Is The PS3 The Single-Player Console Of Choice?
I only just recently realized that there may be a bigger gap between the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 than previously recognized, and it has to do with the software. Or rather, the intention of that software.
Personally, I have never been into online multiplayer and I rarely get involved in online matches in any game. For one, I simply don't have the time and I've also noticed that those who really get involved tend to get hooked, thereby missing out on some of this generation's most memorable experiences. For instance, I know several people who just can't stop playing either Modern Warfare online - they played the original from the time it was released until now, and have switched to MW2 - and in the process, they completely ignored the likes of Killzone 2, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Batman: Arkham Asylum, inFamous, Assassin's Creed II...you know, basically the best games of the generation thus far. But even if I do have more willpower than these unfortunate souls, the concept of online multiplayer has just never appealed to me and I seriously doubt I'm the only one. And that being the case, I tend to get really annoyed with games that are expressly made for multiplayer with halfhearted attempts at a single-player campaign tossed in.
I played Left 4 Dead 2 last night and not only did it reaffirm my belief that Valve is a worthless developer that hasn't bothered to innovate in a decade, but it also stunned me with the realization that most Xbox 360 exclusives seem to be exactly like this: a lame, almost non-existent single-player campaign and a robust online multiplayer mode. I'm going to play Halo 3: ODST next and I get the feeling I'll find the same thing, although at least that might be semi-entertaining. Really, the only major 360 titles I can think of that boast awesome single-player campaigns are the Gears titles, which absolutely rule. But is that all? Is the last bastion of single-player goodness falling into PS3 exclusives? Uncharted 2? The excellent campaign in Killzone 2? Heavy Rain? God of War III? The Last Guaridan? I can't wait for Alan Wake, either; perhaps that will be a 360 game that might actually satisfy a lone gamer.
I suppose my question is this: would it be accurate to say the Xbox 360 seems entirely dominated by multiplayer-fueled titles while the PS3 is the only console left that hasn't forgotten that some of the most memorable experiences in this hobby are enjoyed alone? The Wii is all about multiplayer, too, of course. I have no problem with this social gaming boom and I think it's getting a hell of a lot more people involved with the hobby. But this fixation is starting to really hurt the single-player aspects of certain games...or should I say, certain titles that might be exclusive to the Xbox 360. In the future, I'd love to see a separation: i.e., split popular franchises into different games, like Final Fantasy XIII is for the single-player and Final Fantasy XIV is for the online multiplayer. Like we've got MGS4 and MGO. Something like that. Because obviously, multiplayer has become a very big deal and it's tough for devs to focus on both elements.
But even so, I'm still ticked off. I really wanted to love L4D2; I had heard such great things about it. But without the multiplayer, it's a total waste of time. And you know, a lot of the 360 games I've played are like that. Not that it's a problem, per se, but it is for me. And it's in stark contrast to the groundbreaking exclusives on the PS3 side. Don't you think?
12/29/2009 9:48:58 PM Ben Dutka