Daily Think: Non-Direct Competitive Multiplayer

Obviously, direct competitive multiplayer is where a great deal of core, non-MMO multiplayer comes from. People like it. I don’t particularly understand it, nor will I try to (because, as Tim Rogers pointed out when talking about Facebook games (on Kotaku, I believe it was)(and if you don’t know why I’m parenthesizing like this, you should read the writing Tim Rogers), people prefer to play with their friends, not against them (though I played Monopoly last night while studying for a test and that was competitive)), but  whatever. There are other ways of multiplayer play. Most obviously, we have co-op. I absolutely love co-op play, and I must say that the most fun I’ve ever had gaming was when I was playing alongside others.

But you know what’s cool? Competitive multiplayer that isn’t direct.

Forza 4’s a cool game. It’s got this neat mode where you can race other peoples’ “ghosts,” which are transparent phantasms of races long past. You can pull one up and race the person nearest in ranking to you without actually having to race them right then and there. This ultimately means that you aren’t stressing about winning in the moment, because you can always come back and do it again. That person’s time isn’t going anywhere until they race again, so you’ve probably got plenty of time to challenge their ghost.

It’s relaxing and cathartic all at once.

I see Mass Effect 3 is including some form of multiplayer–apparently cooperative. While curious about it, I’ve still no desire to buy Mass Effect 3. I hope it’s a better game than its predecessors, but I doubt that very much. Bioware’s trend is a downward one. Rage’s multiplayer is an interesting beast that I’ve yet to try, but I like how co-op is based on a series of stories you’ll hear over the course of the game. Bulletstorm’s maps are cooperative, but they’re not attached to the campaign itself, and the DLC features stuff that wasn’t even remixed from the original game. Modern Warfare 2’s spec-ops mode was super neat, and Nazi Zombies is a cool way of doing multiplayer.

I wish people would bring more variance to multiplayer. It’d be nice.

I’ve gotten four drafts started this weekend, but I’ve also got a mitderm coming shortly, so I’ve been working on that and playing both Infamous and Fallout.

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