No More Valve Single-Player?

By Jim Rossignol on April 26th, 2011 at 8:15 am.


Hmm! Examine this quote: “Portal 2 will probably be Valve’s last game with an isolated single-player experience,” writes Geoff Keighley in his The Final Hours Of Portal 2. “What this all means is something Newell is still trying to figure out.” Ooh! That’s a cheeky one. It’s also far too vague to call the meaning of. It could simply mean that the next Valve shooter has a permanent co-op option, a la Gears Of War, which probably makes sense, given how things have been going in the world of games.

So should my headline have been “Co-Op Campaign For Half-Life 3 Confirmed!”? Haha, sorry. That’s impossibly speculative. OR IS IT? Yes.

, , .

170 Comments »

  1. trjp says:

    I realised today why there’s been no Half Life – they’re waiting for me to finish HL2!!

    I didn’t start early either – first savegame is 23/8/2006 (2 PCs ago – thanks to Steam I still have all the saves tho!!) and I’ve played a chapter-or-2 roughly once a year since.

    This year’s stint is ongoing right now (as Portal 2 is done) – currently on Follow Freeman’ – I have to say that the squad AI is the only thing which dates the game BUT I’m getting bored again – another room – another turret – another team of badguys…

    Might be another year folks ;)

    • Pop says:

      Ah, you’re to blame! I’ve been religiously replaying the HL2 games until I force Valve to release HL2:Ep3, but now I find out you’re holding things up!

      I gotta disagree with you though: love the squad AI compared to modern shooters. I actually get to open the doors! I actually get to be in control! And what’s more, the game doesn’t end if any of them die!

      It’s a bit annoying if you actively try to keep them alive (particularly in narrow corridors), but much better than what I’ve heard about Home Front or Medal of Honour.

      Anyway! Persevere! I love the battle to take down the surpression field, and the fight against two striders on top of the ruins.

    • Shih Tzu says:

      Ooh, I was in almost exactly your same situation — I got to that part (after several other hiatuses), got bored of the repetition in the squad section, and set it aside for another ten months. Cheer up, it’s probably 30 to 60 more minutes of this stuff, and then they go away and the game does something completely different.

      If anything, it’s all probably my fault for not completing Episode 2. I liked it a fair amount, and then the game started to set up a climactic battle and I was like “That sounds hard,” and then I didn’t touch it for a year and a half. Now I can’t remember what I was supposed to do. Last night I started over and decided I might as well take the gnome with me. We’ll see if he can reverse my fortunes…

    • Iskariot says:

      Half Live 2?
      I vaguely seem to remember such a game.
      I think it was a good game…if I remember correctly.

    • Iskariot says:

      I even spelled it wrong.
      It was such a long time ago.

  2. ado says:

    Wow that’s really vague.

    It’s a bummer if this means no more singleplayer from Valve though. Portal 2 is one of the best SP experiences ever in my opinion.

    • woodsey says:

      Of course they’ll still do single-player; they’re too good at it, and have too much of a following from it not to.

      This could mean anything from, “we’ll have multiplayer and/or co op in all of our games from now on”, to, “better Steam community features to show your progress during single-player”.

    • Grygus says:

      That doesn’t make sense, though; if they simply intended to still do single player with a multiplayer or co-op component, then Portal 2 would be an example of the new way, and not the last of the old. Since whatever is coming has multiplayer and is different from Portal 2, it sounds to me like the single player content will not be around in the future. Seems foolish to me; surely not every game needs to be, or even profits from, multiplayer. Then again, Gabe Newell perches on a towering throne made of cash and dreams so perhaps that judgment is premature.

    • woodsey says:

      Yes, well, we don’t know how much Geoff Keighley has simply made up and what Valve have ACTUALLY said to him. Ever seen the guy in an interview? He just makes wild guesses left and right until he hits on a feature that’s actually in a game.

      It makes far less sense for Valve to stop doing single-player.

  3. Jonathan says:

    I think I disapprove. Yes, I do. Boo to Valve. Pitchforks out, folks!

    • BAReFOOt says:

      What has Gearbox to do with anything?
      But I agree. Banish him!

    • Mattressi says:

      I think he’s saying that Randy came out of the closet? Good for him, I say!

