Gaming Today File-N-Forget Podcast Episode 12: Multiplicity


Moving rapidly into the American Thanksgiving holiday, Ron and I wanted to make sure you had something to listen to on your commute to Grandma’s for a Turkey-induced coma so here is Episode 12 of File-N-Forget.

This week we continue a discussion of games and their evolution focusing on the changes in single player games and the shift toward multiplayer in the industry as a whole. Is it a good thing? Can a single player focused game survive in a culture that is obsessed with multiplayer features, even when it might not match the game itself? Tune in to find out what we think.

File-N-Forget Podcast Episode 12: Multiplicity

As always, you can check out previous episodes at our podcast page, and send your comments to

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1 Comment on Gaming Today File-N-Forget Podcast Episode 12: Multiplicity


On November 21, 2007 at 2:12 pm

As usual, good podcast (apart from that strange Frog sound that occured quite regularly :razz: ) and my line-up of replies (going in order of which you raised them, mostly).

Gotta agree with you on the degree that some games don’t need multiplayer. Got my copy of Mario today and man…it’s a blast. It’s been a long time since I played 64 and whilst it takes a few minutes to get used to the whole “yeah, you can pretty much go anywhere on that object” I really started getting into it. 2 hours, 6 stars and a whole lotta fun. As a quite side note, the graphics are nothing short of exquisite.

You also briefly talked about the early games you had played that didn’t really have multiplayers, or, added it later. My first console was a NES and I got Micro Machines for that. Whilst the single player was hard enough, man oh man, pushing my brother/sister off the track was just hilarious, not to mention the later *breathes* Micro Machines 64 Turbo Championship Edition. Building your own tracks and then racing them, with or without others was still hella fun, but it was one of those games that did encourage in the room friends playing together and that I don’t think can be beaten. Live tries to come close, but doesn’t quite do it. Whilst I have lind up a Legendary 4p run-through of Halo 3, I doubt it’ll be as fun as when I ran through it with my friend next to me (and building up an armoury of weapons where we kept dying in the same spot).

A game I’ve really got a lot of fun out of lately is Team Fortress 2. Perhaps it is the sheer reliance on needing to work together with (mostly) complete strangers, but something about it is addictive. I’ve had it for two weeks and played it for somewhere in the region of 20 hours+. Nicely broken up by the excellent Portal, which would’ve made an ideal single player game if it lasted longer.

Playing Command and Conquer 3 recently (and having my arse handed to me on a lovely silver plate) I’ve noticed that recently, RTS’ have really pushed the limits for being tough to fight against, however you’re right, they do lack the innovation and ingenuity that other human players can come up with. An Ai, although it ‘cheats’ on a hard enough setting, it in no way would use a tactic I like, which is mid-battle, send in an engineer into the enemy base and capture his construction yard while he’s completely unaware. Okay, sure, the Ai will still try and capture stuff, it’ll never be quite as clever as to wait for the right moment like that, which is where I believe some games DO need a multi-player component to grow.

There are those games though which have a single player campaign, but completely suck, almost as if they had to have one for whatever reason. I’d like to cite Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War – Dark Crusade (and seemingly the next expansion, Soulstorm). Metacampaign’s are fun for only so long, but stringing together skirmishes where the later you leave it the more the Ai cheats is hardly an idea of a single player to me. I’d rather play a serious of skirmish games through skirmish, using the same race, playing against varying other ones and see how long I can maintain a win streak for, because honestly it’s bloody stupid. Unreal Tournament and Quake also have this. Okay, try and put in a story, but we still know it’s more likely than not going to be “shoot some bad guys to unlock new level” which to me, is the multiplayer aspect.

There are also single player games yearning to be multi-player. I could just picture Metroid Prime 3 having an online component (it was supposed to, if I remember rightly) but perhaps more advanced than that, you make it more of an adventure. You use the remote in the single player to tap on pads, enter in codes etc. How cool would it be if to stop an enemy behind you, you lock a door giving you 30 seconds before it auto-reopens again? That’d be pretty sweet if you ask me, but the chances of it happening now I’m pretty sure are zero to non-existant.

The more and more the internet is going to be intergrated into games we play, the more and more I think multiplayer will have to become something less of a feature and more of a requirement, HOWEVER, there will still be the market for single-player games, because if I get constantly owned in Command and Conquer 3, I’d like to know there’s a Portal out there which only has an Ai laughing at me and not someone else.