I definitely agree with the premise that not much attention is paid to the single player campaign anymore. You have to look at the non-FPS games like the Uncharted series, God of War series, Batman: AA and AC, etc... for great stories and long campaigns. I actually cringe at the idea of any online multiplayer after seeing a couple friends kids playing...it amazed me how boring and repetitive it actually is. If not for the great graphics, it would be a complete waste of time. Shoot, die, respawn, run, shoot, die, respawn, run, shoot, die, respawn, run, shoot, die, repsawn, run... you get the idea. How can ANYONE find that fun??? I know people do and thats fine...but not for me. I like a little more control over my gaming. I watched a half hour of Halo multiplayer and almost died of boredom. Would I have had more fun PLAYING?? Probably not. On TV once, I saw the "experts" play FPSers in competitive situations like a tournament and I was bored to tears. Why was I watching? I think I was waiting for a football game to come on.
Anyway, its sad that so much attention is being paid to the mulitplayer experience while the single player campaign suffers, but I guess thats the way we are headed. I think it might be a bit of a phase for now. WoW kind of ran its course, as does any online multiplayer. It won't go away by any means, but I sincerely hope devs will get back to the thing that makes games great...engrossing characters, stories, and satisfying campigns.
Theres a huge flame war going on right now between the Battlefield fanboys and the CoD fanboys. Its really simple. From what I've seen and heard, Battlefield is amazingly realistic, graphically beautiful, and lots of fun ( my friends have told me ). And while CoD:MW3 isn't out quite yet, I can already tell you its going to have the better campaign, simply beacuse the series has a better story and more memorable characters. CoD has game icons like Soap MacTavish, Capt. Price, and Ghost, while Battlefield has who??? The nerd with glasses and the redneck in the stocking cap??? Does anyone even remember their names two hours after playing? I have a statue sitting on my shelf in my game room of Soap MacTavish from the "Cliffhanger" scene in CoD:MW2. Has anyone ever made a staute of the guy with the glasses in Battlefield? I don't think so. *SPOILER ALERT* EVERYONE remembers such memorable moments in the MW series such as when the nuclear weapon goes off, Capt. Price tossing you the gun to shoot the terrorist leader at the end of MW1, and of course the much debated "No Russian" civilian killing spree in MW2. I don't hear anyone talking about Battlefield moments. I'm not a CoD fanboy, because I play both and enjoy both a lot...I just enjoy CoD a lot more. The answer is simple to avoid the flame war....PLAY BOTH. ENJOY BOTH. Enjoy Battlefield for the realism and graphics, ( and multiplayer, I guess ),and enjoy MW3 for the story, characters...and the graphics look damn amazing, too. Plus, as a side note, having served the the military, I can tell you the the shooting in the MW series is FAR better and more realistic then any other shooter...and this is why... When you are holding a real rifle, or handgun, and bring it up to aim and shoot ( lets say you are sweeping a room clear ), you don't "swing" the rifle in arcs to get to your next target, as when you move the gun with your thumbstick in the game...no matter how fast you set the sensitivity, its still an unatural action. Sure, you enter a room holding the rifle in the position that allows you to fire down the sites, as oppsed to a "from the hip" position, and you do "sweep" looking for targets...BUT, once you find the target(s), its a quicker "snap to" motion that you use, not an arcing motion as you would when you strafe. The Call of Duty series has this "Snap To" feature which exactly mimics the real life action of "snapping to" the target. You don't slowly bring the rifle to bear, you snap it to the target. Try it yourself at home. Grap a toy gun or something and then pretend you are in a room with three enemies. Now "sweep" with the gun as you do in Battlefield and all other shooters between the three targets...you'll get killed... then use the "snap to" action as used in MW. You'll see you can reach the target and have a relatively good bead on the enemy, much faster then a sweeping "thumstick" motion. You'll see the MW way is SO much more realistic and fulfilling. I wouldn't be saying this is I were a guy who has never shot real military grade weaponry ( some kids think they know how to shoot just because they play shooters *laugh* ), but I have, and thats my opinion...that MW is SO much better in this respect. Now, I haven't picked up Battlefield 3 yet, so I can speak to whether they have adapted a "snap to" feature, but they should have.
As far as games getting "weaker"... well, if you mean weak single player campaigns on shooters, I agree, but if you mean "weaker" in general, I totally disagree. I think we are in a golden age of gaming right now. Never before in the 40+ years of game history have games been more engaging with more engrossing storylines and characters. Saying the graphics and playability are better is a given, as everything should get better as the technology gets better. Obviously Battlefield 3 has better graphics then Pac-man did...so its silly to even bring it up when fanboys do. And the graphics between the PS3 and 360 are exactly the SAME, so that silly to debate as well. But as far as story, inovation and character development, this is a GREAT time for gaming. In that respect, games are much stronger then ever before, not weaker. We had a rather "weak" spell of gaming in the early and mid 90's right before and a little after the original Playstation, when all we had was something from Nintendo and weird offshoot platforms like Neo Geo, Turbografix, and more wider known Sega Genesis. Remember, this is when you could still find arcades in shopping malls with all the newest technology and you couldn't wait to see those games at home...remember games like Dragon's Lair, Afterburner, Pit Fighter, Operation Wolf? I even remember the very first holograhic game that cost a dollar a play... you were a little cowboy shooting at something from behind a rock...that technology didn't get far ( yet ). Games were kind just "going thru the motions" back then. It wasn't until Playstation's original Metal Gear Solid, and games like Tomb Raider, that things started to get interesting again. ( I should mention I'm 38 years old and am an AVID gamer...have been around since the Atari days, so I do know what I'm talking about ). When Hideo Kojima and his team released Metal Gear Solid in 1998, the game world said "we better wake up and step it up", and they have.
In a short two month period ( Sep to Nov ), just look at the offering we are given to satisfy our gaming needs -
Gears of War Batman: Arkham City Battlefield 3 Uncharted 3 Modern Warfare 3 Skyrim
Plus any lesser pushed, yet hopefully enjoyable games in between.
This certainly is a great time to be a gamer. Just too bad our shooter single player campaigns are suffering so a bunch of idiot teenagers can swear at each other online and "play" soldier, while dying every 4 seconds. To me, gaming has always been a personal, private experience. When you read a novel, you don't want someone else reading over your shoulder, turning your pages when you don't want them turned...to me, thats what online gaming is, someone "looking over my shoulder" and annoying the hell out of me. No thank you...give me my 20-30+ hour campaigns and great stories.