Up For Debate - Single Player Vs Multiplayer

Written by Jon Sutton on Wed, Dec 24, 2014 2:00 PM
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After what’s seemed like months you can see the top of the craggy peak. You’ve made your way through the untold depths of a sprawling dungeon before this steep climb, with the howling wind in your face and the threat of imminent death around every precipice and corner. You clamber over a rock and land with a thud, before a roar behind you announces the arrival of a gigantic beast. It’s cinematic experiences like this that can currently only be offered by single-player adventures, but they’re lacking the competitive edge that makes the likes of Battlefield 4 such ridiculous fun online.

It’s an age-old argument but in a time where developers ( or more likely publishers) are trying to shoehorn any multiplayer elements they can into a single player campaign it’s more apt than ever. There’s two distinct camps when it comes to gaming, those who love their multiplayer gaming and can’t get enough of it, and those who like setting out on their own, becoming involved in grand adventures or tiny tales.

The likes of Ubisoft are increasingly integrating multiplayer components into predominantly single-player titles such as Assassin’s Creed Unity and Watch Dogs, or From Software with Dark Souls. Valve has taken things to the extreme and has practically abandoned single-player gaming altogether. Valve, the same outfit responsible for some of the greatest single-player games of our time.

Single-player games uniquely offer the ability to deliver narrative like no other, and the medium itself is capable of giving players agency and choice, actually dictating events. It’s a fine way of playing, and it’s why we love the likes of Uncharted, Half-Life 2, and Dragon Age: Inquisition.

Ultimately though, multiplayer is where the audience is at. A game with a decent multiplayer component can last you years longer than a single-player game. Barely anyone’s killing headcrabs any more but hundreds of thousands are still pulling off headshots in de_dust. Online gaming is competition from the comfort of your own home, like a Sunday morning kickabout but with mates that can be the other side of the globe. Honing your skills and learning everything there is to know, multiplayer dominance is its own reward.

A lot of games try be masters of both. Do you prefer single player experiences or the unmatched edge only a fellow human can provide? Should developers focus on perfecting one or the other? We want want to know what you think below!

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11:59 Feb-20-2015

battlefield doesn't need singleplayer, never has until bad company.

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16:50 Dec-27-2014

both can be good or terrible (especially the multiplayer!).


not all games are meant to have multiplayer. sometimes it is implemented poorly.


Same goes for single player: it's not easy to make a decent plot and setting for designers.

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22:42 Dec-26-2014

I love my singleplayer gameplay. I wish studios wouldn't just make them afterthoughts on multiplayer driven games like COD and BF4.

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23:25 Dec-26-2014

Yeah. I stopped liking CoD when the focus of the game left the single player for the multi player. To me the single player campaign should always be priority number one with multi player just being the add on.

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11:54 Dec-26-2014

I got BF3 and started playing single player but as soon as i played multi-player just completely left single player. And its been 5-6 months i havent even completed single player once, so i prefer multiplayer

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05:24 Dec-26-2014

I love a good single player game more than anything. I don't like online multi player very much & I almost never play online. I hate the fact that people's multi player fetish has invaded many game franchises that were once only single player games. The more multi player that gets added to those games the more that the single player part suffers. It is really a sad predicament. :(

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21:14 Dec-25-2014

Singleplayer is superior to Multiplayer, no question. No latency issues, no hackers, no griefers or trolls. It's just you and the game, that's why I prefer a juicy, fun singleplayer campaign over multiplayer

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19:33 Dec-25-2014

If your gonna put MultiPlayer in your game it should be the Icing on the cake not the main FOCUS SinglePlayer should always be the main Focus great stories and nice gameplay and length is leagues better than multiplayer IMO but there are some exceptions like Battlefield COD ETC which wont SELL without Multiplayer

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15:54 Dec-25-2014

Tie between both m8. pros and cons for both.

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14:18 Dec-25-2014

Multiplayer for me (Dark Souls is a fine example) either a Co-op system or a Battle system i don't care just something that let's me interact with other players, it feels like a waste of money otherwise

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05:29 Dec-26-2014

I play games to get away from everyone. Having people invade my games & give me grief is the last thing I want when trying to enjoy a game. I am the exact opposite of you on this. I think buying a game just for multi player is a waste & that the only games worth buying have a single player mode.

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23:22 Dec-27-2014

so you'd rather play dark souls without the fear of getting invaded? or you just wouldn't play it at all? i have to say the best games i've ever played are SP, i don't buy games just for the multiplayer, i just buy games that have MP

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04:14 Dec-28-2014

Every time I have played any Souls game I have made sure to be disconnected. I played Demon Souls online a little when it first launched on PS3, but I didn't like the invasions so I started disconnecting from the internet before playing it. Made sure to do the same with Dark Souls on PC. I hate forced online play...

