If you have read any of my unfinished gamer history on this site you will know that from the late 1990s to about 2012(?) I was a passionate multiplayer gamer. I used the handle/alias SoulThief from 2000 onwards, to the point that for a while I even had a company by that name. However the joy was slowly being sucked from my passion. Online gaming increasingly became full of fools who would constantly sledge and accuse people of cheating. The last game I played online was Urban Terror, a game that I loved for its community. But that community shrank as the game aged.
Last night I was visiting a friend’s place. Their son came out, having set up on an old laptop a game that he really wanted his dad to play. I recognised it straight away: Halflife Deathmatch. Not Halflife 2 Deathmatch (which I really found slow and boring) but the original Halflife Deathmatch.
I was stoked when I saw it. I commented that I used to play that 13 odd years ago. Instantly the teen wanted to play me. “I can beat all my friends”, he warned me.
I sat down at the laptop while he sat at the other one. He told me that he had the keys set up how he liked them, so I did not change his preferences. Admittedly they were a variation upon the standard, but I had used my own variation for since Doom first appeared in 1993 and therefor could not get used to his. I felt so slow and rusty as I tried to get my fingers to steer and shoot. It was terrible. But…
…to cut a long story short, I won all three levels that we played. By the look on his face he was horrified that someone my age could beat him.
This said, it reignited my passion.
Should I return to multiplayer games? What are good ones to play? Which ones are free? Which ones have a good level designing community? Which games have good, mature player communities full of friendly people? I have no idea of the current state of online gaming and would welcome any suggestions.