      Anyway, I’m unsure of my opinion on this – I think I was leaning more toward being positive, but I can’t pass up on a good mobbing. Let’s get him/them, guys!

  4. Aemony says:

    I… really hope this means that the story/gameplay is configured to both work with a single player experience as well as a cooperative experience. Because all things considerate, Valves games are the most fun in the SP mode.

  5. ostolero says:

    SINGLEPLAYER

    MULTIPLAYER

    CROSSSSSSSPLAYER

    • markcocjin says:

      I like how they said that with an annoying voice over. Back then, that was the gist of The Crossing. It really had nothing else to offer beyond that.

      Nowadays, many games have taken that idea and either expanded or made a derivative of it. In a way, I think Left 4 Dead somewhat gives a nod towards The Crossing with its built in drop in, drop out features.

      I have a suspicion that going in as a random thug in someone’s ongoing campaign might be not as fun as envisioned.

  6. Wyrm says:

    Valve’s singleplayer games are without doubt some of the best gaming experiences I have ever had, and to say that they will be no more is a horrible loss to gaming. DON’T DO IT.

  7. Ecto says:

    This has the potential to be one of the most tragic news stories in the history of gaming journalism. But then, probably not. I’d be very surprised if Valve make any kind of serious misstep.

    • Legionary says:

      It’s not like they’ve got previous (Steam bans) or (Portal 2′s abortive ARG) anything (microtransactions).

  8. DSR says:

    Why waste time on singleplayer content and story when you can sell half baked multipayer games with few maps(See TF2 at launch) and earn millions by selling imaginary hats to players who enjoy doing same mundane thing for eons?

    • Loix says:

      The recent addition of stores to TF2 and Portal 2 gives me a huge case of cognitive dissonance… or at least a mindfuck.

      On one hand, if you’re stupid enough to pay real money for in-game items, then you deserve to be taken advantage of. On the other hand, I’m disappointed they’re actually taking advantages of these idiots.

    • RakeShark says:

      “… when you can sell half baked multipayer games with few maps…”

      Even from a not-fan’s point of view, I don’t think you could call TF2 a half-baked product at launch.

      “…earn millions by selling imaginary hats to players who enjoy doing same mundane thing for eons?”

      You do know that TF2 is probably the second most varied online multiplayer game ever made (first being Tribes 2)? Community-made maps, alternate game modes, and plenty of depth and options for each class to do things differently. The Battlefield/CoD/Zombie games are really the current games that do the same thing for eons, putting bullets in the heads of men in large/small spaces.

      TF2 I can switch from regular play to Prophunt, Pyro Tennis, Arena, Rocket Jump HORSE, Zombie Survival, and Saxon Hale to name a few.

      I’m not saying you’re wrong for not liking TF2, but saying TF2 is a shallow product is far from true.

      As for that hat store, Valve did something smart and tap into a Sims-esque market of “I need that, because that looks good, and I will pay money because I think it looks good.”

    • subedii says:

      QQ some more?

      I mean TF2 was worth its asking price on launch, and they’ve only given it three freaking years of completely solid and free updates, free game modes, free maps, and free class updates.

      In order to fund continuing development of this game that long ago reached saturation, they recently allowed people to buy completely cosmetic items. Which players can still make for themselves regardless. And the proceeds of which also go back to their community creators.

      Yes, such a travesty. You’ll forgive me if I’m having a hard time shedding the required bitter, bitter crimson tears over Valve’s utterly heinous betrayal of its community.

      EDIT: Haha, prop hunt. Man I remember that, mod was a blast.

    • MikoSquiz says:

      Personally, I buy stuff from the TF2 Hat Store because I only paid a tenner for TF2, and as such I feel that I have basically pulled off the scam of the century and at any minute the police could come and arrest me for obtaining.. false.. pecuniary.. something. I’ve basically got a gut feeling that I still owe Valve about £90, basically, and it’ll still be a stunningly cheap game per hours played.

    • Deano2099 says:

      Valve could easily have saved up all the TF2 updates, released them in a bundle three-years on as TF3 and charged £20, and everyone would be gushing over how awesome it is.

      Instead you get it for free, and it’s funded by people with more money than you that really want hats. I personally approve of this “get other people to pay for our games” approach.

