The Single Player Experience

Hey you, you’re finally awake

I tend to play more single player focused games than I do multiplayer experiences. Even in multiplayer games too (such as Warframe) I almost always tend to do a solo experience rather than follow the standard procedure of playing directly with other people unless I have to. This seems to be a common trope among most gamers as many of us are introverts however there is something intrinsic about games that are purely for the one player that I find appealing.

Perhaps it’s the fact that immersion is one of the most important aspects to a video game in my opinion. I love vast open worlds and storylines that build up an interesting place to just exist and rather than focusing on just being a video game it tried to make it something more important. As you can probably guess from the images above this is why I love the Elder Scrolls series as I can replay the games over and over doing every quest under the sun but it’s more about my specific character integrating themselves into the world that brings me back. I’ve saved Skyrim more times than I can remember but every time I come back I’m a Necromancer with a deep backstory or a knight looking to make a name for themselves in this land. These games are flawed sure but with the personal connection I make to my characters and how they interact with the land it brings a particularly memorable experience to each playthrough.

Games that focus on creativity too also capture my attention in these aspects too. Minecraft is good fun as a multiplayer experience with the multitude of ways that you can play in this sandbox environment but playing alone with vanilla Minecraft is a calming and immersive experience. Again you can replay this game as many times as you want but ultimately despite you going to the end of the game to beat the dragon it’s more about the exact world you end up in and how you interact with it that is more memorable. It works as a contrast to games that have set worlds however as you can experience completely different environments due to it being procedurally generated and that in itself can bring some great memories that you attach to the game. To this day I remember the first world I played in with my brother when we started trying out Minecraft in beta 1.5 and that is almost purely due to how we affected the world we were placed in. There was a small rock mound in the middle of a field that we turned into a rock fortress complete with a lava moat and glass airlock system using doors. It’s this kind of thing that (despite me and my brother taking turns to play and thus making this multiplayer in a roundabout way) allowed me to enjoy my experience far more than any Call of Duty match or WoW raid could ever hope to compete with.

In the end I suppose I just wanted to talk about how wonderful Single Player games are and that they seem to be a rarer and rarer occurrence in today’s gaming market. I would love to see a return to form in that rather than trying to create simple experiences that hook people on repeating gameplay or interaction with others that instead developers just create amazing worlds for us to explore and get lost in. When I play games I want to experience another life, not just be reminded of entertainment.

Anyway what do you all think of this? Do you agree with these statements or do you prefer multiplayer experiences? Let us all know by commenting and sharing this to other people. That’s all for now, and as always. It’s not just a game, It’s a Life.

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