Franchises that have started off as strong single player experiences have lately dipped into multiplayer as sequels have been released. These end up having some mixed results ranging from Mass Effect 3 (surprisingly fun) to Dead Space 2 (borderline piss-poor).
After the original BioShock was released with its amazing setting and gameplay that had you mixing guns with plasmid powers, the sequel dared trying to implement these elements into a multiplayer experience. This ended up being largely forgotten and tarnished the young franchise with an entry that wasn’t even developed by 2K Boston, the team behind the original game.
Ken Levine, Creative Director and Co-Founder of Irrational Games (formerly 2K Boston), has now confirmed that the highly anticipated BioShock Infinite will not feature any multiplayer modes at all (including co-op). This has been widely seen as a positive move according to a lot of the fans. I’m wondering though… shouldn’t they at least try?
I’ll be the first to admit that I was a naysayer against multiplayer for all of the previously mentioned franchises. Chalk that up to my cynical side getting the best of me. The truth is that game developers are, despite what a certain movie critic may say, considered artists of their craft. What else do artists do besides strive for something new and different?
We have to keep in mind that BioShock 2 was made primarily to be a cash grab without having Levine’s brilliant team to stay the course. Levine himself even stated that 2K wanted to see a direct sequel that remained in the underwater world of Rapture with all the same features that has become commonplace for a lot of franchises, first-person shooters particularly. The team simply didn’t want to move in that direction and “said all they wanted to say in the world of Rapture” as stated by Levine.
The upcoming BioShock Infinite, simply put, has too much potential to let multiplayer be pushed away. I’m sure Irrational has looked into the possibilities on how to make something like that work. It’s not like they’re strangers to multiplayer games having worked on titles like Tribes: Vengeance and SWAT 4 in the past. My only guess is that their time and/or budget is hitting the boiling point.
The possibilities for multiplayer in Infinite would almost be reminiscent of the name. Adding the skyline transportation alone has me salivating at what that would be like in a “deathmatch” setting. Have two opposing players converge and see who can time their hit better to knock the other off. Even a “capture-the-flag” mode would be amazing as you’re frantically chasing after each other, taking shortcuts on a different rail, and try to cut each other off. And you thought your morning commute was bad!
Are you glad to see BioShock Infinite focus exclusively on single-player or do you also believe there was a missed opportunity? Let us know in the comments section below!