    • Tatourmi says:

      First: @rake shark: Nope. It is not. That would probably be garry’s mod, which also has most of the mods you talked about and a lot more.

      Second: That is only my opinion but what I dislike with the recent updates are not the “pay per hat” but simply the overall sillyness of all the updates. There used to be a sort of grim cartoony coherence to TF2, half serious, half joke, and for me it all went down with the updates that focused more and more on the silly aspect of the game, leaving everything behind. When you play a game of TF2 now it is almost impossible to be grasped by the universe. Yes, it is pretty funny, but… Just… That doesn’t feel right. The metagame is now too important and the game in itself looks a bit like shit to my eyes.
      Well, anyway…

    • malkav11 says:

      Don’t get me wrong, TF2 is probably the best competitive multiplayer game that I have ever played (in that I would actually be willing to play more of it at some point), but the nature of competitive multiplayer games is that you are essentially playing the same game over and over with relatively minor variations of map, ruleset, and opposition. I’ve always been rather surprised that this sort of thing was so popular with game developers, because successful competitive multiplayer games have the potential to be played for years on end, obviating any real need for the aficionado to buy more games. Meanwhile, someone like me who’s tended to vastly prefer singleplayer campaigns with story and a finite ending can easily be talked into a few dozen game purchases a year, if not more.

  9. Flint says:

    Bah. Boo. :(

  10. bitbof says:

    When will we plebs who don’t own an iPad be able to read that article? I honestly don’t care about the gimmicky interactive elements the author put in there.

  11. Re2deemer says:

    Please no, Source games hate my router. I can barely play any of Valve’s multiplayer games.

    • trjp says:

      In fairness it’s upto you to chuck your crappy hardware in the bin – not Valve to stop making good multiplayer games…

    • Archonsod says:

      In fairness, it would also require Valve start making good multiplayer games too. I’d even settle for good games personally …

    • P3RF3CT D3ATH says:

      Valve does make good multiplayer games. Your point is moot.

  12. Premium User Badge

    Thermal Ions says:

    ’tis a sad, sad day if this has any truth. Not every single player experience translates well to co-op, and I’d rather not have my single player games limited to what will only work in co-op.

    • trjp says:

      I agree with that wholeheartedly – co-op is game-specific and, whatever people might say, I suspect it actually only represents a small amount of people’s playtime (glancing over global achievement stats seems to backs that up).

      A GOOD co-op experience is a unique creation – you can’t just put 2 people into a single-player game and expect it to work – you have to create separate SP, MP and CP campaigns and that’s a lot of work…

  13. Premium User Badge

    lurkalisk says:

    What a shame.

  14. konrad_ha says:

    Today I’m giving up on Episode 3. I think it’s time for me to move on. Thanks for everything Valve, I loved all your games and the original Half Life is still the pinnacle of games design for me.

    • Tomm says:

      Yay for melodrama.

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      I love the smell of histrionics in the morning

    • Spakkenkhrist says:

      I am boycotting breathing until Valve release episode 3 and pay me to play it.

    • Premium User Badge

      Stompywitch says:

      I’m boycotting the next Half-Life game, whatever it is, until a pre-order page is available.

    • bwion says:

      I am boycotting the next Half-Life game until I become interested in Half-Life games.

      It, er, may be a while.

  15. bill says:

    Valve dropping singleplayer would surely be a pitchforks moment. (at least if they do it before they finish half-life)
    Can’t see it happening though.

  16. kikito says:

    But Valve! What about Half Life 3? :(

    • Teddy Leach says:

      It’s going to be the next DNF. When it’s finally near release in 2072, there’ll be trailers where Alyx gets her boobs out. Gordon will speak and make jokes about ‘alien babes’.

      EDIT: It’s also going to have a hat shop, a beard shop, and a spectacle shop. You will be able to put decals on your crowbar.

  17. Hunam says:

    I just read it as no more SP games where you’re a character entirely alone away from all other characters. Hence the use of the word isolated.

    • Tomm says:

      That’s a good point. Damn Valve and their vagueness.

    • rei says:

      Probably. It’s too bad they feel the need to rile people up with trolling.

    • Premium User Badge

      Devenger says:

      This seems like a very logical interpretation, yes.

