The Evolving Role of Single Player

How Journey taught an old-fashioned gamer to love the evolution of single player.

As video games evolve, so does the single player experience. It used to be you played by yourself unless you had a two player game and a friend at your house. Now, of course, things are completely different. Most games have some sort of multiplayer or co-op portion. We can play with other gamers from all over the world. We can even use games as a way to keep in touch with family members that live far away, like how my son can play Mass Effect 3 with my brother who is several states away.

But what about good, old-fashioned single player campaigns? Since I grew up in the 8-bit era, I’m used to playing alone. In fact, most times I prefer it. I don’t even like onlookers “helping” me while I play. It’s my experience, dammit, let me succeed or fail on my own. I know I’m probably in the minority feeling this way. Fortunately, even though single player is changing, I like the direction it’s going in.

I recently played Journey for the first time. Honestly, I didn’t know much about the game except that everyone seemed to praise it, and it won a lot of awards. I knew there was “something” about co-op, but figured it was the standard lobby set-up. So when I was joined by another player, I thought it was AI. However, when I asked my friend who didn’t have a PS3 hooked up to the Internet if he had another player, the answer was no. Immediately, I was fascinated by this multi but still single player experience. I actually like “journeying” with someone else, even though I didn’t know their username. When the credits rolled, I found out I played with about seven different people.

With Journey, I learned that playing with someone else didn’t have to be the in-your-face multiplayer that so many games push. Bungie’s Destiny is also touting this new single player experience. I look forward to playing Destiny with others, in a non-combative, no spawn killing environment. These new ways to approach single player in a rapidly changing industry give me hope that my favorite way to game won’t be left behind.

Featured Contributor

I've been a freelance gaming writer for three years. I grew-up on the NES. My favorite games include Legend of Zelda, BioShock, and Gears of War. I've been published on various blogs and websites including Yahoo! News.

Games Journey Genres ActionAdventureMusicRPG Platforms PlayStation 3 Tags
Published Mar. 20th 2013
  • Jennifer Amlie
    Featured Contributor
    Oh yes, the graphics and music are amazing. I really enjoyed the game and will probably replay it a few times.
  • HorseJacker_
    Featured Contributor
    Great write-up Jen and I looked into Journey a few months back for the same reasons, a lot of buzz and awards. Never knew about the 'journeying' aspect though which seems very cool.

    Was the music and game just as amazing as it seems?

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