By Jeremy G. Butler (Author Page, Twitter Page, Facebook Page)
What I’m Thankful For:
I know I know – “online multiplayer is where it’s at!” And to an extent I agree – hell, I pay for an XBL subscription as well. I’ve logged who knows how many hours on Modern Warfares 1 & 2 shooting dudes in the face and grindin‘ noobs…or, well, whatever the new fancy term is for getting points and leveling up. So yeah, online multi is all well and fine, buuut…
While yeah, with online multi you don’t have to deal with losing half of your screen, what you lose is that extra bit of social experience. Having somebody actually in the room with you – digging into the same bag of chips, reaching over and fucking with their controller when you’re behind, actual interaction above and beyond the confines of the console. My cousin and I have regularly gamed almost every single Sunday since back in the days of Halo 1 on the first XBOX. One of our favorite things to do together is start story campaign and play through to the end – yeah a lot of the multi options are fun (Horde on GoW comes to mind), but those things can get monotonous in a 2-player environment. At any rate, it’s a tradition we really enjoy, but it’s one that’s harder and harder lately to indulge. See, with the blossoming of the “online is where it’s at” mentality – more and more of the newer games are eschewing local co-op campaigns for a robust online multi experience. I don’t begrudge that – I totally get it – but it makes it harder for dudes like us (who don’t really get into Madden and want a little more variety than just racing games) to get into a game that we can play together. Your Modern Warfares, Bioshocks, MassEffects, etc – they’re all single player campaigns and they’re not games that we can enjoy together in the way we like (well, I do gotta give credit to Modenr Warfare 2 what with their Special Ops mode, but I digress…).
However, he came over last night with his brand-new copy of Reach and we logged about 5 hours doing what we’ve loved to do for years. And next Sunday (if not sooner) we’ll do it all over again. I’m not the biggest fan of Halo in general – but it’s one of the few games that still lets me play games in one of my most favorite ways to play them – so for that, and for all the other games that still cater to people like me, I’m thankful.