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09:46 Dec-25-2014

I almost entirely play singleplayer.


The only times I will play co-op is online with people I know in real life, or local (couch) co-op.


Generally I'm not in the mood to invite the behaviour of a lot of people on the internet into my life more than is necessary :P

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06:22 Dec-25-2014

Payday 2 is the best choice for me!! but I enjoyed Dragon Age franchise too even thou i havent play the Dragon Age Inquisition xD

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01:48 Dec-25-2014

Uncharted games, atleast in my opinion, were the best story driven campaigns on last gen consoles, I never understood why they wanted to push multiplayer so much (still don't) but at least their quality didn't dip, and hopefully they continue to stay on that level and carry it over to the current gen consoles. I have->

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01:49 Dec-25-2014

Yet to play The Last of Us, but I suspect I will still like Uncharted better, either way, they are both made by the same awesome dev.

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22:51 Dec-24-2014

I prefer 1v1 multiplayer games. Although multiplayer may be frustrating sometimes (especially team games), those games are more catchy and you play them for long time, when you play single player games until you finish campaign and after that you don't have anything else do to with that game but waiting for DLC's and stuff... I like single players too, but only if story line is good! :)

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22:16 Dec-24-2014

It is sad to say it, but I have only been playing single player games for the last few years. I, as many of my friends, were once addicted to BF3, but since the release of bf4 i have not been able to get into any online multilayer since. Titles like metro, ryse: son of rome, farcry, and many other single player games have managed to keep me captivated enough to justify spending the $60 on a game

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05:32 Dec-26-2014

I love your rig. Nice... :D

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21:59 Dec-24-2014

I love big single player experiences like The elder scrolls, fallout and the witcher. As long as they have replayability or have a great story and are long enough. On the other hand a multiplayer game is best in my opinion with friends and has to have some features in my opinion like: customization and variety (in weapons, maps etc). I wish I could write a huge comment and elaborate this topic more...

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21:59 Dec-24-2014

If there are more games with a great not too complicated story with awesome gameplay like the last of us, that would be great.

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21:27 Dec-24-2014

I hate how something that was essentially thrown in as a fun bonus has taken center stage, and in some cases, damaged the singleplayer portion.

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20:18 Dec-24-2014

Single-player person here. I don't mind balanced MP, like Destiny, TF2, and Robocraft (which World of Tanks could be included too, it's matchmaking's identical to robocraft's mostly), but when it's like CoD, or even Battlefield to an extent, i HATE that multiplayer, because longtime players get the best stuff (and CoD's killstreaks), and new players can be matched against them.

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18:06 Dec-24-2014

I feel like coop games such as borderlands or Just Cause 2 is the best of both worlds, having a story while being able to play with a friend. Left for dead is another great example of this. I still enjoy single-player games(which i mostly play), but if a game has really great multiplayer then I would play that too.

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17:21 Dec-24-2014

Single player. I die too much in multi.


Anyway, the article needs some editing.

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100% Yes [1 votes]
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Ryzen 7 3700X 8-Core 3.6GHz GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Zotac Gaming 6GB 16GB
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Core i5-11400H 6-Core 2.20GHz GeForce RTX 3050 Mobile 8GB
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Core i7-5500U 2-Core 2.4GHz GeForce 940M 2GB 8GB
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Core i7-3770 4-Core 3.4GHz GeForce GTX 1070 Gigabyte G1 Gaming 8GB Edition 16GB
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Core i7-10750H 6-Core 2.60GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Low, 1080p
Core i5-6400 2.7GHz GeForce GTX 1050 8GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1440p
Core i5-9600K 6-Core 3.7GHz GeForce RTX 2060 Asus ROG Strix Gaming OC 6GB 32GB
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
FX-6300 GeForce GTX 760 24GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 30FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Core i5-11400H 6-Core 2.20GHz GeForce RTX 3050 Mobile 8GB
| 30FPS, High, 1080p
Core i5-11400H 6-Core 2.20GHz GeForce RTX 3050 Mobile 8GB
100% Yes [2 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i5-11400H 6-Core 2.20GHz GeForce RTX 3050 Mobile 8GB
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i5-11400H 6-Core 2.20GHz GeForce RTX 3050 Mobile 8GB
100% Yes [3 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 720p
Athlon II X4 640 Radeon RX 470 Asus ROG Strix Gaming OC 4GB 8GB
100% Yes [2 votes]
| 30FPS, Low, 720p
Core i7-4710MQ 4-Core 2.5GHz GeForce GTX 960M 2GB 16GB
| 30FPS, Low, 720p
Pentium G2030 3.0GHz Radeon HD 4650 1GB 4GB
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i5-6402P 2.8GHz GeForce GTX 1050 Ti MSI Gaming X 4GB 16GB