In this weekly column series, I will talk about and discuss my gaming habits and how they have changed over the past twenty-some-odd years. I started my gaming career on the SNES and now I am twenty-eight years old. I mainly play on the PlayStation but dabble with some PC games from time to time. This week I take a look at something that I have started to notice heavily in my day-to-day gaming. I can’t play by myself anymore.
I look back and a lot of my really great memories have been over single player experiences. Games like Kingdom Hearts I & II, The Last of Us and The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim were games that I absolutely loved. I spent hours in them just getting lost in the worlds and never regretted a second of it. I can remember playing Skyrim hours on end, doing all sorts of bizarre quests and just exploring everything that game had to offer. My enjoyment for single player games was at a high point. But there was a turning point recently in my gaming endeavors. I started drifting to multiplayer games more and more. Games like Final Fantasy XIV, Paragon, and Destiny really opened my eyes to playing games with friends all the time. Being able to adventure across these worlds with them on a regular basis was phenomenal.
These multiplayer focused titles really pulled the rug out from under me in terms of how fun playing with friends can be. It wasn’t enough that I could get lost in games by myself anymore, but that having that companionship along the way was half of the enjoyment. I am at the point now that my friend and I have caught ourselves just goofing around in Destiny 2 for upwards of two hours rather than playing a different game by ourselves.
Now I can’t speak for my friend but this kind of behavior has really gotten to me and makes me think that I can’t really play single player games anymore. And that feeling started to build and build. There was a big turning point when Skyrim Special Edition was released for PS4. Yes! Now I could relive my past experiences on next-gen hardware with updated graphics and an even more immersive world. After playing for about half an hour, I realized running around doing quests by myself was miserable.
I need that connection. That companionship. It makes getting lost in these games that much more satisfying but also makes playing alone feel hollow. Knowing that your buddy is next to you and is experiencing these things with you is miles better than experiencing them yourself. Or just goofing around in Destiny 2 for an hour and shooting the shit after a bad day. It’s the way I enjoy my games now.
I have yet to play God of War, Spider-Man or Red Dead Redemption 2 this year. But I have played Monster Hunter World, Dragon Ball FighterZ and Destiny 2 and put a ton of hours into each. I now tend to gravitate more toward multiplayer-centric games in hopes of playing with friends or maybe making new ones. I definitely encourage people to play these single player games, but as for me, going alone is just not the way anymore.