Back in the dark ages of video games, all we had were single-player campaigns. Sometimes you’d have a co-op mode, like in Bubble Bobble, or a competitive mode, like in Super Mario Kart. But most of the time gaming used to consist of one person sitting in front of a TV with a controller in their hand, playing a game alone.
Video games have changed a lot since those days. They’ve changed so much that we’re starting to see a trend of console games that are so focused on multiplayer that they don’t even include a single-player campaign. Here are five recent or upcoming titles that are multiplayer-only.
One of the pioneers of the “no campaign” trend was Titanfall, an Xbox exclusive that was made by Respawn Entertainment. Respawn, as you may or may not know, is headed by people who were responsible for making Call of Duty a household name — which means they know a thing or two about successful shooters.
Even without a single-player campaign, Titanfall is a fantastic shooter. It has innovative movement mechanics like wall-running and double-jumps, plus a big some very cool exoskeletons and mechs. All things considered, it didn’t last very long in the gaming world’s spotlight, but it did well enough to warrant a sequel, which Respawn is working on now. Better yet, Titanfall 2 will be a cross-platform game, which should help boost the number of players online at any given time.
If there’s one thing Evolve puts front and center, it’s teamwork. And you can’t have teamwork without a team, so it’s not too surprising that this game comes without a single-player campaign.
What it does come with is a very cool concept. In each match, a team of four fighters is tasked with hunting and killing a giant beast. Each fighter is played by a real person online, but here’s the kicker: so is the beast. With a variety of classes and beasts to choose from, the battles can be downright epic in scope, and very fun to play. It’s a more complicated game than many shooters, but learning the ins and outs is worthwhile. No campaign needed.
3. Star Wars: Battlefront
Perhaps the most surprising entry on this list is Star Wars: Battlefront, a game that lets you play through some of the most memorable sci-fi battles in movie history. What’s strange about it is that this game completely removes the thing that makes Star Wars so special: the story.
But if you’re like the many Star Wars fans who have seen the movies dozens of times, you might not even notice the lack of story once you start playing the game. That’s because the graphics look incredible, and the combat is fierce. Add in appearances by your favorite characters from the movies and a few extra downloadable maps, and you’ve got a full game even without a campaign.
4. Rainbow Six: Siege
We haven’t seen many tactical team-based shooters in recent years, so the prospect of joining a group of operatives with unique abilities seems like a fresh idea again. Like Counter-Strike, this game presents two teams with opposing goals (which usually boil down to killing one another). To make that as enjoyable as possible, you get to choose from a list of class-based characters with unique abilities.
Some classes are more stealthy than others. Some are adept at destroying walls and barriers. All have a key role to play in every match. The one thing you won’t find here is a single-player campaign. In its place is a series of training exercises that can help you get up to speed on the gameplay before you hop online and play with real people.
5. Call of Duty: Black Ops III on Xbox 360 and PS3
There are two types of Call of Duty players: Those who play for the campaign and those who play for the multiplayer. There’s some crossover, of course, but many gamers are drawn more to one side than the other. But if you haven’t purchased a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One yet, I hope you’re a fan of multiplayer. That’s because Activision has announced that the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game won’t have the single-player campaign.
What you’ll get is the multiplayer half of the game that lets you get into shootouts with other people online, plus a zombie mode that has you protect yourself and your teammates from a rush of undead assailants. As for the story? You’ll have to buy a PS4 or Xbox One for that.