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Posted by BisonHero (8565 posts) 1 year, 4 months ago

Poll: Has afterthought multiplayer ever turned out to be super awesome? (100 votes)

Yes 81%
No 10%
Show results 9%

Some games have afterthought multiplayer. That's what I call any game where clearly the original design doc was this super clever singleplayer game, but the publisher or whoever said "OK, yeah, but it would really help if we could put a 'multiplayer' bullet point on the back of the box."

Did Dead Space or Resident Evil ever need multiplayer? Not fucking really, but they've both experimented with it, largely unsuccessfully.

Did it help the sales of either game that Mass Effect 3 or Bioshock 2 or Spec Ops: The Line had multiplayer? Doubts.

Did anyone play the multiplayer in Metroid Prime 2? If you did, may god have mercy on your soul.

Did anyone play the multiplayer in Pikmin 2 or 3? OK, so no one did, but I'm actually going to stick up for this one, because those modes are actually fucking awesome. The hardest part is just finding someone else in your friend group that actually has any idea how the fuck to play Pikmin, because otherwise your micro due to owning the game is just going to autowin you ever game. But seriously, those modes are great.

So anyway, if you can think of a game where CLEARLY it began its life as a single player game idea, and somewhere along the line they came up with a multiplayer mode to bolt onto it, BUT IT WAS ACTUALLY PRETTY GOOD, vote yes, and share your experience with it! If it's all been bad for you, vote no, and feel free to bitch about just how stupid and pointless some particular multiplayer mode was.

#1 Posted by TwoArmed (129 posts) -

GoldenEye's multiplayer was put in at the last minute.

#2 Posted by MEATBALL (4033 posts) -

If Mass Effect 3's multiplayer counts as an afterthought then yes, because it was super awesome. I don't know if Uncharted 2 counts, but its multiplayer was also a huge surprise.

#3 Edited by BisonHero (8565 posts) -

@twoarmed said:

GoldenEye's multiplayer was put in at the last minute.

GoldenEye itself was planned to be an on-rails shooter for at least the first months of development, which I feel like you can kind of still notice in some of the level design, and the way enemies pop up from behind cover or from behind doors and crates. The development and out-of-nowhere success of that game is crazy in all kinds of different ways.

#4 Edited by Aetheldod (3914 posts) -

ME 3 .... man I played that for over 5 months

#5 Posted by BisonHero (8565 posts) -

@meatball said:

If Mass Effect 3's multiplayer counts as an afterthought then yes, because it was super awesome. I don't know if Uncharted 2 counts, but its multiplayer was also a huge surprise.

Uncharted 2 has solid enough 3rd-person shooting, so the multiplayer felt kind of appropriate.

Mass Effect 3's MP I count as an afterthought because I never thought the shooting gameplay in Mass Effect was particularly good enough to warrant multiplayer. It functions, I guess, but I tolerate it to be able to advance the story. I don't think its shooting gameplay is intrinsically enjoyable. But glad to hear you had a good time with its multiplayer!

#6 Posted by crithon (3549 posts) -

tomb raider vs uncharted 2 and 3 multiplayer.

I don't know where to begin about this? It's an odd thing, I do think that all of this is a lot like getting friends together and having fun one time and never able to get that magic working again.

#7 Edited by Oldirtybearon (5291 posts) -

Assassin's Creed MP turned out way better than it had any right to be.

#8 Posted by SunBroZak (1832 posts) -

I'm not sure if it'd count as an afterthought, but I really loved the Fear 3 multiplayer modes.

#9 Edited by SARRISS (174 posts) -

Freedom fighters multiplayer is some of the most fun I had with that game. So yes.

#10 Edited by Neonie (438 posts) -

Wasn't the entire story with Halo's multiplayer was it was kind of thrown in (and you couldn't even connect to the internet!) but a lot of love went into it and it provided to be a huge hit to local players, and that's how Halo 2 and eventually the rest of the Halo games wound up becoming Multiplayer powerhouses?

#11 Edited by rubzo (45 posts) -

I'm surprised no one has remembered the original Deus Ex's patched-in multiplayer. It was awesome, and I'll fight ya'll if you disagree.

#12 Posted by Quarters (2133 posts) -

Mass Effect 3 actually had pretty rad coop. It turned out way better than I expected.

#13 Posted by ThunderSlash (2406 posts) -

I will vouch for Mass Effect 3's multiplayer mode. I had a ton of fun with it.

#14 Posted by MannyMAR (596 posts) -

Space Marine's multiplayer was badass for what it was.

