Does Online Multiplayer Really Matter All That Much?

Today in Speak-Up on Kotaku, commenter Luke874 wonders if we aren't putting too much emphasis on online multiplayer and neglecting games that don't have it.

I'm a regular on the Saints Row forums, I was excited to hear the announcement of the third, but there has been a massive uproar after it we found out that there will be no competitive multiplayer. I personally don't care, I've never been a fan of Saints Row's multiplayer, other than the co-op but there were people who loved it and now they're up in arms over it.

This lead me to think about how multiplayer has become such a key element in gaming. Before we could only play against people locally or via system link. PC gaming had multiplayer first, but I personally found multiplayer really kicked off when the consoles caught up. Now, games that don't have multiplayer seem to get dismissed or rented. Even games that wouldn't work in multiplayer seem to work.

Assassin's Creed is a good example. Out of myself and my friends, only three of us bought it, some of them rented it and some didn't touch it. Assassin's Creed 1 and 2 were both amazing, and worth the full price to me. Yet some of my friends wouldn't touch it because of its lack of multiplayer. Then they bought Brotherhood and they feel like total idiots for not trying the first one, so they didn't understand the plot in places.

If there's one thing I hate, it's when people seem to hate games that win GOTY despite no multiplayer. Some people believed the Modern Warfare 2 deserved the Golden Joystick for Ultimate Game of the Year over Mass Effect 2 because Modern Warfare had multiplayer. Whoever believes this is just plain stupid. Mass Effect 2 is better, it has a plot that makes sense, better game play and more re-playability. Modern Warfare has a plot, somewhere, the game play is just plain boring and the multiplayer was badly designed.

You cannot just judge a game based on if it has Multiplayer or not. If you do, then you're nothing short of a moron.

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