Today brought forth by two, unnamed, sources via Kotaku was the news that Batman: Arkham Origins will indeed attempt to lengthen the experience of the upcoming title; not in a way that would be hoped for by many fans in ways, like Assassin’s Creed III did it with the Tyranny of George Washington Saga, but instead through adding a multiplayer experience to the game. The optimism that we once had in the newly anointed Warner Brothers Studios to develop the game instead of Rocksteady, possibly being able to do even more with an already terrific series, has now been cast with doubt in the wake of the news. There is no reason to implement a multiplayer experience into a game that doesn’t need it to succeed. Instead, there are plenty of ways to increase the experience and lengthen the amount of time that gamers stay in-touch with the title, not to mention the fact more money as well, but multiplayer is something that now feels forced into a package that has a proven track record, including both games receiving Game of the Year nomination nods, without it.
This is another case and point of a game developer missing the mark on what fans are asking for to bring more content to the games that we love. Bioshock Infinite for example, out of all of the early blockbuster this year, nailed the formula and is praised for its accomplishments. See Irrational Games didn’t need to bring a multiplayer into the equation like was attempted in Bioshock 2 as fans want a longer game, something to help them dive deeper into the world that is being created around them. Instead of a shallow run and gun, capture the flag, or even horde modes that are becoming all to common in games today they challenged the formula of others and succeeded with flying colors.
WB has it wrong here, just like Crystal Dynamics got it wrong with Tomb Raider. It doesn’t mean, hopefully, that the single player will suffer due to the fact that a multiplayer is being added, but just shows that developers are taking the easy way out. Tomb Raider is a fantastic game, but the single player experience quenched gamers thirst for the game and the multiplayer instead of feeling like it was something like icing on the cake felt forced into the package that was already complete without it. Both companies had/have the basis for a continuation of the story in different directions, but are neglecting it. In the case of Arkham Origins though they already had a blueprint with the challenge maps from the first two games that gamers embraced with new playable characters and areas to explore. If you want to re-invent the wheel, don’t simply think that multiplayer is the only answer.
A perfect opportunity lays in front of WB to implement a playable format for the bevy of new villains that are available in the game. The main seems to be Deathstroke, who could make an outstanding choice to show his origin in a small add-on for the game and pending its success implement others as there are a ton of them coming. Why must developers think that multiplayer is the solution for everything? Why do we have unwanted modes shoved into packages that don’t improve what is being offered but drags the anchor behind instead. WB still has time to make it right for gamers and offer something that will allow gamers to jump for joy instead of hang their heads and sulk. Unfortunately, if the track record for the industry plays out, in which it will by implementing the same way that all the rest of the games seem to be going, then we will have another game that could have enjoyed expansions on what we wanted instead of packaging in something we don’t.