I played MultiVersus For the first time, I was accompanied by two friends over the weekend.
As a large Super Smash Bros. fan, I was concerned that this might be another fan Nickelodeon All-Star BrawlI was expecting a disappointing experience, but instead I was delighted by the clever characters and team-based mechanisms. It wasn’t all good, though. We quickly discovered that there wasn’t actually any option for all three of us to play. Instead, the game currently only supports two- or four-player matches, and there isn’t even an option to add a bot if you only have a three-person group like I did.
To be sure MultiVersus Although technically still in open beta, developer Player First Games claims that it will add more co-op options. It was still frustrating to see three-player support so neglected. This got me thinking about how local multiplayer options have been largely ignored in recent years. Many games that have multiplayer don’t have any options beyond local or multi-player. Halo Infinite, which, after several months, has only finally begun to roll out campaign co-op, but it doesn’t have online matchmaking. Conversely, Fall Guys which celebrated its second anniversary this week, still doesn’t support local multiplayer.
It’s a shame to see games lack such options, especially because there are others on the market right now that are using both local- and online-supported multiplayer to wonderful effect. The Xbox exclusive was just released. As Dusk Falls Engages in a fascinating and unique way: By letting you, the other players, mess with each other. Essentially, As Dusk Falls is an “interactive drama” game in which players can connect via a controller or mobile app to vote for decisions, and there’s even a limited-use option to override one another. It’s a brilliant way to get everyone involved, and it’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen.
“Of course, I get that not every game warrants multiplayer, especially as someone who primarily plays narrative-driven single-player games.”
This is similar to the concept of what Supermassive does with its own branching narrative gaming, like The Dark Pictures Anthology And The Quarry, the latter of which I’m going through now. Every year, my friends and I play these games for our Extra Life charity streams, and it’s a highlight every time. In the Supermassive titles, each player can control one or more characters, passing the controller around when it’s your turn. We had a lot of fun playing with each other, sometimes even trying to kill characters we did not like. That’s to say nothing of the online support for these modes and extra Twitch-friendly features to involve those tuning into your stream.
And these are just “choose-your-own-adventure” games. Last year, the Game of the Year title at the Game Awards was won by none other than It takes twoAn experience that is unforgettable Requirements Two people will run a creative campaign that focuses on teamwork and creativity. This even drew the attention of my mum, who normally doesn’t play games, and she really enjoyed it. The same could have been said for the previous year. Sackboy: A Big AdventureThis was the game we played splitscreen during holiday lockdowns. And that was it. MultiVersus Session with my friends, then we moved on to Nidhogg 2, a clever multiplayer 1v1 duelling game.
If we’re looking at 2022 games, we also recently got the multiplatform puzzle game Escape AcademyThis game can be played by one person, but it is much more fun when you have friends to play with and help you solve escape rooms. This year’s Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga The Canadian-made TMNT Shredder’s Revenge And Nobody Saves the World also offer some good ol’ tried-and-true, all-ages co-op fun. On the other side, there is the more serious side. Elden Ring‘s drop-in, drop-out co-op — returning from other FromSoftware games — is a great way to get some help whenever you’re stuck.
As someone who plays narrative-driven single-player games, I know that not every game is worthy of multiplayer. I do enjoy multiplayer games every once in awhile, and I appreciate developers putting in the effort to bring new twists to the format.
Titles like MultiVersus You can also do the same, multiplayer is one of the many unique aspects of gaming. Now if you don’t mind, my friends and I are going to head back to The Quarry.
Image credit to 2K Games