#15 Posted by crithon (3549 posts) -

I was afraid this would happen, everyone is going to on about how great this multiplayer on any game is.

We have to nip this in the bud and just face facts by asking if "Is this multiplayer unnecessary to the core game?"

#16 Posted by bau (14 posts) -

Me and my friends played a bunch of local Pikmin multiplayer, a couple of beer, pizza and pikmin and the neighbours were down once an hour to complain about our screaming...

#17 Posted by Doskias (383 posts) -

Playing Mass Effect 3's multiplayer with random matchmade strangers sucked. It just felt like worse N7 Missions. That turned around when I played with friends, though, and it became incredibly fun. Especially as Bioware/EA kept adding more and more content to the mode that let you play as new and interesting types of soldiers.

I haven't touched it myself, but I heard Bioshock 2's multiplayer was surprisingly good.

#18 Posted by egg (1619 posts) -

It probably has happened... it's incredibly naive to think the quality of something correlates strictly to the amount of try.

@crithon said:

I was afraid this would happen, everyone is going to on about how great this multiplayer on any game is.

We have to nip this in the bud and just face facts by asking if "Is this multiplayer unnecessary to the core game?"

Isn't multiplayer by default unnecessary to the single player, and vice-versa?

#19 Posted by Tennmuerti (8515 posts) -
  • Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood - hands down, turned out to be one of the most innovative and fun MP games of all time, it completely changed what I valued the series for
  • Syndicate - they actually made good on their promise of recreating the original missions to an extent, assaulting the Atlantig Acelerator was hella dope, also while small in scope everyone had a blast while it lasted, it was much more fun then just the bland campaign
  • Mass Effect 3 - yet another surprise I spent quite a bit of time on, it was fun making some imbalanced builds
  • Space Marine - i'll echo this one, MP turned out to be the best part of the game, it was surprisingly tactical and dynamic, with plenty of people playing, it's downfall was sadly bad netcode and latency issues
#20 Edited by me3639 (2006 posts) -
#21 Posted by Ramone (3077 posts) -

I thought I heard somewhere that the Gears multiplayer was a "Why not?" kind of thing towards the end of development and that turned out pretty well.

#22 Edited by believer258 (12972 posts) -

Call of Duty World at War's zombie mode was a last minute throw in. Mass Effect 3's multiplayer might be the best part of that game.

#23 Edited by Fredchuckdave (7460 posts) -

Spec Ops: The Line's multiplayer is pretty good as is Tomb Raider's. Resident Evil multiplayer is excellent. Uncharted 2, 3, and The Last of Us. obviously were intended to have a multiplayer component. Metroid Prime 2 gave us this, which was pretty amazing.

#24 Posted by Sinusoidal (2352 posts) -

Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal had pretty good multiplayer. It was the first game in the (copious) series that did, and the last as far as I know.

#25 Posted by EuanDewar (5155 posts) -

@tennmuerti: Maybe its just me but I never perceived Brotherhood's multiplayer as an afterthought. It felt like Ubi were pretty heavily invested in that multiplayer but fans of the series just didn't think it would end up being any good.

#26 Posted by Brodehouse (10654 posts) -

The multiplayer in Red Faction: Guerrilla is actually better than the campaign. It adds these awesome backpacks that give you special abilities like the ability to cloak, or charge through walls, or leap through ceilings. Add that to the GeoMod engine terrain destruction and you have an incredible new take. The terrain and map conditions are changing all the time, so chokepoints quickly become blasted flat, you can't camp and hide because people can come right through the walls. It's so good.

#27 Posted by OurSin_360 (1222 posts) -

I threw probably over 500hrs into Mass Effect 3 multiplayer, i think it was actually better than the main game(sadly). I think for games like that co-op is the way to go

#28 Posted by fisk0 (5314 posts) -

System Shock 2's co-op is great, and was patched in a few weeks after launch. It's probably my favorite co-op game.

#29 Edited by ChoboBot (192 posts) -

The Last of Us had a pretty good multiplayer, nothing revolutionary but had a different pace than your CoD and clones alike.

#30 Edited by Fredchuckdave (7460 posts) -

@brodehouse: I had fun with Guerilla as well, there just weren't very many people playing it.

#31 Posted by GorillaMoPena (2683 posts) -

The is the first time I'm learning Spec Ops The Line had multiplayer.

#32 Posted by Fredchuckdave (7460 posts) -

@gorillamopena: If you liked the shooting (GOT THE FUCKER!) in Spec Ops then you'll like the multiplayer.

