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Spec Ops’ multiplayer is “a cancerous growth”

2 min read


I’ve bored you all before with diatribes about publisher mandated meddling – mostly multiplayer – that gets added to games because people in suits who don’t really understand videogames insist on certain features being added to games so that they have another back-of-the-box selling point. I’m not going to do that again; instead you can read it from the horse’s mouth, as Yager talks about 2K insisted on adding multiplayer to the otherwise rather excellent Spec Ops: The Line; even calling it a “cancerous growth.”

"The multiplayer mode of the Spec Ops: The Line was never a focus of the development," Lead Designer Cory Davis said in an interview – part of a rather enjoyable, exhaustive article on the game and its history by Polygon, "but the publisher was determined to have it anyway. It was literally a check box that the financial predictions said we needed, and 2K was relentless in making sure that it happened – even at the detriment of the overall project and the perception of the game."

Against Davis’ wishes, multiplayer was mandated – and ended up being farmed out to Darkside Studios – resulting in a  "low-quality Call of Duty clone in third-person," which "tossed out the creative pillars of the product."

"It sheds a negative light on all of the meaningful things we did in the single-player experience," Davis said. "The multiplayer game’s tone is entirely different, the game mechanics were raped to make it happen, and it was a waste of money. No one is playing it, and I don’t even feel like it’s part of the overall package – it’s another game rammed onto the disk like a cancerous growth, threatening to destroy the best things about the experience that the team at Yager put their heart and souls into creating."

Yager’s praised 2K for allowing them to make the hard-hitting, topically sensitive game they wanted to make – but completely hates on the tacked-on multiplayer – and he’s right; it’s tacked-on in every sense of the word, adding nothing of any value to a pretty damned exceptional shooter. If you haven;t played it, you really should; buy, beg, borrow or steal

Last Updated: August 29, 2012

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