How To Avoid Multiplayer

Cutting in line reaches ridiculous levels...

One might say I’m a part-time multiplayer enthusiast. I wouldn’t say that, but someone might.  To elaborate, I love immersing myself in the singular experience of a game’s story, but also like to dabble in the online realm. While this may describe you as well, I know that just as many will have a different penchant. Some have a rabid aversion to any form of multiplayer; those are the people I would now like to aggravate. Whoa now… sit back down, hot rod, it’s all in good fun.

This article seeks to help those who loathe the idea of a multiplayer addition to their favorite single player game. Some refer to these individuals as “purists” and I’m sure you’ve seen them on any number of game forums. Their comments range from mild to extreme in regards to the inclusion of an online component for what they feel should remain a solitary adventure. The inclusion I refer to has been taking place more commonly in sequels these days, and purists often say the story will suffer from a “tacked on” multiplayer.

Some popular examples of games adding multiplayer are Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, BioShock 2, Dead Space 2 and rumors of some online component in a future Mass Effect game. The preceding game titles are in alphabetical order in case you didn’t notice. Anyway, I have thoroughly enjoyed both the single player and multiplayer in Brotherhood. That is to say, except for the scientology-ish aspects of the story, which I might write about later. BioShock 2′s multiplayer was fine by me once they ironed the bugs out. Game freeze, anyone? As you may or may not know, a different studio (Digital Extremes) handled the multiplayer separately from the singleplayer campaign, so the tacked on theory doesn’t really explain the somewhat lackluster story - I guess you can blame that solely on 2K Marin. Dead Space 2 did not suffer in the least from having multiplayer; I’m sure fans of the series will all agree, the single player campaign of the sequel smokes that of the first game. As for the multiplayer, it’s a chaotic good time, but more so when your teammates are actually trying to accomplish objectives and using their mics. Crazy concept, eh? Lastly, while I am not opposed to multiplayer in the Mass Effect realm, I hope it’s something separate from the trilogy. Although it peaks my interest, this fact remains: “I’m Commander Shepard and this (Mass Effect) is my favorite single player game on the console”. Mass Effects fans know what I’m saying there.

As you can see, I have been more or less pleased thus far with the multiplayer ventures in otherwise single player games but, like I said earlier, I have seen some who adamantly oppose such extensions. If you fall into this category (sometimes called Multiplayer Haters) and do not wish to support such game mutations, then worry not. I have formulated a type of manual to help.

Avoiding Multiplayer

1. Do not purchase the game. Proudly demonstrate your unwillingness to support the inclusion of online play. Those filthy games shall never stain your list of played games.

2. If you cannot turn your back on the game, there are alternatives: borrow the game from a friend, rent it or buy a used copy. You might feel better about the purchase by not dropping full price on it. However, caution should be employed when accessing the main menu of the game. As you might have guessed, several cautionary practices are conveniently listed below.

A. Do not fear that you will be thrown helplessly into a multiplayer match when the game loads. Games with an online mode offer the choice to enter either the Single Player or the Multiplayer. When you see this fork in the road, be careful not to select Multiplayer. If, however, you accidentally highlight the multiplayer option and tap the right button, do not panic. Back out of the multiplayer menu and you will return to safety of the main menu. If panic has already set in, hit the power button on your console and regroup.

B. Another option is to completely block the opportunity from view. Once you enter the main menu of the game and see where the multiplayer tab shows up on the screen, simply place some dark colored tape over that section of your television screen. This ensures you won’t even have to look at that despicable arrangement of letters. Some might say implementing such an extreme tactic might actually make you susceptible to landing in the multiplayer menu, since you won’t know if the multiplayer option is highlighted. To those, I say that is the risk you take, and you can always refer to the previous cautionary practice as a fail-safe.

C. If the first two methods are not appealing (or realistic), perhaps the following is your answer.  With the game in hand, you might find yourself hesitant to slip it into your console due to the knowledge that the nauseating option of multiplayer awaits. To remedy this anxiety, simply unplug the cables that allow an online connection or just pretend you can’t get online. Remember that unplugging also ensures that those on your friends list cannot send you multiplayer invitations.

Now that methods for the purists have been covered, I will make a suggestion to those who have almost been lured or who are currently multiplayer-curious. Perhaps you have been adamantly blasting the idea of a certain online addition in front of your friends, and later find yourself tempted to partake in the action. You might not want your friends to know, right? One of your friends might be trustworthy enough to let you try the multiplayer on their profile without spilling the beans. Doubtful, right? You could always make a new profile or, before you enter the multiplayer, simply change your online status. See? There are ways to keep your little secret safe.

I hope this guide has been helpful for the purists and the curious alike. While there is no need to address multiplayer enthusiasts, I do have a message for those individuals so they don’t feel completely excluded. I will simply say thanks… for all the XP I got from your foolish, repeated attempts to take me down, noob!  Don’t worry, I’m not that kind of online player, but you still liked the comment, didn’t you?

Last five articles by Joe



  1. Ben Ben says:

    Why did they have to go and put multiplayer into Bioshock 2 :(

    I’m 50/50 on the multiplayer front, sometimes it’s great but other times I hate it, simply because I’m exposed to the reality that a lot of the internet, and gamers are grade A assholes.

    Multiplayer with friends – Go team!
    Multiplayer with strangers – I’ll hide in the broom cupboard.

  2. Richie rich says:

    Playing with randoms is the worst thing on Earth.

    I generally don’t even get involved in it but I’ve been proactively taking your advice and simply not buying Brotherhood.

  3. Adam Adam says:

    I think its weird that so much pressure is put into games now with the 2nd question asked (after I Can Haz Cheezburger?) is: does it have multiplayer?

