Multiplayer games: is it comeback time?

Multiplayer games: is it comeback time?

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.




  1. Nice post. However, I’m sorry to say, I have no suggestions for multiplayer games. I wish I did! I quit mmorpgs a long time ago, after communities became a lot mean-spirited and selfish. These days, I often play one-player video games. But good luck on your gaming endeavors!

    1. Thanks :) Yep – the communities are definitely more mean spirited. A real shame. I wonder why. They were so much fin to begin with.

  2. Counterstrike comes to mind because this is a shooter that many people I know play, but since I’m too shy for any non-single-player stuff, I can’t say anything about level design and the like.
    My best friend here is a huge fan of World of Warcraft – it’s not a shooter, but it’s not some tactical hardcore Wizardry-like CRPG either =) The storylines seem to be engaging from what she tells me.

    1. Thanks :) Counterstrike never really grabbed me. I played it when it first came out and found it dull. Then it became a hit with teenagers who always seemed to accuse superior players of hacking – so it because just plain unpleasant.

      WoW intrigues me, but everyone that I know who plays it slowly vanishes off the social scene. Having an addictive personality, I am therefore a bit afraid of going down that path.

      :) :)

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