Pretty much every single game on the market these days has some form of multiplayer embedded into it. It lengthens a title that would otherwise be finished in a weekend, but all too often, it feels more like a cheap add-on rather than a mode that offers more substance. Hitman: Absolution however, has no multiplayer. None, zilch, zero. An odd decision? Perhaps, but it’s one that developer IO Interactive says won’t be necessary, thanks to the studio putting a twist on competitive play with the Contracts mode.
Speaking to Eurogamer about how multiplayer options could both attractive and irritating, gameplay director Christian Elverdam said that the idea was intriguing, nonetheless. “The broader sense of synchronised multiplayer will always be tempting to investigate,” Elverdam said.
If you look at the games industry right now, there’s no silver bullet game saying: ‘only multiplayer games from now on!’ or ‘only single-player games’. I think The Elder Scrolls is an example of game that did very well as a single-player game.
If you look at the future I think players will be looking for social connectivity.We want to see what our friends are doing. Even if you’re a single-player guy who doesn’t like twitch-reactions or synchronised multiplayer.[But] there also exists a group of people who like to take things at their own pace. In Hitman there’s obviously a story, but it’s also about playing around with the AI. And that can be a real single-player experience.
And the man makes a point. I’m a complete sucker for comparing my stats from my gameplay experience to that of my friends, and sometimes, I like to do things solo, taking my sweet time as it were. The bonus to such linked online components though, is that it can make the experience less intrusive, unlike in Borderlands 2, when Gavin crashes my mission and proceeds to piss off every Badmutha Goliath on the screen.
Not every game on the market needs that multiplayer component, and if developers spent less time working on that, and instead pumping more time and effort into the single-player experience, they could come up with some magical that has replay value, much like what Darksiders 1 and 2, Sleeping Dogs, Skyrim and several other games have done already.
Last Updated: October 1, 2012