What’s The Deal With ….. Gaming: Single Player vs Multiplayer

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What’s The Deal With ….. Gaming: Single Player vs Multiplayer

Recently my partner and I purchased a PlayStation 4 and we’ve found that the majority of games released for the console are solo player.

We are amazed at how many games that could have been made into multiplayer games simply haven’t, which is most annoying (putting it lightly).

I thought I could use this to drive my look into the current gaming world to decide on which gaming style really is better, cost-effective and essentially answer the question my partner and I are tossing around at the moment: Should we purchase a second PlayStation 4 in order to play the same game together?

Nsmb-mystery-block

Now I guess I should start with the list of (semi)current and popular games available across most consoles (my apologies to the Xbox fanatics; I don’t really know Xbox at all, so Google has had to help me out here) that are listed as Solo Player, Co-Op or Versus.

Name of Game

Solo Player Co-Op Offline Co-Op Online Only

Versus

Wii Sports

Y

Y

Y

Minecraft

Y

Y

Grand Theft Auto V

Y

Mario Kart 8

Y

Y Y

Y

Diablo III

Y

Y

Y

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

Y

Y Y

Y

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Y

Final Fantasy XIV

Y

Until Dawn

Y

The Last of Us

Y

NintendoLand

Y

Y Y

Injustice: Gods Among Us

Y

Y

Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris

Y

Y
Assassin’s Creed: Unity

Y

Y
Borderlands: The Handsome Collection

Y

Y

Y

League of Legends

Y Y
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Y

Y

Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham

Y Y

Y

Okay, so not the prettiest table or probably the most accurate with “popular” but this was what happens when I go into the local JB Hi-Fi (Electronics and Gaming store in New Zealand) and get distracted by the games I want rather than their date of release and style of gaming.

Anyway, from this list, most games are only co-operative online meaning if I want to play the same game with my partner, I need a second console (and TV) in order to do so.

Going specifically with the PS4, we have purchased Rayman Legends, Little Big Planet 3, Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris, Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, DMC: Definitive Edition and Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited and yet we would love a racing game like Drive Club (single player only), Bayonetta (Co-Op Online only) and Batman Arkham Knight (single player only – but you should totally be able to play as Batman and Robin).

Looking at the number of games available now, the idea of a console “for the players” is to play on your own, gone are the days where you and your friends gathered around your PlayStation One or Nintendo 64 console to play Crash Team Racing, Pokemon Stadium or Super Mario Kart. Now you must play at home and ensure your friends meet you online to team up against the Bloodthorn Cultists or complete The Wanderer’s Palace, or shoot up the enemy in various arenas.

arcadesushi.com

image from arcadesushi.com

But then is it really bad?

There are those times when you are playing with someone and they continuously die in a level, or in the case of Super Mario 3D World – where you have saved up 60 lives and 2 friends waste them all in a single level – that you feel it would be waaaaay easier when playing on your own.

I know that for games like Little Big Planet, I find it easier to complete the levels on my own rather than stretching the screen out so you can’t see what’s coming, even Lara Croft caused a few issues where we were running in opposite directions causing one of use to die or get severely injured. The frustration caused by novice friends can get very aggravating, very quickly sometimes and so there are just times where a single player game becomes the preferred method.

Additionally, I would think that there are times my partner would like to play a game that I don’t like the genre of or the general game itself. Elder Scrolls is the prime example. Whilst it’s free to play online, I would rather pay my yearly subscription for Final Fantasy XIV and play that then join The Elder Scrolls fanbase.

He isn’t such a big fan of DMC (Devil May Cry) either which is good seeing as it is single player only.

Some games give you the best of both worlds, for example, Rayman Legends lets you have up to 4 players in the “story mode” levels of the game, but the Weekly and Daily Extreme challenges are single player only, allowing for that much needed space whilst you think “you people have no idea what you’re doing other than providing me tears and disappointment”  as you climb, race or collect to get the Platinum trophy score.

Cost wise, co-op games I would say work out cheaper in the long run, but to set up, definitely way more expensive.

Let’s use the PlayStation 4 we purchased as the example;

  • We paid $ 649.00 for the 1TB PlayStation 4 Console and Elder Scrolls Online Game.
  • In addition, we paid $ 109.00 for a second PS4 controller.
  • Then there’s the $39.95 (x 2) for our PlayStation Plus subscriptions in order for us to play online.
  • Totalling roughly $ 900.00 all up.

If we were to have purchased this on the idea of only playing one player;

  • We would each need to have paid the $ 649.00 for the console + game deal and $ 39.95 for the PS Plus subscription.
  • That totals to $700.00 each, so $1400 together.

Now for the games, currently we’ve been buying ones costing us roughly $ 64.00 each so if they are co-op, that’s a one off payment, if they are single player, that’s $ 64.00 x 2 every time… Eventually it adds up.

The discussions we’ve had with our friends who are also console gamers have been around the idea that there aren’t many games they play with other friends that they don’t already have.

Just Dance and Singstar as they reminded me are games that one person generally owns and they just bring all the gear with them in order to play, but I guess that’s really a whole different genre of console gaming and not one I automatically associate with single player / multiplayer – I mean who plays Singstar on their own really? That’s what singing in the shower is for….

I could be just too harsh on the console seeing as it’s only a couple of years old, but you would think that seeing as the average family now has 3 children that a console and game development company would ensure there were plenty of offline co-operative games; Xbox, PS3 and Wii have the selection since both have been around for years in comparison to the PS4 and Wii U (though the Wii U is backwards compatible and you can use motion-plus Wii controllers with it) but there is definitely a new expectation that you and all your friends need to own a console, the same game and have a decent internet connection (not possible in New Zealand who like to remain in its Third World status for Internet speeds) in order to spend a Saturday jamming together playing video games.

And whilst this post is all about home consoles, I understand that there is the world of mobile and handheld gaming which is only really singleplayer and then there is PC gaming which is more Online Multiplayer based (unless you play The Sims in which case you play on your own and share your neighbour to the world), but finding games that are mulitplayer and wanted by both of us is painstakingly difficult.

I can foresee the second console being the answer for us, especially if we aren’t going to play the same MMORPG, but surely Ubisoft, Sony and Activision can come up with more (and better) mutliplayer games, what do you guys think?

Leave some suggested games for us in the comments below and tell me what you prefer – single player / multiplayer / online multiplayer ?

By |2015-09-23T17:08:21+00:00September 18th, 2015|Gaming, Reviews, Video Games|4 Comments

About the Author:

Marvel Comic Book fan, Greek Mythology Nerd, Supernatural Fiend and fanboy also a big fan of Sailor Moon, Cardcaptor Sakura, Attack on Titan The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya and DeathNote. Pokemon Professor - too knowledgable about Pokemon to simply be a Master nowadays. #LEGOMasterBuilder #Telepath #Gaymer Check out my personal blog https://fromthemindofcardcaptorsatan.wordpress.com/ Also apart of the BookCrossing project - http://www.bookcrossing.com/mybookshelf/CardcaptorSatan/