Really, THQ? Did Metro: Last Light Need Multiplayer That Bad?


(This is another edition of </RANT>, a weekly opinion piece column on GameFront. Check back every week for more)

Before we crack on, let me just acknowledge right off the bat that I know how reactionary and judgmental this entire rant is. But then, this column series is called RANT!

I recently crossed off a long-standing item on my to-do list when I beat Metro 2033 this past weekend. Despite some very noticeable balancing issues with regards to enemy AI and damage ratios, 4A Games’ dismal and depressing survival-shooter is one of the most immersive, atmospheric and rewardingly stressful games I’ve played in very long time. Needless to say, I have begun to look forward to Metro: Last Light immensely. All they needed to do was delve deeper into the story and provide challenge that cheated a little less in order to provide a near perfect experience.

Oh, and apparently it needed multiplayer, because of no good f**king reason.

News broke this morning that the Metro 2033 sequel would bring a multiplayer mode, and I can’t for the life of me fathom why that was necessary. Just like BioShock and Dead Space, it seems that yet another perfect single-player experience, where atmosphere and isolation are the central focus, is going to shoehorn in some pointless online frag-fest that people will play for three days before getting bored and going back to Call of Duty. It’s not like I’m angry or anything like that. I just can’t stop rolling my eyes every time I think about it. Seriously, what was the point of this?

Was this so THQ could force its shitty online pass scam into yet another game? Was it because multiplayer is what gets Call of Duty its sales, and thus has become the only way a shooter is allowed to become popular? F**k off with both those attitudes. The less said about Online Passes the better, but as far this idea that multiplayer = sales goes, I have to say that’s total bunk. Yes, multiplayer has become a big part of gaming, but it’s not necessary for sales. The original BioShock was a considerable success without it. L.A. Noire has become a smash hit in spite of being a single-player game. The fact Metro 2033 is even getting a sequel seems to indicate it performed well enough without any online mode. Would it not be better to concentrate on enhancing what made the original successful, rather than split your money, time and energy creating some extra mode in a cynical attempt to draw more people in?

As much as multiplayer dominates the industry, there’s still only room in the yard for a few big dogs. Halo and Call of Duty are the undisputed champions, and it seems to me that all these shoehorned multiplayer modes fail to even start competing. Does anybody reading this play Dark Sector’s online mode? Or Overlord’s? What was the point of either of those? Not to mention, you can tell when an online mode has been phoned in just to trick fragheads into buying a game. Dead Space 2′s online mode is pretty sloppy and not compelling in the least, while BioShock 2′s was a buggy and fairly shallow experience. I feel a cheap and shoddy multiplayer experience is worse than none at all, since it does a disservice to the entire package. Better, in my mind, to concentrate on the single-player exclusively than waste time on something people will barely play before returning to games that offer better online experiences.

If multiplayer was such a guaranteed seller, we’d all be playing Shadowgrounds 3 by now. But we’re not, are we?

I think publishers fail to realize exactly how people play online games. We only have a limited amount of time in any given day, and most online gamers aren’t going to waste it with multiple games. People like to be good at online games, they like to compete, and you cannot compete if you’re spreading your training thin between several titles. People only have time to dedicate themselves to one or maybe two online games, at least if they want to get intimate with their experience and seriously get good at it. I would bet money that a huge portion of Call of Duty players only play Call of Duty, and spend their gaming time practicing, exploring, and getting to grips with everything the game offers. Do they have time to dip into Halo 3, Killzone 2, Wolfenstein, F.E.A.R 2, Saints Row 2, Dead Space 2, BioShock 2, and any other sequel you can dream up?

I’m certainly not saying developers shouldn’t ever focus on multiplayer, but at least make sure it’s worth trying to make. If you became famous for creating an atmospheric single-player experience, are you honestly going to benefit from cynically throwing in some online functionality? I can’t say it seems worth it. It’s not why I liked Metro 2033 and I can’t say the idea of its inclusion in Last Light does a thing for me. I don’t give a flying sh*t about such a thing. I want to know if the stuff I liked about Metro 2033 is going to be enhanced. I want to know if the single-player narrative will be longer, richer and deeper. Once you announce multiplayer, you automatically make me think that the story campaign will be compromised as a result.

And that’s why I roll my eyes upon hearing the news of Last Light’s online offering. I can’t help but see an insincere and rather desperate attempt to gain more attention in a world where other, more dedicated experiences have a stranglehold on the market. Developers are intent on creating carbon-copy, “me too” games that offer exactly what the competition offers, then they wonder why the f**k their game didn’t stand out.

How the f**k can a game stand out when it looks and plays like everything else?