    • Wulf says:

      That would make more sense than anything else, especially considering that this is true of Portal 2 as well, where you’re rarely ever alone. But then, that was also true of Portal 1 in a way. Perhaps that was the eye-opener for them?

    • Memph says:

      That’s how i read it. Less no singleplayer, more every singleplayer game will have an Alyx, co-op controllable or not, the player just won’t be alone.

    • kalidanthepalidan says:

      That’s how I interpret it as well. A good portion of Half-Life 2 and its episodes have you partnered up with Alyx orsome other AI character(s) (resistance, ant lions, the father in Ravenholm). L4D and Portal 2 are obviously not isoloated experiences. And I’d argue even Portal isn’t an isolated experience as you constantly have Glados talking to you.

      Having another character present, whether physically or simply through voice communication, really fleshes out the world and experience. It helps to alleviate the lone super-shooty-soldier effect. And when it is done well, as Valve has consistently demonstrated they are capable of doing, it makes a world of difference.

  18. Avenger says:

    I have seen this in news feed inside Steam.

    So I think, it is an official statement now?

    • MasterBoo says:

      Steam automatically puts news from Kotaku, RPS, PCGamer and a few other websites. For example, the Dragon Age II page contains all the bad reviews from these sites.

      So no :P

    • Lewie Procter says:

      Which is extra fun because I get to promote buying direct from indies from inside of Steam.

  19. Mistabashi says:

    To be honest, it just sounds like a quote taken out of context to me. That whole page of text actually consists of nothing but that one quote and a load of padding, so you can’t really draw any conclusions from it at all.

    Edit: it’s a second-hand quote too.

  20. passingstranger says:

    Hmm. Well. Hmm. I feel this might have been a poor quote to put out on Valve’s part, given the historically reactionary nature of PC gamers.

    As usual, though, I put my faith in Valve entirely. They have always made fantastic games and they have shown zero signs of stopping. Portal 2 was their first foray into this type of cooperative gaming (which is distinctly different from L4D) and they blew it out of the water. I had more a more memorable and fun experience playing Portal 2 with a friend than I have in recent gaming memory.

    I don’t understand what they mean, and I wonder if they really wanted to phrase it like that, but I would trust them with my life.

  21. Rii says:

    The quote is so vague it’s a waste of time even speculating as to what it could mean. And for my part, I could care less whether Valve ever releases HL3 or not. So here’s my take:

    (1) Valve will probably release more games in the future.
    (2) They will probably be good.

  22. Davie says:

    Regardless of the actual meaning behind that statement, I predict apocalyptic levels of nerd rage from all fronts.

  23. enshak says:

    No more single player no more money from me. I’am still only halfway through Left4dead and I proberly won’t touch portal 2 coop. Who going to put up playing with me when it took me 20hrs to complete the SP campaign.

  24. DeepSleeper says:

    Portal 2 will probably be Valve’s last game I purchase, in that case. Don’t do multiplayer, never will.

  25. adonf says:

    I personally have no interest at all in multi-player gaming, if I want to interact with people I will interact with real people, not online avatars. I understand that Valve is not going to stop making games that can be played offline, just that all their games will have some sort of online component, but still I think it’s a bad trend that’s been going on for a little more than 10 years and I blame it all on ID and Quake 3…

  26. Ertard says:

    After Portal 2 I’m confident Valve can do pretty much anything with anything, and it will be one of the best games ever. As long as there’s still room for narrative I’m happy, as their writers really are the best in the business by quite a margin. I laughed pretty much non-stop in Portal 2, and I was afraid it was going to be all uber-nerdy and CAKE IS LIE LOL-bullshit. Instead it was actually intelligent and hilarious.

    Therefore, they have my axe.

  27. JackShandy says:

    You know, I was looking at a past RPS interview with Eric Wolpaw just before and it had a spam comment that went “One of the great attributes of the puzzle game Portal, is that it’s intricately narrative-driven.”

    What happened to those days, spam-bot? When did you lose the magic?

    EDIT: ah, deleted.

