This last week has seen the head-to-head launches of two distinctly different AAA titles. If you’re a gamer you know all of this already, don’t you? But for those less involved these are the games:
MAG (PS3) – Does what it says on the box art: Massive Action Game – an online only Multi-Player (MP)with up to 256 players online in the same game with no Single Player (SP) campaign/story.
MASS EFFECT 2 (Xbox 360) – A Sci-Fi Role Playing Game adventure in Single Player only.
What these two huge releases demonstrate is how gaming has changed in recent years – the polarity of SP and MP. Before the popularity of the online MP experience games used to rely on the quality of the SP story. Then as Xbox LIVE and Playstation Network have matured, multi-player is threatening to exterminate the need/importance of playing solo.
Take Modern Warfare 2 – with an SP campaign of less than 6 hours, it’s success comes from the desire to spend hours, days and weeks of involving combat to unlock all of your perks and gain Prestige after Prestige. MAG (similarily to SOCOM) expects you to devote yourself to teamwork and gaining objectives with your fellow gamers to get the most out of it. Whereas Mass Effect 2 is hoping you’ll become so immersed in the vast universe of Sam Shepard that hours will disappear without a thought of a MP Deathmatch.
Let’s see who ‘wins’ – from the sales (and popularity) of these titles in the coming weeks.
So will gaming becoming a pure multi-player experience in the future as less and less developers and publishers see the merits of spending time (and money) on the single player story? Especially when they seem to think most of us just speed through them while waiting for our mates to come online for a Team Deathmatch or 20.