#33 Posted by GERALTITUDE (4550 posts) -

Yeah if ME3 is what we mean when we say afterthought then hell yes, the mp in that game was amazing.

#34 Posted by Hippie_Genocide (959 posts) -

The spies vs mercs multiplayer from Pandora Tommorow (and to a lesser extent, Chaos Theory) was surprisingly awesome. It's probably too fully realized to be considered an afterthought, but I was surprised by how good it was.

#35 Edited by dancinginfernal (496 posts) -

@ramone: Yeah, late into development of Gears of War, Microsoft apparently said to Epic that the single player was not enough to sell consoles with, and that they needed MP. I believe this led to the inclusion of Rod Fergusson as a producer, and he ended up helping them barely finish the MP in time. Although in the end you can tell it was rushed and that it hasn't aged very well, it was some fantastic fun back in the day.

PS: I unfortunately can't seem to find an article that details the entire story anywhere, just a few wink and nods to it, so I'm sorry if my information is a bit lacking.

#36 Edited by Blu3V3nom07 (4213 posts) -

Mass Effect 3, I played to hundreds of levels.

#37 Posted by Irvandus (3105 posts) -

Mass Effect 3 was pretty great. The Assassin's Creed mulitplayer is also really cool.

#38 Posted by BisonHero (8565 posts) -

OK guys, I get it. Does anybody have some games to mention aside from Mass Effect 3 and Assassin's Creed? Or could people actually list some games earlier than this gen? Nothing against this gen, but you're all listing the same 4 or 5 games. The only older games people have mentioned are Deus Ex, System Shock 2, and early Splinter Cell.

At least no one is chiming in to defend Dead Space and Resident Evil's multiplayer modes.

#39 Posted by CreepyUncleBrad (205 posts) -

The Bicycle minigame in Mr. Mosquito was so much fun I played it more than the actual game.

#40 Edited by RecSpec (4658 posts) -

I want to say Elite Beat Agents/Ouendan but I just remember my younger brother being WAY better at the spins than I was, so I always lost.

#41 Edited by ArtisanBreads (4868 posts) -

I don't know how last minute it was, but The Warriors multiplayer I have never seen talked about really but I thought it was outstanding. Just full rumbles between gangs and players where you could finish off enemies often by throwing them off a roof. It was like a snappier, more brutal version of the fun I used to have playing Royal Rumbles in the N64 wrestlers.

Plus full story co-op. That game ruled.

Another one: Brothers in Arms. Again, didn't develop the game so I can't tell you how that worked, but the multi I have also never seen talked about and it was really cool. Small player count but each guy got his squads just like in the campaign. Led to really cool tactical situations with that same shooting you're used to in most online shooters. I think it was pretty unique and I've been bummed there hasn't really been anything like that since.

Kind of hopeful that NPCs in multi become in style (thanks Titanfall) so we can have a new online shooter with tactical squad controls like that.

@sarriss said:

Freedom fighters multiplayer is some of the most fun I had with that game. So yes.

This is a good call that I forgot about. One of my very favorite games but had a lot of fun playing the multiplayer. It had a decent scope with the squad controls. See the above comments on Brothers in Arms, it had that kind of feel to the multiplayer.

#42 Posted by BisonHero (8565 posts) -

@recspec said:

I want to say Elite Beat Agents/Ouendan but I just remember my younger brother being WAY better at the spins than I was, so I always lost.

God, the spin sequences are the one glaring design flaw in what is otherwise one of the greatest rhythm games ever. It's bad in the same way that the whammy bar in Guitar Hero/Rock Band was bad. The spins and the whammy bar are both a great way to make you wear out your hardware much faster. I cannot begin to describe the number of overlapping circles scratched into the center of my DS screen as a result of EBA.

I'm fine with touch controls in DS and 3DS games, but any game that has you vigourously slide the stylus over and over in the same spot is kind of a dick move.

#43 Edited by awesomeusername (4537 posts) -

The Last of Us multiplayer reveal was out of nowhere and it's one of the best multiplayer I've ever played. Other ones I enjoyed were Uncharted 2, Assassins Creed, BioShock 2, and Mass Effect 3. God of War: Ascensions multiplayer is pretty solid too.

#44 Edited by SolitaryHero (21 posts) -


Have to agree with you there, but unfortunately for me it was a very limited experience. I'm not sure how long it had been out at the time but the multiplayer community was all but dead by the time I got round to trying it, and even then those were some very low populated games. I don't really remember anyone playing anything but Halo 2 on the original Xbox live!

