Here at OnlySP as our name suggests we are focused on the single player experience in this world of burgeoning multiplayer madness.
So if you are familiar with me at all you know that I almost never play multiplayer. Local co-op isn’t so bad, I did enjoy some Resistance 2 online for a week, and some reviews require it. Basically though, gaming is a solitary activity for me unless there’s some kind of game included party going on. I grew up that way, it was what made gaming special.
Online multiplayer is high tension, stressful, competitive, stats-oriented, filled with exploiters, and often hopeless (there is no place for beginners in online games no matter what matching systems exist). Those are all things I have no interest in. So why am I getting Destiny on day one? The answer is probably more complex than why the average gamer is getting it. As it happens the average gamer is getting it, with estimates of sales hovering around 15 million copies.
I admit that in part the hype captured my attention. I knew Bungie could put out a great product even though I left Halo behind after part 2. I knew they had put about half a billion dollars into the project, I knew it would be able to grow for years to come, and I loved the idea that I could explore and fight solo if I wanted to. Also, there was a story attached that aimed to be a step up from other online shooters, or as I like to call it, a single player mode.
Even as I played through the alpha and the beta I was not yet convinced since it was, after all, an online game. The alpha and beta were unimpressive to me, but some folks seemed to be blown away by them. The graphics and stability were impressive, but what I eventually liked was the simplicity of the rendezvous area, the ability to upgrade without being inundated with microtransactions, and eventually even the sense of camaraderie when easily slipping into the missions. The gameplay was promising as well, and I knew the final product would greatly surpass the test phase. A lot of people think a beta is a free way to play the game early but that’s mostly inaccurate.
Even with my like but not love thoughts at this point I couldn’t commit either way. I mean, I just don’t do online. It takes time I don’t have to invest. I just like to play a story and then move on to the next game, especially with FPS. Sure I get a chance to play with some friends online but not really, it’s impossible to sync up times to play and I’d rather not be pushed into doing the microphone thing. Then one day while talking to a couple of new acquaintances, young men about 24-25, I realized why I should play this game and combat my hate of multiplayer gaming.
As a writer in the industry I have a seemingly endless amount of gaming experience to draw from. I was there at the launch of most systems, I was there when the greatest games of all time came out, I was there when all anybody ever talked about was the generation-defining experiences. I was there when I realized that just talking about these games inspired non-gamers to pick them up, and I was thrilled to see others enjoy what I enjoyed. These experiences give me reference points from which to connect to other gamers as well as common ground on which to tread while I write and relate to my readers.
Even though these two acquaintances were Xbox One guys and I would be playing on PS4 I realized we had something better in common than the ability to join up or challenge each other. We had a common interest in an upcoming experience that I would be derelict in my duties as an industry writer to just ignore because of my own biases. Setting aside biases is one of the most important things a writer can do in circumstances where relating to the gaming populace is imperative.
Destiny is not only going to be a game you see, it’s going to be a generation defining experience. It is the result of many years of industry realization that tacking multiplayer onto single player games is not the best way to go for anyone. It will be the benchmark for future online games that wish to duplicate it’s success. What it will do will change how we look at these kinds of games so that others like Blacklight: Retribution and Dust 514 with their never ending urky moments won’t be the standard for generations to come.
Destiny will be an experience that I’ll need to have under my belt in order to stay up to date on how the industry is progressing. How could I stay relevant if I didn’t jump in feet first, excited, packing heat an ready to go. The fires are stoked, gamers are excited, I’m getting the best version, and there are no other good FPS on the horizon for a long time anyway in my opinion. It is the perfect storm for getting into a phenomenon that will be both very fun and very important.
All of that may not be enough to inspire you to join me, but gamers involved in internet culture also like to be up to date on what is genre and generation defining. I won’t try to convince my fellow single players to join me either, but I will say that when everyone is talking about something amazing for months on end you tend to feel left behind and out of touch until you catch up. That’s no fun.
So I’m going in to try to make myself a legend, even if I’m just a weak amateur legend; just don’t expect to see me doing a lot of death match in The Crucible. Dying over and over is bad for my ego. :)