  28. edit says:

    Seriously, they’re not about to throw away the ‘immersive cinematic story experiences’ that they’re so good at. It’s their schtick. I’m sure all it means is that the next Half-Life-style story-driven game will feature the option to play the campaign cooperatively. I’d certainly have no qualms if I could play through the next Half-Life installment myself before jumping into another playthrough with friends controlling alyx and\or barney.. It just wouldn’t be Half-Life though if there weren’t chances for you to snoop around creepy areas alone.

    They’ll say “it’s better with a friend!” and that may even be true, but I’m sure we will still be able to play future Valve games solo. It would be a real shame if we couldn’t.

  29. JackShandy says:

    I guess once you’ve defined single-player FPS storytelling, you start to itch for more worlds to conquer. This’ll just end with Valve seeing the breadth of their domain and weeping, mark my worlds.

  30. Tomm says:

    I think a lot of people are interpreting this wrong, it doesn’t mean they’re going to stop doing single player games completely, just there will probably be the option for co-op in their future games, which is nothing to worry about really.

    • P3RF3CT D3ATH says:

      I;m sorry but have you ever played any of the Left 4 Dead games by yourself? It’s really boring unless you’re with other people. Coop is good but only when it’s dedicated coop like in Portal 2. A game that can go between single and coop through the same levels just plain sucks.

    • P3RF3CT D3ATH says:

      I’m sorry but have you ever played any of the Left 4 Dead games by yourself? It’s really boring unless you’re with other people. Coop is good but only when it’s dedicated coop like in Portal 2. A game that can go between single and coop through the same levels just plain sucks.

  31. DanPryce says:

    It probably just means that they’re going to make every main campaign co-op from now on. Which makes me happy, because they’re quite good at it.

  32. Metonymy says:

    A casual examination of what Valve has done recently explains the quote perfectly.

    L4D is a single player experience, it just isn’t an isolated single-player experience. You can play alone, and you can play with others. They don’t feel like doing any more ‘isolated’ single player games anymore, and who can blame them? There’s no need for that anymore. They are just interactive movies. We’ve all known the basics of FPS games since Doom1, and anyone who missed that gets a new manshoot ever month.

    Income increases when players need the online service (and the full, non-pirated game) to get the complete experience. Fun also increases, of course. People were saying years ago that good multi-player is the only consistent anti-piracy measure. (example: WoW)

    • MrMud says:

      Saying that L4D is a single player experience is like saying that Quake 3 Arena is a single player experience because you can play with bots.

    • jon_hill987 says:

      No. The bots in QIII were fun to play against, the L4D ones are not.

      L4D single player is ruined by the bots and in multi-player any story they might have put in the game is ruined by other people going at their own speed.

    • malkav11 says:

      L4D bots are literally incapable of performing any of the tasks required to complete a level, nor will they ever go ahead of you and draw off infected so that you can perform those tasks safely. This means you’re alone with a few automated turrets following behind you. The game is not in any way balanced for this.

    • karry says:

      “Saying that L4D is a single player experience is like saying that Quake 3 Arena is a single player experience because you can play with bots.”

      Unreal Tournament is a great single player experience because you can play with bots. Q3…not so much.

    • djtim says:

      Believe it or not, outside of your isolated little world, there are actually people out there that like playing single player games. I personally do not want to rely on anyone else to dictate my gaming experiences – and I’m certain I am not alone.

      I also don’t get what’s wrong with the same old FPS mechanics being used over and over again to create a scripted single-player experience. What is it with games that makes them different in this regard to, say, books?

      Books have been unchanged for decades and they are essentially the same media and same base stories rehashed over and over again with slightly different settings and characters. No one complains that a good paperback needs more pictures or would be better with another person turning the pages for you and reading every second line.

  33. Corrupt_Tiki says:

    I will disregard this quote as it just seems like tripe tbh.

    But, I am also giving up on HL Ep 3. Sorry valve, I waited a while, but, no, there are other things now, sorry babe xoxo. Thanks for everything.