    After GTA3 came out, the most commonly heard thing was Can you get out of your car and walk around? so maybe this is just a phase and games will come back to the centre.

    For somethings, it makes the game worth the money. Their are few games you can argue that the time spent developing a multiplayer component could have been better spent extending the story. Most games by the time I have finished them have outstayed their welcome simply by having used all of the tools in the game to challenge you already. To then be able to take it online is perhaps an added bonus but when you consider what’s waiting for you online, it seems to seem less enticing.

    I was one of the gang that when AC2:Brotherhood was revealed said “What? You’re going to sell me AC2 again but with multiplayer?” -It was all the marketing would talk about. The buzz was very much centered around this unique MP experience that hadn’t been seen in gaming and having already seen it in gaming, I knew it wasn’t going to work as anyone who used to play ‘The Ship’ back when it was still a mod could attest to once it went retail. I got it into my head that AC2:BH was simply a multiplayer thing with a story selotaped onto it and then when the game was due for imminent release, only then did Ubi start banging on about this new 30 hour single player experience that I was really up for.

    The damage was ultimately done and I never bought it despite hearing nothing but good things about the extended story and the new challenges that the part-sequel brings. Maybe some day I will but when I do, their won’t be anyone playing the MP except for that dedicated bunch of tossers who have diligently worked every exploit and are happy to carry on doing so.

    A very loving guide all the same, it’s a shame that I’ll never meet those fellows who heed this excellent advice as we’d probably get along but at least I know they’re safe ;)

    Lovely article Joe

  4. Samuel Samuel says:

    I used to be a total purist. Now it really depends on the game. I’ve come around to playing online mostly because of this site and our forum, and our weekly Wednesday night games nights. I actually enjoyed the multiplayer in Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood (when it worked) and in Red Dead Redemption (though the single player was still better). Halo Reach and Need for Speed Hot Pursuit I almost exclusively play online now, and Borderlands is in my collection only to be played with other people.

    But there are still titles I don’t want to see given multiplayer. I was cock a hoop to finally be told that Batman Arkham City wouldn’t have co-op or some other multiplayer tacked onto what was a sublime single player experience. And the thought of Mass Effect 3 having multiplayer makes my flesh crawl with utter revulsion. I think with good reason too; look what happened to Knights of the Old Republic 3. That’s right, never happened, was replaced with a fucking MMO. If that happens to Mass Effect, I will kill again.

  5. SimonJK says:

    Hmm, multiplayer? Personally not much of a fan, I enjoy each of my gaimg experiences to be new and varied so to play the same old tired themes – CTF, deathmatch etc but with just a differant skin doesn’t appeal to me in the least. I myself feel that tacking on a mulitplayer in most games is simply an excuse not to give a full single player mode and fill the rest in with a ‘blank chessboard’ for gamers. I will admit to in the past being totally addicted to multiplayer games like both GRAWs Co-Op campaign mode and Chromehounds, you’ve gotta love the imagination put into some of the mechs other people had made.

    It’s really not just that, I for one spend most of my shared day dealing with other people and my large number of children and the last thing I need when I’m relaxing in the evening/ early morning during my ‘me time’ is to spend it with some whiny underage kid messing my gaming experience up:)

  6. Kat says:

    Multiplayer Haters? Lol Love that phrase.

    I love me some multiplayer action! It bugs me when they feel the need to tack on some kind of single player campaign to a game. I mean jeezus… the storylines, the playing by yourself… I just want to shoot my friends! ^_^

    I admit I actually lost 99% of any interest in LA Noire the moment I heard it had no multi-modes :/

  7. Edward Edward says:

    I’ve never been a purist, but I’ve never been one who thinks multiplayer is the be-all, end-all either.
    The thing is, I can understand how multiplayer is necessary for some companies, but I think a lot put too much faith into it and spend too much time on something the game doesn’t need and will then be ignored.
    Of course, the biggest reason is that which many will understand…
    Those blasted multiplayer achievements will be the death of some of us, especially as with those aforementioned shoehorned multiplayer modes will be shoehorned achievements that place too much focus on a mode that should be optionary, not forced for the hunters.

  8. Lee says:

    I don’t see online as a problem, I hardly touched dead space 2′s it’s mostly been racing games and halo of late.

    Dam you’ve got me wanted to go play something good old multiplayer now! I’m feeling co-opy. Maybe Gears of War.

  9. Lorna Lorna says:

    I’m one of the multiplayer haters all the way. While there are games that I will stoop to playing MP on, I generally despise it, especially in games that are very story oriented. Some games are naturally built for MP with flimsy stories to match, such as Left 4 Dead, however, with more intense titles it really seems unnecessary. Anything which forces me into the company of strangers makes me nervous as a rule. Will start applying the tape method immediately. I expect not to be able to even see my screen by this time next year. ;) Nice article Joe, enjoyed finding pics too!

  10. Mark R MarkuzR says:

    “If panic has already set in, hit the power button on your console and regroup.”


    “place some dark colored tape over that section of your television screen.”

    Total genius! I’m not so much a multiplayer HATER but would much rather enjoy a decent single player campaign on my own and then immerse myself into the murky waters of multiplayer when I feel like hanging out with some friends. There are certain games which are clearly geared entirely towards co-op, and I get that, but I’d never go out and buy a game that has a decent single player storyline and only ever play the multiplayer. I don’t do the single player stuff on Hot Pursuit, Burnout Paradise or Left4Dead because I just don’t think the games are good enough single player games, so they’ll always be multiplayer for me.

    Having said that… I have to go with what Ben said – I’d much rather stick to NOT playing with randoms. Playing with strangers is fine if it’s part of a game night where it’s all about the community spirit, but when I want to play a game properly…. then I’d rather play with friends.

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