Over the weekend I’ve been playing Shadow of the Tomb Raider, a good game in the whole Tomb Raider reboot saga, however not the focal point of my thoughts. I’ve recently been dwelling on the idea of single player games supposed eventual demise, while this is certainly not a new topic at all. It’s definitely a thought that pops into my mind as soon as I play a solid single player game. This is such a weird subject for me as over the years I’ve admittedly spent hours on end with online games such as Diablo 2, Final Fantasy XI and more recently Call of Duty with some bits of the Division and Destiny 2. The real idea that comes to mind is that a single player experience to me is far different from an online experience. While I value the social experience that can come from playing online games, I just don’t feel that it brings the same satisfaction to me as immersing myself in something like Skyrim or in the current case for myself, Shadow of the Tomb Raider. These are games that you can play for hours on end and get lost in despite not having any online interactivity.
Looking to other recent games that have been successful despite only offering a single player experience, I just kind of find it baffling that it’s still an idea that keeps on being thrown around by video game company executives. Obviously this will come off as being a parrot at this point but Marvel’s Spider-Man has been a huge success as a single-player game and going back to the past few years worth of games, there’s certainly been a lot of games that have been amazing and still provided loads of entertainment at least on a personal level without multiplayer. From games like the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, South Park: the Fractured But Whole or the Prey reboot. These are games I’ve found loads of enjoyment and entertainment from without feeling like I needed some tacked on last second multiplayer which, lets face it, most of the time have a tendency to feel tacked on. Going back to the last generation, amazing games like Dead Space 2 or Bioshock 2, both guilty of having these last second online player verse player modes that serve no purpose other than to just exist for the sake of existing.
Bringing myself back to online gaming, I do feel like they will always be something I look to as a time waster in between those big single player releases. I periodically subscribe to Final Fantasy XIV every so often just to have something I can play while the bigger games release at a staggered pace, at least until holiday seasons. Just because one online game has so many people playing and putting money into it doesn’t mean every online game will follow suit. I don’t disregard the experience from online gaming, however I will never put them above solo gaming to the point of ever wishing they’d disappear. That being said, I hope we don’t see the death of single player games. At least not anytime soon.