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22 Comments on Really, THQ? Did Metro: Last Light Need Multiplayer That Bad?

RowdyRodimus

On May 31, 2011 at 10:08 am

I really feel online MP is a copout and a way to make a game cheaper. All the online modes are already created (King of the Hill,Capture the Flag, etc.) so the developers don’t have to think up anything new, then since they implemented that they can phone in half a game for the single player and then anything they didn’t use is ready for the inevitable sequel or DLC.

The only games that are worth playing online IMO are sports and fighting games, that gives you somewhat of a feeling of playing one on one in an arcade. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never played a game in an arcade with 32 people at the same time trying to coordinate attacks and defenses and then being called every name under the sun if you make one wrong move.

Matt

On May 31, 2011 at 10:46 am

You mentioned Bioshock as an example of a game that sold well without Multiplayer, but what you didn’t mention is Bioshock 2, a game that DID have multiplayer, actually sold less then Bioshock 1, atleast according to VGChartz.com. So Multiplayer does not guarantee sales.

Luther

On May 31, 2011 at 12:26 pm

yeah this makes me a little sad, metro definitely does not need any multiplayer support.

gogo

On May 31, 2011 at 1:00 pm

mp in fps are awesome but only of its fun and done right example i love halos mp which is near perfect but see ithink CoD is just a cash in and then bioshock 2 mp was decent but was lacking in personality they should scrap it for real scrap mp in last light and focus on sp

avrus96

On May 31, 2011 at 2:23 pm

tl;dr “It’s not like I’m angry or anything like that.”
Cool Story, Bro! Did you know that the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series has multiplayer? Because I sure didn’t!

avrus96

On May 31, 2011 at 2:37 pm

You should really get over the world not turning out the way you planned. Imagine if Call of Duty 1 didn’t have a multiplayer component.. I’m certain that it would have sold just as well and that the singleplayer campaign would have been just as great. Your writing style is frustrating.. Call of Duty players only having time for Call of Duty.. not any other sequels you can dream up? I believe that the majority of Call of Duty gamers are actually enjoying a sequel – Call of Duty 7 – which was released well after 6 of the 7 games that you listed.
P.S. I hope that “Last Light” bears no relation to Metro 2034, as its storyline was garbage in comparison to Metro 2033.

Iskandar B Dzulkarnain

On May 31, 2011 at 4:20 pm

Imo, if they really want a MP experience, they should make a Coop Mode instead, as what is better than going through an immersive experience on your own? Going through it with a friend. I think it will work far more better than killing each other mindlessly….Unless of course, there is a twist at the multplayer….

KingOfArcadia

On June 1, 2011 at 8:03 am

avrus96 – go suck a , you COD turd gargler, you really should get over the fact that no one likes you and maybe take the hint that the world would like to see you a dead rotten corpse.

:)

Danny

On June 2, 2011 at 4:14 am

Yes, ing brilliant! Ofcurse we want a ing MP option, in one of the greatest singleplayer experiences i have ever had! Come on, that is just ing stupid, if anything, give s a CO-OP mode, see that would be ing usefull!

Phil

On June 5, 2011 at 3:16 am

Op is a whiney .

The R4pture

On August 18, 2011 at 11:22 pm

Its awesome to read some of these comments… One in particular seems to have missed the entire point of this RANT… call of duty is over rated and sire the first one might have been just as good without multiplayer but thats not the argument here… The argument is that when they make a game that is devoted to singleplayer, that game usually prospers because it had a team devoted to one aspect: single player… But once they start to move into different aspects, such as multiplayer, the single player suffers… To put it short, cod never had this problem because it started out with multiplayer so they have had all these years to improve it and make it better (which it hasn’t) but thats the idea anyway… And when its cod is mention in the rant, i’m sure he isn’t just talking about the first game… Im sure he is referring to the series called call of duty… I can’t belive I had to explain this to you avrus96… You my friend are not smart, so don’t try to sound it

Jon

On August 23, 2011 at 1:58 pm

I too was looking forward to this game after playing the first through several times. However it seems critics slamming the mechanics has caused the game to devolve into Call of Duty with low lighting, which can be seen simply from the gameplay footage. No emphasis was put on ammo conservation (it all just seemed spray and pray), or body looting after a firefight. I can imagine we’ll see quick grenade and knife controls too, judging by what I saw, and in my mind the announcement of a multiplayer mode does nothing but confirm all this. COD sells. And everyone’s buying. Shame, because the mechanics didn’t need changing; just refining.

bOB

On August 28, 2011 at 11:45 pm

It does need multi-player, but coop for the campaign, not arena style multi-player. The only reason I didn’t play this incredible game for more than an hour, is because I’d rather play a horrible multiplayer game with friends than a single-player isolationist experience.

