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105 comments

  • Z-man427 - December 2, 2012 6:17 p.m.

    The problem with tacked on multiplayer is that it's tacked on. It's not well thought out. It's not well developed. Don't defend poorly made multiplayer.
  • clearlight20 - December 3, 2012 9:55 a.m.

    What are some examples of "poorly made multiplayer" that is "tacked on"?
  • Iamsam3 - December 2, 2012 1:41 p.m.

    I mostly buy games for the single player campaign so it does not bother me if they have a multiplayer mode. I think that Dynasty Warriors type games would benefit the most from having multiplayer modes. One downside to a game's multiplayer is that it has a habit of becoming irrelevant long before the game does. I doubt that anyone who is still playing Overlord II and Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2, like i am, will be able to find that many people to play against online .
  • Zeta789 - December 2, 2012 1:27 p.m.

    I think this article could have been pretty good, but the examples are all wrong. The only tacked on multiplayer of the games mentioned were the ones on Deade Space 2 and BioShock 2. Mass Effect 3, Uncharted 2 and Assassin's creed: Brotherhood all had top notch teams working for a lot of time on their multiplayer modes, so it's not really surprising they turned out quite good. Not to be an asshole, but I'll urge you to read this excellent piece by Ben Kuchera to know what happens when multiplayer modes are REALLY tacked on to games that didn't need them: http://penny-arcade.com/report/editorial-article/we-play-alone-together-why-conventional-wisdom-about-single-player-games-is That's what really happens when you put multiplayer on a game that doesn't need it. It takes time off development of the single player modes just to get another item to tick on the back of the box, but then nobody plays it, and it was time wasted that could've gone to polishing the single player experience.
  • GR HollanderCooper - December 2, 2012 5:11 p.m.

    I'm working more under the idea that many consider any MP additions to SP games to be "tacked-on"
  • Z-man427 - December 2, 2012 6:26 p.m.

    That's not what tacked on means at all. Tacked on really refers to welding when you just quickly tack the pieces of metal together just to hold them while you do the real weld that will bond the two pieces. A tack weld is an unfinished weld. By that token, tacked on multiplayer is nothing to be defended. It's unfinished, poorly made, not thought out. Most of your examples buck that. Most games start as singleplayer affair with multiplayer. So what you just said makes it seem like all multiplayer is tacked on (read: poorly made, unfinished). But that's not the case. The trend I'm seeing more seems to be the reverse with games starting as multiplayer and then the developers realize that they need something to market and it's hard to produce trailers without a story. As a singleplayer gamer, that's very frustrating and annoying. Singleplayer more and more feels tacked on more than multiplayer does.
  • Meleedragon27 - December 3, 2012 4:11 p.m.

    In all fairness towards Mr. Cooper, when multiplayer is announced for a game that previously didn't have it (such as the examples Coop provided above), a lot of gamers are gonna assume it's tacked on and/or will compromise the single player significantly. Kind of justified, really, since the MP for a lot of these games, even if they're deemed pretty good, will often die within a year, making the whole thing feel like a waste.
  • t_skwerl - December 2, 2012 12:13 p.m.

    Much like a lot of angry gamers, I was livid when I heard Mass Effect 3 would have multiplayer. "Yeah, that'll work about as well as Dead Space 2." Then, I heard it would be co-op and went, "Hmm." Now, 9 months after release my manifest says I have about 700 hours playing it. I am not a multiplayer fan. Never have been. For a "simple horde mode" it has a surprising amount of depth and a lot of options.
  • dcobs123 - December 2, 2012 10:52 a.m.

    If the developer has a unique idea for multiplayer mode then it's fine by me. It just annoys when games are stuffed with unnecessary content to extend the their playtime or to attract the masses, and that goes for multiplayer and singleplayer. A lot of times I find myself wanting to replay certain games but can't bring myself to go through tedious sections like fetch quests.
  • RonnyLive19881 - December 2, 2012 9:27 a.m.

    I think those examples you gave were franchises that were always destined to have multiplayer BUT due to production costs, not knowing if the game would become a hit and a production deadline the first title(s) didn't see multiplayer implemented. They weren't tacked on, they were probably being developed during the development of the first games BUT due to lack funding and time they had to save their ideas for the next possible title. With Uncharted it is painfully obvious.
  • FlameChucks76 - December 2, 2012 8:24 a.m.

    I know this is all ultimately opinion against opinion, but I can't help but feel like the writer of this is being rather simplistic with the argument. To say that games like Dead Space 2 or Mass Effect 3 didn't suffer due to multiplayer isn't necessarily true. I for one felt that Dead Space 2 was lacking in a lot of different departments compared to the first. There never real was any sense of danger around the corner because you were already expecting it. It followed such simple horror game logic that it felt extremely drab and left me with such a disappointing impression that it is only leaving me with complete doubt that the third is going to do anything different. ME3 however is a totally different story, in that it's MP component was almost completely arbitrary to the whole package. If ever there was a MP mode that was a complete afterthought it was ME3's. The design is horrid, the idea behind it seems cumbersome, and it's overall impact on the game is pointless. The fact that each race plays exactly the same with no real sense of balance and the fact that it completely disregards your progression in game, made that mode so pointless. For me, that is a game that suffered......as evidenced by it's ending. Maybe Casey Hudson should have worried more about his game's integrity and less about EA's business prospects.
  • BladedFalcon - December 2, 2012 5:53 a.m.