#45 Edited by Zeik (3478 posts) -

I don't know how fair it is to call some of these "afterthoughts". Games like Uncharted The Last of Us Mass Effect and Assassin's Creed all seem like they would have been poor fits for multi'layer but the fact that they turned out so well shows to me they actually put quite a bit of thought into them.

#46 Edited by Seppli (11233 posts) -
  • The Last of Us
  • Mass Effect 3

Two excellent examples of games that don't need multiplayer, but for some reason both have excellent and unique multiplayer parts. I think both were mandated rather than the point of the development. The dev team put their best effort into it regardless - and the results are brilliant.

*except for ME3's mystery box unlock and microtransaction scheme, which went from being fun to being completely broken, and infuriating to the point of my blood boiling over and steam shooting from ears.

#47 Posted by BisonHero (8565 posts) -

@zeik said:

I don't know how fair it is to call some of these "afterthoughts". Games like Uncharted The Last of Us Mass Effect and Assassin's Creed all seem like they would have been poor fits for multi'layer but the fact that they turned out so well shows to me they actually put quite a bit of thought into them.

Yeah, people are taking this in some dumb directions I didn't really intend, but my criteria for afterthought multiplayer were pretty nebulous in the first place I guess. People are listing way too many big games by Western devs. The games you specifically mentioned actually have pretty solid multiplayer that someone obviously cared about and had potential. The multiplayer in Spec Ops: The Line doesn't have nearly the polish of the singleplayer and is just super standard deathmatch except oh hey there are occasional sandstorms.

I'm sure the Resident Evil and Dead Space multiplayer modes weren't an afterthought for those particular games (I imagine Dead Space 2/3 and Resident Evil 5/6 were told they needed multiplayer very early in development), but they fit so poorly into the gameplay of the series that they feel like a poorly implemented afterthought. Multiplayer horror is kind of just a dumb idea, unless you're just a full-on action game like Left 4 Dead. I guess Assassin's Creed multiplayer was similarly added in after the first game, but the difference there is that "cat and mouse" is inherently fun, and it's almost nothing like the singleplayer because instead of worrying about alerting guards and finding sync points and whatever, it's "HEY EVERYBODY IS NPCS THIS IS WEIRD RIGHT?" They clearly put a lot of thought into it, and it worked out well, so I feel like everyone including AC is kind of cheating.

C'mon, people, get more obscure. Did you somehow actually really like the deathmatch in some obscure FPS where the singleplayer clearly had more dev time and they just kinda crapped out some multiplayer maps? Did you really enjoy Pikmin 2 or 3's multiplayer, when only like 1-5% of people ever play it and it probably got very little dev time relative to the singleplayer?

#48 Edited by ZolRoyce (1154 posts) -

Without hearing what the developers have to say it's hard to know if any of these were truly 'afterthoughts' or not buuuuuuut maybe some of these?

Condemned 2 had some really great multiplayer modes, 1 life cops vs. psychos matches in scary farm houses was amazingly fun.

Someone mentioned Fear 3, it had some neat twists on MP, the one where you are running from the giant fog wall of death is super thrilling at times, it can get the heart pumping when it is right on your ass. Then again from what I remember Fear 2 has an alright MP mode so maybe 3 wasn't an after thought.

The AVP games always seemed to sell themselves on their SP but the MP modes were clearly the best part of them. Oh man, the mode where someone starts as an alien and kills off humans to respawn them as aliens was so sweet, especially when you got down to just a handful of guys who put their backs to the wall somewhere and the xenos were just charging relentlessly at them.

Was the Half-Life MP mode back in the day an afterthought? The Half-life games carried themselves on their single player that's for sure, but that game/the games engine sure did spawn a bunch of fantastic MP mods/full fledged games.

It's kind of a hard question, very debatable what games truly had afterthought MP or not.

#49 Posted by Brendan (8810 posts) -

The OP assumes that because the multiplayer feels "tacked on" that it means it wasn't a thought out and integral part of the development process. That seems mighty presumptive to me.

Following his thought process, however; I enjoyed both Assassin's Creed and Mass Effects mp.

#50 Posted by ArbitraryWater (12897 posts) -

Welp, everyone has already said Mass Effect 3, but even then Bioware put some effort into that with their multiple free expansions and stuff.

If we're talking about a real throwaway multiplayer mode, I've derived some dumb enjoyment out of Zombi U's terrible versus mode. It's not good at all.