MastERCHEF

On August 29, 2011 at 8:51 pm

i played Metro 2033, it’s pretty good, but i really hate the switching weapon part, like for example, when theres a mutant just in front of you , and your bullets just ran out, you have to go through this whole process to change weapon from gun to knife, which takes bout 5 seconds enough for the mutant to beat you an inch from death

Adam

On August 31, 2011 at 9:01 am

Honestly who even cares? As long as I get the same awesome single player experience I in metro 2033, I don’t give a if it had multiplayer or not! Hell, I might even enjoy it more than CoD because I love the whole metro atmosphere so much better! While I don’t they need to give it a multiplayer, I’m reallly excited to play it! (after I beat the campaign , of course! :)

ajbolone

On September 15, 2011 at 9:13 pm

I for one am looking forward to it. The singleplayer experience is already going to be amazing, and if they throw in some shoddy multiplayer component, then let them do it. Think guys, multiplayer with different Metro guns, unlocking them and different attachments… to be honest I’m excited.

Matt

On October 12, 2011 at 12:32 am

What OP is trying to say, and you guys don’t seem to understand it, is that the singly player WILL suffer from the fact that they are making a multiplayer. Take any single player only franchise that implemented multiplayer in their sequel, 95 percent of the sequels had a much less awesome single player campaign than their predecessor.
I don’t need to give out examples. Do your homeworks.

I for one am really sad to hear about this multiplayer implementation. I thought they were better than this. All we can do is hope for another witcher 2. Great single player campaign, with a tiny multiplayer addition.

vgamesx1

On December 11, 2011 at 9:54 pm

well.. there is the STALKER series which yes did also start with MP.
and the MP isn’t great but the SP was very long and exciting, and the newer ones CS and CoP both improved on that and overall made the game even better.

but I suppose that could also fit in that small 5% range Matt was talking about since all the STALKER games are good, with only a few bugs.
OH hey I do think it should totally have a Coop though and a Coop mod/DLC for metro 2033.

noctantis

On January 15, 2012 at 1:48 pm

I agree with Iskandar and Bob. If any sort of multiplayer component was necessary in Metro, it is a coop story mode. And while I do think that Bob should play through the game more, I kinda had to take a long break from the game just because of how… lonely it felt. While that’s a good thing in that the game really gets it atmosphere across, when Khan, a friendly face after Bourbon, just came and left after what seemed like such a short time, I just didn’t want to move forward from some people who actually kind of talked to me (without me responding as per fps genre :T).

But anyway, main point, coop would help a player feel less so alone.
Metro’s atmosphere gets across its desolate landscape and wartorn locations very well. But, while survival horror does do a lot of trudging through by yourself until you finally meet people, I can’t help but think that Resident Evil 5, while not the most perfect game, did give me and my brother good moments while we were trying to play through it as a team. Metro could totally do this concept very well with emphasizing teamwork as a viable way of getting through the Metro. The only problem this brings up, of course, would be the SP AI for your partner…

Ansem

On January 20, 2012 at 6:25 am

Quite sad from the reviewer himself, but if they’d open the world up a bit, I’d love to explore the abondoned subways together with a friend who can cover my back from those beasts lurking in the dark.
Just because it gets multiplayer doesn’t mean it gets worse.
I loved Metro 2033 but it was lineair and no replay value.
Therefor, doing it over with a friend would double the fun for me.
It’s only a frag-fest if that’s what you make of it, so I really doubt the professionality of the review.

KarateChop

On February 6, 2012 at 1:28 pm

I read most of the comments and I just want to throw my two cents in.
The gameplay demo they released was mostly just to highlight new features. What caught my eye mostly was how quick the enemies went down, and how you could actually tell you were doing damage to them, opposed to having your rounds bounce off or be stopped by some bulletproof vest that isn’t represented on the model. And I put upwards of 150 hours in Metro 2033, so I can safely say that was indeed a problem with the original. The stealth and survival aspects (aka: scrounging for rounds and med kits) ought to make a return of THQ knows what good for it. Thats what made the original worth playing for 150 hours…..
As for MP, I’m actually really, really excited. I saw potential in the first for some really, really excellent MP action. I’ll get flamed for this more than likely, but I saw room for HUGE customization, your character being either Communist or Nazi, or Hanza, or what have you, a sort of BF3 type of tactical, team-centric game of ambushes from the shadows and brutal close quarters fire fights…
But that’s only me.

Roy Hwang

On April 25, 2013 at 7:05 pm

Metro has been comfirmed not to ship with multiplayer. maybe itle come in a dlc or something