in any depth. I wouldn't mind if I could access a much huger online world in a single player mode, but that's wishful thinking.

I hope that single player gets a revival eventually. I'm not against online gaming and multiplayer or even 64 man teams like Battlefield 3 boasted of. I just can't imagine 64 people playing on a team and nobody getting ticked off at somebody else or that the experience will be pleasant for all 64 members. Maybe after the game is out for awhile and leagues or teams form there will be harmony. That just goes back to what I said earlier about trying to get in on something when everyone else is way better and the consequences there from. Now, give me single player and a 64 member great A.I. enemy army to take on with appropriate cover to work from and weapons to work with- that's a game I would love and would cause me to see many sunrises from my computer desk!

So, what do you think about single player? Should it remain a strong part of gaming or is it disappearing in favor of online gaming?

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