  34. killmachine says:

    some of you need to read the quote a bit more careful and think about it a bit further. its quoted “isolated singleplayer”. theres also another big word there, “probably”.

    so, theres A LOT of room to speculate, as mentioned above. this probably means that the singleplayer experiences we know will be no more. it will be something different.

    it will be more than the, lets say, campaign of half-life2 with 2 (or more) player coop. it must be designed completely different.

    im fairly sure, if newell worked out how this will work, that we will see some sort of “full drop in drop out” support. means, you play the campaign, a buddy comes online and is able to join you.

    but what if i am in level 4 and my buddy only level 2. will he be able to join me in level 4? does he have to skip the story from level 3? those (and other) questions come up. so. im curious how this will be realized.

    btw. its about damn time half-life3 will be announced. not the team fortress fan and portal is also something completely different. giiiiive half-life3.

    oh, one other thing. many many years ago, before the release of half-life1, i read an article in a german pc magazine. it was a preview with an interview about half-life1 with gabe newell. i remember a big quote by gabe that said: “half-life will be the best game of all time.” looking back, memorizing the experience i had in the campaign, i think he was right. there are a lot of really great singleplayer experiences out there, but half-life is really something.

  35. MaxwellKraft says:

    I hope Half Life 3 is an amalgamation of all previous Valve games. Four player co-op set in the Half-Life universe with the Portal gun. And a hat store.

    • Hammurabi says:

      . . . and an AI director that controls zombies and Head-crabs and the portals can be charged with gravity from the zero point energy gun and bring back the long jump module! That’s all I want. I want to long jump again.

  36. Froibo says:

    Shame I always felt that valve was one of the few companies that could do FPS single player correctly. Now what?

  37. jon_hill987 says:

    Co-op sucks. You are relying on other people to have fun (far more than in a competitive MP game) and most people on the internet seem to want to ruin it for you.

    • Pointless Puppies says:

      Here’s an idea: get friends who aren’t jackasses.

      SHOCKER, I KNOW.

    • Mman says:

      “Here’s an idea: get friends who aren’t jackasses.”

      Except that’s just one part of the potential issues with co-op focus; for example, with an SP game when you want to play you can just boot it straight up and go, to play a co-op game (without 95% douchbags/idiots) you need to get multiple people together every time, potentially for an extended period of time (and that’s before factoring in stuff like if one is having hardware issues or something).

    • Hammurabi says:

      Its amazing, I know, but some of us gamers have reached an age where we have things like jobs and responsibilities. Oddly enough, this coincides with my friends reaching a similar age and level of responsibility. It can be surprisingly difficult for enough of us to have free time that coincides to make it worthwhile for a good multiplayer session. So for me, and most my friends, single player comprises an overwhelming majority of game time.

    • Vinraith says:

      What Hammurabi said. I quite enjoy playing co-op with friends, but actually orchestrating a time when we can all find a free hour or two, let alone a series of such times, is quite a challenge.

    • malkav11 says:

      I love coop, but ultimately coop is an experience I can get offline with a cooperative boardgame or tabletop RPG. Computers are pretty fundamental to anything approaching a meaningful singleplayer experience (that is, there are solo gamebooks and boardgames but they don’t live up to anything more than the most basic computer games). If I had to dump one or the other from videogames, it would be coop. Of course, personally I’d cheerfully jettison competitive multi and stick with SP and coop, but that’s me.

  38. Teddy Leach says:

    You gits.

    … What a shame.

  39. Quxxy says:

    Valve make the best single player experiences, period.

    If what they mean is that they’ll be making games that can be played co-op, then I’m all for it. But only if I can still play with myself whenever I want. I don’t always have time to go and find someone to play with; sometimes, I have an urge to satisfy and it’s easier to do by myself.

    Please don’t take away my single-player, Gabe. I only have three people on my friends list… and one of them is my mum. :’(

    • jon_hill987 says:

      “sometimes, I have an urge to satisfy and it’s easier to do by myself.”

      Indeed, girlfriends are hard work. ;)

  40. AlexW says:

    Since hearing this quote I’ve been thinking about what the contextual meaning could be, and I just find it really difficult to believe that Valve would actually stop making single-player campaigns with storytelling mechanisms like Half-Life (in the sense of having sections of the game without any NPCs around) in favour of co-op. Yes, co-op can be entertaining, but one thing you can say for sure about Valve is that they’re artisans. Their created worlds are exquisitely crafted, with details and hidden-away spots for perusal, and co-op just destroys the player’s tendency to see everything Valve has made. There’s always the nagging thought that the other player is waiting for you to finish admiring the game and get to the next part, and that is anathema to what must be one of the Valve art crew’s favourite things to hear (“Hey, did anyone else see the chair with the booze next to all the ammo overlooking the zombie-infested muck? That was brilliant, and it really made me think about the unknown other parts of the Resistance trying to make their world a little more hospitable again!”)

