Multiplayer games can be a blast when you get a group of friends together online or in person for some play time. But let’s face it: With timezones, work schedules and other life stuff all getting in the way, it’s tough to get folks together. Thankfully, there are single player games to fall back on, and lately, that seems to be where the Gamentary crew is spending most of their time.

Aside from the “play at your own speed, on your own time” style of single player games, they also generally have a better guided story and more interesting characters than their multiplayer component or than multiplayer-only games. There are even some “multiplayer” games that you can play by yourself – like Mariokart or Dota2 – where there’s no story or deep character development to speak of, but you’re still playing on your own time and creating your own gaming experience.

So, what single player games are on your playlist?

Friday, 2:13 pm – Ricky

For as much fun as single player games are, there’s something to be said for playing sports games with your rival/nemesis/friend. Madden 2015 gets it (and drops later this month!).

Wednesday, 11:25 am – matt

Hello all, I too recently emerged from a dark hole having finished Watch_Dogs (it’s amazing what you can accomplish when you abandon friends and loved ones and focus on completing a game) and now moving on to Infamous: Second Son. Watch_Dogs was certainly an interesting ride for me; my initial impressions were extremely favourable, in fact it was a darkhorse for my favourite game in recent memory. Unfortunately the momentum bounced all over the place as characters dropped in and out with little contribution or updates after their “segment” was over. the story became quite predictable (most are, not gong to fault them too much) and then became just a complete joke of how is this possible, who would actually be this stupid (maybe me for continuing to play it?), and good god can this just be over.

it is.

now I have super powers and am infamous.

life rules again.

Wednesday, 10:55 am – Ricky

Well, our long national nightmare is over: Phil Spencer from Xbox has confirmed that Rise of the Tomb Raider is only a timed exclusive.

PHEW.

Tuesday, 4:37 pm – Albert

I really enjoyed the latest reboot of Tomb Raider but I think I will pass on this new one, especially since i’m basically forced to as I don’t have an Xbox related consoles at all.

I completely agree with Ricky that Dota2 requires too much commitment. I’ve actually played a bit of Dota2 which is much more complicated than League of Legends and I spent a considerable time with LoL. Unfortunately for the exact reasons that Ricky mentioned, I cannot commit to such a demanding game. It is one thing where I can pause a single player game or save it, it’s another when there are other people depending on you. Single player games are great for me since it is always on my own time. It’s rare that I get to block out huge chunks of time for gaming.

Speaking of single player games I know what I want for 2015…. it brings me back.

Tuesday, 10:02 am – Ricky

Well, here’s a twist on the Tomb Raider franchise. The Rise of the Tomb Raider, the next game in the recently rebooted series will be an Xbox exclusive.

I’m pretty disappointed about the announcement. I really enjoyed the reboot in 2013, and I know that it didn’t sell as well as Square would have liked. It must’ve been an awfully large pile of money from Microsoft to get them to swing this way. We’ll see how long the exclusivity lasts, but there’s no mention about it being a timed exclusive in the announcement, so for now, I’ll have to consider playing this on my Xbox 360 or not at all.

So, counter to the topic this week, I played Dota2 last night with a friend of mine. We played against bots in some practice matches and got absolutely dismantled on Hard difficulty, but had a great game at Medium. I’ve been treating Dota2 as a single player game for a while now and only playing against and with AI controlled bots, but it was fun to have 1 other human controlled character in the mix. I think that, once I get some more of the mechanics down, I’ll be more willing to take the plunge and jump into games against humans.

Of course, there’s always the “time required to play” issue with Dota2 – on more than one occasion last night, I just got up from my desk and walked away, or I was interrupted by some guests my wife had over. It’s not exactly the kind of game that lets you start and stop easily, like a single-player game. Even most fast-paced multiplayer games these days ask for a commitment of 15-20 minutes at a time. With average games running in the 45-60 minute range, it’s tricky to find the time in an evening to play even one game all the way through, let alone get into a groove and play a couple games.

Monday, 11:20 am – Gavin

Glad to hear that you finally finished TLOU!  It was difficult for me to reconcile your distaste for it as you played it with the endless amounts of praise heaped upon it by the reviewing community.  I look forward to borrowing your PS3 and playing it myself.

I’m still knee-deep in Mass Effect 3 and will be for quite some time – I’ve racked up 11 hours so far and I’ve barely scratched the surface.  There’s a LOT that needs to be done, such as scanning planets and the fetch quests that are associated with them.  I get the feeling that this is the kind of game that’s going to reward you for taking part in these quests, so as I did with the other two, I’ll have to 100% this one.  Once you get into the groove, it’s really a pleasure – it just takes time to find that groove, as there’s no immediate payoff for these side-quests.

I’m also still in the world of Ocarina of Time 3DS.  No point going on about this one, really – it is as good as people say it is, especially when you consider that it’s 16 years old now.  The leap from Link to the Past to Ocarina of Time is so strong that I regret not being able to see it as it unfolded when I was a teenager.

With respect to The Walking Dead, Season 2, I plan to replay it in its entirety before episode 5 is released, just so that I can refresh myself.  I’ve learned that playing games episodically is not for me.  I’ve missed out on too much subtlety because I can only really recall the major events.  Little things from the first season really affected me, like Kenny’s facial expression when he discovers the emaciated zombie boy in the attic.  Transfer that to season 2, and all I’ll remember is the fact that there was an emaciated boy in the attic.

Who knows where my single-player antics will take me next?  I’ve got so much quality stuff to go back to.  I am so spoiled for choice!

Monday, 8:54 am – Ricky

I finished The Last of Us on Thursday. After over a year of extremely sporadic play, it’s finished. I saw the ending, and I kind of liked it. I really, really enjoyed the final 1/3 or 1/4 of the game (it’s tough to tell – basically “Winter” onward) and when the game was over, I instantly wished I had played it over the course of a week instead of a year.

Yes, I still had issues with the gameplay. The controls felt clunky and the “stealth” was poorly implemented and overly-punishing. Still, the story was engaging and the characters were interesting. The world was beautiful and detailed, which made me want to push on and explore every nook and cranny. I’m happy I finished – I might even consider playing it again in the future, but not right away. I’ll wait for the the PS4 version to drop in price, and since it includes the DLC, it’ll be the “complete package”.

Until the price drop, I’m back to looking at my backlog. I started DX:HR:DC:Colon a few months ago and I’d like to get back to it. I also have Super Mario Galaxy I’d finally like to play. Coincidentally, both are single player games! We’ll see what I land on tonight when I get some more gaming time.

Oh, I also played Episode 4 of The Walking Dead – Season 2. Damn, what a great episode. Play. This. Series.

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