Yeah, I know. Some people think it should be against the law to ship a shooter without a multiplayer element.
If you talk to some of the younger gamers out there, you'd be surprised at how pissed some individuals get when multiplayer isn't included. This goes double when you're talking about a FPS.
However, after having spent a significant amount of time with the recently released Wolfenstein: The New Order (review coming tomorrow), I've come to the conclusion that in fact, you don't need multiplayer for a FPS to be good. In fact, I distinctly recall a time when a lot of great shooters existed, and they were labeled as "great" because of their campaigns. Remember titles like Medal of Honor: Frontline and Red Faction ? I do.
And The New Order reminds me of such experiences. Many have accused the multiplayer explosion of cutting into the length of single-player adventures; after all, developers only have so much time, money and manpower. If they didn't have to deal with building a complex, robust multiplayer component, just imagine how amazing the campaign could be! That's a common cry among single-player fans. Well, while I haven't finished yet, I've heard that this new Wolfenstein is around 15 hours long; some estimates have been as high 18. That's significant, don't you think? That's longer than any other linear game in recent memory.
So, is there some truth to the notion that multiplayer has gimped the potential of campaigns, especially in the shooter category? Well, of course. Numbers are numbers. But at the same time, I'm not going to say Wolfenstein is some amazing, innovative gem. It's not innovative at all but you know, that's part of its charm. It's just the kind of game that reminds us that every once in a while, we don't need multiplayer, and we don't need a game to be revolutionary. That's still okay, isn't it?
Related Game(s): Wolfenstein: The New Order