Going Solo?


As gaming technology has advanced it’s given us a chance to experience a whole host of features and developments I could only have dreamt of as a child.

One of the biggest has to be the advent of online multi-player, which graced the PC a long while ago but is being realised for most non-PC gamers in the latest generation of consoles.

Firstly one of the things that amazes me about online gaming is that once you are set up it’s free.

My internet costs are the same as a non gamer’s costs… there is no extra fee for the bigger use.

The console itself is internet ready out of the box and no games charge to use the online part of their product.


More and more game developers are taking advantage of this by focusing their efforts onto the multiplayer part of the game and a lot of people have suggested that eventually single player games will die out and be replaced by games that have a persistent online world.

I’m all for change but I find this idea slightly disconcerting.

Don’t get me wrong I love online gaming – being able to play against your mates when it’s impractical/impossible to meet up is awesome and I have lost days (yes literally, if you tot the combined hours up) to Killzone 2 online.


But that was after I’d played (and thoroughly enjoyed – see here: Killzone 2 Review ) the solo player campaign mode.

I find now that some of the best stories I’m being told are by games rather than film.

Killzone 2, Bioshock, Assassin’s Creed, Metal Gear Solid 4 and Dead Space are just a few of the stories I’ve thought were excellent over the last 6 months.


Stuff like Bioshock and Metal Gear just couldn’t be told in an online environment, although I guess that wouldn’t be the aim of online versions of those titles.

I suppose persistant online worlds would lead to you creating your own stories within whatever overarching context was created but I feel I would miss the genuine story-telling.

Sometimes it’s nice not to login to PSN, to just slip a disc in the PS3 and enjoy a story on your own for a few hours.

For me single player modes of games are like reading a book, ultimately it’s something that you do by yourself and is a completely immersive experience.

I suspect it’ll be a long long time (if ever) before single-player games are completely eradicated and for that I’m glad.

Because for all the time I’ve spent enjoying online with friends I’ve spent more investing in some truly great storytelling.


  1. […] post by GregHorrorShow […]

  2. I completely agree with this. Having only recently connected my home console to the internet, much of my upbringing on games has been in single player mode. Most of my multiplayer experience has been in split screen, which sadly seems to be losing focus in many games.

    The online world of games is often very competitive and unforgiving. Single player modes are often great ways to introduce someone to a game, get to grips with the controls, etc.

    I’m a big fan of RPG’s, so a strong single player storyline is fundamental for me. FInal Fantasy and Eternal Sonata simply wouldn’t work as a purely online experience (Final Fantasy has actually tried an online MMO now that I think about it)

    Bioshock and Dead Space are excellent examples. Great post!

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