I game solo. I do this because most of the people that one finds online aren’t the sort of people I want to talk to. I also don’t really like playing games with other people for the most part, because they tend to ruin my fun. Even friends do this. I stopped playing the Lego games with people that I knew because while I was trying to do something, people would run off and I’d end up falling off of cliffs. That’s not fun to me. I like to explore, I like to see what’s there. Sometimes I like to just run around on my horse and kill animals for the whole time I’m playing, it’s pretty rare that anybody I know is willing to do whatever I want whenever I want to do it, so I play alone.
There are a few exceptions to that rule, of course. I got Monday Night Combat to play with a couple of friends (which I haven’t done since probably the first month I had it), I bought Viva Pinata: Party Animals with the intention of playing with others while inebriated. And I have a friend who I play the Fable games with. Other than that, however, my games are bought for me to play, and to play alone.
The newest trend of single player games such as Assassin’s Creed, BioShock, Red Dead Redemption and others having a co-op doesn’t bother me. I’m not stupid. I know that other people in the world enjoy having a friend along for certain things. I’m not saying that they can’t make it, or have it, or use it. I don’t understand it, I won’t ever be in that number, but I can ignore it for the most part.
What I can’t ignore is single player games that have achievements attached to them for playing online and/or in co-op. I have games that I will never be able to get all the achievements for because I won’t ever play them with others. These don’t encourage me to do so, either. They just irritate me. Those nagging little empty slots holding achievements that I won’t ever get.
I’m unsure why I should shoulder this punishment because I don’t want to deal with other people. That’s what it feels like, to me. A punishment. It’s like the game industry is saying “Hey, since you’re a loner loser with no friends and antisocial to boot, you don’t get to have as much fun”. (I’m not really a loser with no friends, but I am antisocial and a loner.)
Sometimes I get really frustrated with games that are single player because I look at the list of achievements and see that so many of them are for co-op. How is that possible? Why should that be? In fighting games, in racing games, that makes sense to me. Those are games that you imagine playing with other people. But in no way does it make sense to me to be running around in Mass Effect with a partner of any kind to be getting any sort of achievement. It’s a single player game. While I know that there are games out there used for co-op purposes that have single player stories attached to them, like the Halo series, I can’t think of very many people that I know that go for those games FOR the single player story. They might do it, because it unlocks more things for their co-op, but it’s not why they got it.
Now, let me say here, I’m not opposed to the achievements being there, but can’t there be some kind of option? Some kind of add-on that people who want to play online and in co-op can get? A dollar or two shelled out so they can have these achievements and my slots can be filled with things that I can do alone? The game companies are free to have their cake and eat it too, but there has to be some other way. We unlock many things with DLC, more stories, more missions, more characters, clothes, weapons, random objects, so why can’t co-op be another one of them?
Games are allowed to have a certain amount of achievements attached to them. They have to add up to 2000 points total, it doesn’t matter how they’re distributed. DLC can add more when you buy them. So it makes sense to me to have co-op something that you unlock, something that ADDS those achievements to the game at the end of things. That’s fair to me. A lot of people don’t buy DLC because they’re not interested, so they don’t get those points. I wouldn’t get the points for the co-op DLC because I’m not intersted. It shouldn’t be shoved down my throat that I don’t play games with others when I look at achievement lists and see that there’s a huge chunk of them devoted to something I’m not even interested in.
There are 9 achievements in the main pool of Red Dead Revolver that I’ll never get. On the flip side of that, there’s an entire DLC story that seems to be strictly Co-op (I did buy this, but it was on accident, because I got the special sale that gave you all the RDR DLC for a low price), which is exactly what I’m talking about here. It highlights my idea perfectly. I’m sure lots of people bought this DLC (on purpose), so why couldn’t all of those RDR achievements be in that DLC? Or more than one?
Leave the single player people with the ability to get all the achievements in their game if they can, if they’re interested. Give the co-op people what they want, but keep it something separate. Really easy, in my mind. Really easy.