Opinion: There Should Always Be An Offline Option

Published August 10, 2018 by Amanda B. Greene

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I know this is probably an unpopular opinion, often bringing about arguments on threads, but I think it needs to be said. Some of the best and biggest games out there, as well as many upcoming ones, are always online, so those of us who don’t have good enough internet for online gaming can’t play them at all. I feel that this could be avoided for at least a few titles out there. Here, I’ll list out my reasons and acknowledge the opposite side too.

  • It limits your audience, potentially pushing away newcomers from the series.
  • It’s also a hurtful move for franchises that were previously available offline.

Fallout 76 is an upcoming action and role-playing game for Microsoft Windows, Playstation 4, and Xbox One to be released on November 14th, 2018. This serves as a perfect example because it will be entirely online and the previous title in the franchise, Fallout 4 was playable offline. My brother and I enjoyed the experience of exploring its unique post-apocalyptic world, defeating enemies with different weapons. So when we heard of this, we were excited until we read more about it.

People who pass on Fallout 76 may not return to the franchise by the time Bethesda comes out with another entry, which will take years to create and develop. According to Quora, video games on average can take as long as five years to complete since they are big undertakings. Fallout 4 first came out on November 10th, 2015 – a difference of about three years.

This is unfortunate because the changes and improvements I’ve heard about so far sound great like the ability to build bases anywhere in the world instead of being restricted to certain settlements. I don’t know why they couldn’t have made a offline single-player campaign separate from the public servers with the exception of missing out on some gameplay, but I hope Fallout 76 does well with its new ideas.

There are plenty of other game developers doing the same thing with their own franchises like Square Enix did with Dragon Quest X back in 2012. I feel in love with Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies as one of my favorite Nintendo DS games, but I haven’t been able to get back into the series since with Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past (3DS) being a massive disappointment so far for me.

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  • Good broadband internet to rural areas is unlikely to come for a long time.

The debate over internet access and speeds has been going on for a long time with no clear answers or solutions for helping rural areas meet the standards of urban centers. Discussions about expanding networks through extending more cables started back with former President Barack Obama in recent memory and now President Trump has mentioned it as well, but no notable action is being shown so far.

Personally, my family and I live in the country, at least thirty minutes away from anything. We’ve had many problems with our satellite internet, often getting less than what was promised at a inconsistent rate. Hours of customer service phone calls and days of visiting technicians did very little to fix things, wasting time and creating frustration. While we would switch to other providers, there are really no other options for us out where we are as we have looked around multiple times.

It is unlikely that this will change and I imagine many others can relate to this situation. The estimates on progress varies depending on the company, all of them saying years, and unless they see enough potential customers down the street, businesses like AT&T won’t go any further.

If you would like to read more, check out The Conversation‘s internet article by clicking right here. There are some nice summaries and descriptions on different services and facts displayed on bar graphs.

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  • Single-player and local multiplayer experiences are still wanted by many gamers.

Some of my best memories are whenever my friends and family played video games with me, something we used to do all the time. The Playstation 2 era will probably always be my favorite because of the endless hours spent having fun cooperatively and competitively with great games like Ratchet & Clank: Deadlocked. However, finding good “couch” games is becoming harder nowadays as this feature is not as popular as it used to be. I would love for the game industry as a whole to go back to its roots since I’ve heard and read about how a good number of people still want to relive that same experience they had from when they were younger.

The Playstation 3 also had a fantastic library for local multiplayer with LittleBigPlanet, LittleBigPlanet 2, Borderlands 2, multiple Call of Duty titles, Rayman Origins, and so on. Since then though, online play has been increasingly more prominent with each new generation of consoles and handhelds.

We’ve been seeing less single-player titles as well lately, but unlike the falling trend or demand for local multiplayer, they continue to remain strong and improve. Horizon Zero Dawn, released in 2017, alone sets the bar as having one of the best stories I have ever experienced. Here, I feel that more gamers would agree that there should always be a place for single-player games.

  • Online play is the way of the future, especially if you don’t know many gamers…

I definitely see the other side of the argument though as there is a growing number of opportunities and possibilities with online multiplayer. Being able to connect and play with anyone from around the world, usually in large groups, is a great achievement, especially as video games are becoming more complicated. Technology advances help spur on new ideas that in turn inspire others.

Most of the people I know personally don’t play video games. If I had a good enough internet connection for gaming, I would definitely play with the great friends I’ve made on GameInformer and Discord over the years.

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Thank you for reading and I hope you liked what I had to say. Have a good night!

 

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