Over the last couple days, I’ve been playing Battlefield 3, a game that Electronic Arts said prior to its launch, could go head-to-head with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and win. But after playing through the majority of the single-player campaign, I can tell you without any reservation that it can’t do anything of the sort. In fact, Modern Warfare 3 has a much, much better single-player experience.
[Image credit: Katie Gregory]
Interestingly, when I talk to people who love Battlefield 3, they readily agree that the single-player campaign could be better. But for them, the real winner is the game’s multiplayer experience.
The same might be said for other games, including Madden NFL 12 and Modern Warfare 3. Sure, they’re fun to play alone, but for many gamers, they’re at their best when playing with others online.
I see it a much different way. I think Battlefield 3’s single-player campaign falls short because EA wanted so badly for the game to be a multiplayer hit that it made the single-player mode an afterthought. But it’s not alone. I can’t tell you how many games I’ve played over the last several years that have afforded me sub-par single-player experiences just so they could offer up something unique on the multiplayer side.
Look, I realize that multiplayer gaming is the big draw nowadays and I’m probably one of the few people that wishes games could focus on single-player offline campaigns more, but that’s how I like to play titles. To me, online multiplayer gaming is a waste of my time.
Why, you ask? I don’t have enough space to explain the many reasons. But the people play a major role in my distaste for online gaming.
On one hand, I’ve found, you’re forced to deal with a bunch of oddly angry people that like to taunt, scream obscenities, and engage in other behaviors that I find annoying. On the other hand, you sometimes find yourself playing with people that spend so much time with a game that they’re experts and kill you before you even have a chance to come back. It takes all the fun out of playing online.
If I do play online — which is rare — I typically only do so with friends, since I know the experience will be better. But why should I have to do that? It’s rather sad, isn’t it?
Online gaming has become an obsession for many people around the world. And that obsession sometimes turns into a level of anger and hostility that makes me wonder if online gaming does more harm than good for the industry.
Luckily, the industry hasn’t totally doubled down on online gaming, and there are still many titles available that deliver a worthwhile offline gaming experience. But I’m concerned that they are a dying breed.
Some of you might like the sound of that. But as Skyrim has shown quite convincingly, solid offline experiences can still be enjoyed. Unfortunately, they’re just harder to find nowadays.