    Selfishly speaking, I really don't like multiplayer in general, so I'd just rather not see the developers bothering with it. Because while I can't argue that many games with tacked on MP still have pretty stellar SP campaigns. It's also undeniable that said tacked on multiplayer takes up resources that either could go on the single campaign instead, or at the very least would make the game cheaper to make, and it would be released faster. Either way, if you're gonna do something half-assed, might as well not do it at all. That alone should be argument enough against obviously tacked on MP.
  • ncurry2 - December 2, 2012 10:18 a.m.

    I agree, I just don't play multiplayer on things other than PC and I don't play single player games on PC in general. The only games I've played that were clearly single player games that had multiplayer tacked on, I've been disappointed with the single player and never touched the multiplayer after (I'm looking at you Bioshock 2 and any of the NSMB games). To say that adding multiplayer doesn't detract from the single player is just false. It takes so much resources to develop and flesh out a multiplayer game, not to mention the server maintenance. I'd still much prefer my single player games to be single player and my multiplayer games to be multiplayer.
  • MrJP - December 2, 2012 4:21 a.m.

    The article is flawed in that you can't prove or disprove that multiplayer makes the single player better or worse, it's all based on assumption as to whether or not the games with single player only would have been worse or those with multiplayer also could have been better.... However, common sense dictates that the single player games would liukely be at least longer if the multiplayer additions weren't there. Personally I would rather play a longer single player campaign if it were a choice. But depending on publisher and game it may not even be a choice and the two parts of the game MAY not impact on one another.
  • Shinn - December 2, 2012 4:03 a.m.

    I still prefer a strong single player campaign. I've played more of Dragon Age: Origins and The Witcher 2 over the last few years than any multiplayer game.
  • CitizenWolfie - December 2, 2012 3:52 a.m.

    I'm one of those "Single player franchises don't need multiplayer" guys, but I agree with the point that it doesn't really affect the campaign modes (although surely a game's development has a total budget which then has to be split once multiplayer is involved?). My gripe with the addition of multiplayer is purely superficial. Something like Assassin's Creed or Uncharted used to have quite achievable trophies/achievements but as soon as there's a multiplayer mode, you start getting the "reach level X" or "max out all online stats" type trophies. It seems a bit unfair if you've only bought the game for the campaign (or even worse, bought it when the game has been out for a while and the MP lobbies are all hacked to death or impossible for noobs to progress). Sorry if I sound like a total achievement whore there but it's nice to know that the odd Platinum/2000g is possible without grinding through deathmatches.
  • GoofusLoopus - December 2, 2012 3:17 a.m.

    I'm not qualified to speak on this topic. Not by a long shot. Still, the amount of information that people are presuming to know about a game's development cycle, and are presenting in defense of their own arguments, strikes me as a little pretentious and absurd. It seems to me that everyone collectively assumes that the development team says "guys, we're on the clock, so we work on the single player game for x-months and then we drop everything and reassign the entire staff to multiplayer." Say that a company decides to make a sequel to its hit new ip. It's reasonable to assume that they assign a bigger team and a bigger budget to work on the new title. To me it seems that a game like Deadspace 2, that was leagues ahead of its predecessor in terms of single-player, had plenty of resources and staff assigned to its development. They probably even had a second team working on the multiplayer. Probably. But supposedly they should be tacking more hours onto their single-player game that isn't even remotely wanting for length or production value because they might already have the resources to make it everything they want it to be.
  • ParagonT - December 2, 2012 6:50 a.m.

    "It seems to me that everyone collectively assumes that the development team says "guys, we're on the clock, so we work on the single player game for x-months and then we drop everything and reassign the entire staff to multiplayer." Say that a company decides to make a sequel to its hit new ip. It's reasonable to assume that they assign a bigger team and a bigger budget to work on the new title." I'm not really sure where you were going with this, but I do think that if they must spend the resources putting another team in charge of multiplayer, like what CoD does for example, then why not make the starting team bigger to begin with? If they are willing to spend 'X' amount of money/resources on the project, then why not assign all of it to the single-player to begin with instead of breaking it into two groups? That's besides my thoughts although. I think multi-player should be encouraged, but as BladedFalcon said, "If your going to half-ass it, don't do it at all.".
  • Bloodstorm - December 2, 2012 12:17 p.m.

    Single player development teams and multiplayer development teams are allocated from the beginning of a project (with some overlap). Budgets are also allocated. They do reach points where they have to be done, they are called deadlines. Both systems are developed simultaneously, but multiplayer takes a lot of resources. Net-framework is a very involved process, it takes a lot of development to get that right, and development is money. All of those resources could have gone to a greater single player, or all of them to a better multiplayer. Whether it matters or not, my perspective is that of a Software Development Major.

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