Single-player might one day be the new multiplayer. Sitting back on your couch with a controller in your hand adventuring off in your own single player world, disconnected from any other players doing the same thing as you, is becoming a thing of the past — in an awesome way!
Many of you are familiar with Demon’s Souls. If you’re connected to the internet while playing you can occasionally see ghost-like images of other players in the same area, a bloodstain showing where someone died and the ability to see how it happened. You can also leave messages for others to find in their single-player games. There’s even a competitive play mode where you can actually enter someone’s single-player game and become a black phantom to try and kill them.
Dragon’s Dogma, a game releasing May 22, is doing something really cool with asynchronous events. There’s an extremely difficult dragon boss called the “Ur-Dragon”. Via Xbox Live or the Playstation Network, players combine their attacks, in their single-player game, on the Ur-Dragon until it is finally killed globally. The player who deals the killing blow gets some extra rewards, but everyone who participates in their own single-player game gets rare items and all who participate get their name in some kind of hall of fame.
It won’t be long before players form guilds in their single-player experiences yet somehow work with other players. Imagine a game like Skyrim or Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning where players might be able to come together at a guild hall in a city but when they leave the doors they’re back in their single-player World, or a global auction house available in the city of your single-player game. There are lots of neat ideas, and asynchronous events are just the beginning of entirely new types of games. It gets my imagination going to think about how other games or features from games can combine together.
You can watch the Ur-Dragon video after the jump.