Hi I’m Javier, and I’m a solo gaming obsessor…..
For the longest-ass time I’ve tried to get into online gaming, and rarely – in fact I’d say never – do I manage to do more than 4 sessions of any online game. Here is the list of recent online games I’ve tried and failed to get into:
- Ghost Recon: Wildlands
- Monster Hunter: World
- Conan Exiles
- Payday 2
- Destiny 2
- Friday the 13th
- Red Dead Online
- Apex Legends
- The Division 2
- Tekken 7
- …And many, many more.
The vast majority of these I’ve played several times and gotten bored (After loving the first couple sessions) – Otherwise I’ve played them once and not gone back to it. As you can see from the list, there’s a fairly large scope in terms of genre and whether it’s something to play alone or co-op, so why on earth do I struggle to keep these games as a main stay?
Most of the time it simply comes down to the fact that there’s no real end to these games. I feel the goal is endless and it’s something I can never truly achieve, even if I’m really enjoying the game this will really put me off. I understand this is the whole point – it’s something you enjoy for the gameplay or competition and something you can continually get better at – but for me I don’t want to. I need an end goal; something to aim for, and the competition online isn’t enough for me, nor the social aspect of online gaming. I’m not saying that online games are bad at all, there are plenty of solo games I’ve played that are far worse than online games; I’ve really enjoyed moments of Division 2 and Destiny for sure, but give it enough time away and I’ll go back to my RPG of the time.
On top of this you’ll have a few hundred or thousand people who will dedicate their life to every online game, so I’m never going to be as good as them because I will never, ever, commit my life to one game, and that’s because there are far too many single player games out there…
This is my next reason, and perhaps the biggest – None of these games have ever measured up to Dark Souls, or Uncharted, or Far Cry, or Final Fantasy… At least to me. There’s nothing better for me than a game that’s between 30 and 80 hours long, something I can thoroughly enjoy and get my teeth into, get really good at, finish (Maybe with DLC) and then move on to the next.
For a game to be online I feel there’s always a sacrifice in gameplay (Unless it’s a shooter, which ain’t really my jam); ESO felt like a huge downgrade from Skyrim or even Oblivion, and FF XIV didn’t hold my attention for more than a couple hours. Not only is the gameplay sacrificed but also the story arcs for online games are so WEAK, “Go here and talk to this NPC, who will have a loose reason why you must defeat the enemies” is about all you get; I understand that the games are huge and the story can’t last forever, but at least give a fair few hours of good story. I have never played an online focused game where the gameplay and story measure up to any of the great single player games out there. It’s a strange thing and sometimes there’s no real reason but more often than not the online games just feel empty.
Occasionally you’ll get something really special like A Way Out and… Well that’s my only real example. A Way Out had everything you’d want from an online experience in my opinion, but the sacrifice is that it’s 6 hours long and kind of a one shot thing. I just don’t understand why it’d be much more difficult to create something like a God of War or Spiderman but with 2 players? Even the most recent details of Square Enix’s Avengers makes it seem like the online/co-op is limited (Which I think will be a good thing).
I really can’t see me changing my mind on this subject as i’ve been playing games for 20 odd years, and I will always get out my single player games first – Maybe I’ll be proven wrong one day…Become a Patron!