Single? Get ready to mingle
Playing a video game is no longer a solitary experience, writes Imagine Games Network Australia senior editor Cam Shea
VIDEO games are evolving at a ferocious rate. Each year sees a leap in visual fidelity and a broadening of the genre.
Importantly, games are also becoming more social. Almost every experience is a connected one, and multi- player is no longer just an add- on to a single- player campaign: it’s a core component.
Many games are seamlessly integrating online play into what were once solitary experiences.
Take Destiny, the new title from the studio that created Halo. It’s epic in scope; a sci-fi shooter that allows players to travel all over the solar system, fighting a war on innumerable fronts.
To make it feel like a living, breathing place, players do so alongside countless others.
Each hero in this world can be on his or her own quest, but when players collide, a host of new possibilities come up; teaming up with strangers to clear an enemy stronghold or flocking to a group event to take down a boss.
This approach to multi- player is changing racing games, too.
Need for Speed: Rivals’ Redview County spans winding mountain roads, dense forest trails and arid desert landscapes – and players will never be alone.
Again, there’s no formal multi- player component, merely opportunities for competition and a shared high- speed spectacle.
Even single- player games are incorporating multi- player elements.
Watch Dogs casts players as a hacker in a world with ubiquitous electronic surveillance. Information is power and they can hack bank accounts, listen in on conversations and change street lights with the press of a button. It is fitting players can enter other people’s worlds and try to hack their character.
Watch Dogs will even ship with a companion app that allows real- time competitive play between tablets and consoles or PCs.
Tom Clancy’s The Division is also integrating compelling tablet functionality.
An open- world online shooter with role- playing elements, it sees four- person squads operating alongside hundreds of other players across a decimated New York.
The companion app lets a player join a squad as an aerial drone, with support abilities such as tagging enemies, healing players or calling in an air strike.
In Titanfall, players can pilot heavily armed, bipedal mechs, and go up against agile soldiers who can run along walls and use jetpacks to reach higher ground, from which they can leap onto the backs of the mechs. It’s entertaining and multi- player only.
There’s no better example of expansive multiplayer gaming than Grand Theft Auto Online.
The ultimate online sandbox, 16 people can play simultaneously in its staggeringly large, persistent world.
Death- matches and street races are a given, but how about riding dirt bikes or playing a round of golf? Or racing planes or jet skis? Or robbing a bank?
In the modern video game landscape, anything is possible – and you’ll likely be doing it with friends.
Read more at IGN. com