    On top of that, co-op’s gogogo attitude and unending jokes about the game doesn’t mesh well with serious games trying to strike an emotional chord with the player. I know I certainly wouldn’t have found the ending to Ep2 (also, confirm Ep3 you tossers!) as enjoyable if there’d been another person next to me chatting in my ear. Even in Portal 2′s test chamber ending voice-over clips GLaDOS was struggling to compete with ongoing conversations and the unsaid urge to go start the next chamber, and P2 is a hilarious game with superb writing. What chance does a serious game have against the tide of disinterest and inappropriate jokes?

    Any future game trying to do anything other than comedy would be destroyed along with the isolated single-player experience, so I can’t believe that Valve would actually discard them.

  41. Sacrificer says:

    I don’t have time to read through all the comments, you guys need to learn what Isolated means if you haven’t figured it out in previous comments.
    Hopefully I’m correct, for this is the most obvious thing to me:
    Valve means that there will be no more Single Player campaigns where you are all alone. No, this does not necessarily mean Co-Op, but that’s not being denied anywhere.
    All in all: Valve doesn’t want us to feel isolated from the rest of the world in Single Player.

    • Juiceman says:

      Well I hope that isn’t the case. Part of what made Half-Life great was the “you against the world” vibe.

    • Milky1985 says:

      Yeah what if the game involves you being all alone, hell in fallout3 its kinda you against the world.

    • JackShandy says:

      “Isolated Single Player”, to me, means that the single player campaign is isolated from the co-op campaign; IE, having a co-op campaign that follows a different story to the main game.

      If they meant “This is the last game where you’ll feel alone” they chose a really odd way to word it (Especially seeing as Portal 2 didn’t actually make you feel alone for most of the game).

    • Spakkenkhrist says:

      That’s awfully sweet of them.

    • Chris D says:

      I think most people understand what isolated means, the question is what does it apply to in this instance. Is it short for isolated single player mode? Or is it that you feel alone in the game, which technically would be an isolated single character experience instead.

  42. Milky1985 says:

    ““Portal 2 will probably be Valve’s last game with an isolated single-player experience,””

    I hope this is untrue otherwise i will not be isolating any more of my money to go to any valve products :/ I would not have got team fortress 2 by itself, i got it as part of hte orange box, same for CS:Source (part of the episode 2 pack i believe). A decent single player experience is essential for me for a game, i don’t mind multiplayer as an extra, just not as the onyl bit.

    Guess this is hte final nail in the Ep3 coffin then, maybe they should just do what hte penny arcade people are doing with relation to thier games, they are not releasing the last 2 games in the planned 4 parter so they are releasing the story bit by bit, maybe valve shoudl just accept that they are not going to get it done (unless they follow the 3d realms route) and just release the story so the fans can see the ending.

  43. magnus says:

    This really is going to be a facepalm moment. The unstopable bullshit-train driven by Portal 2/Diablo 3/L4D2 detractors will roll on!

    And it’s just one man’s interpretation of anothers words, that’s all!

  44. edit says:

    Hmm, how about some kind of failed experiment leading to a multiverse rift which causes Gordons from alternate universes to spontaneously appear and disappear. 32-Gordon advisor-hunting party! Or not.

  45. magnus says:

    Or this could be just a CVG flavoured fanboy baiting article.
    I’ve just checked that particular pile of garbage, and suprise suprise it’s there, told you!
    O.K. maybe it didn’t start there but it’s fanboy baiting all the same and it’s a slow news day.

  46. Premium User Badge

    stahlwerk says:

    I must have mistuned RAEG glands today, because all I can think of right now is all the fun I had when running through Quake 1 Episode 1 with a bunch of friends in 1997.

    SHAMBLER!!

  47. Cooper says:

    No, no, no, no, no, no, no.

    I have yet to play a game designed for both single player and co-op or multiplayer experiences that does not have problems when actually played as one person.

    I don’t think it’s possible either, they have totally different design requirements. No matter how good your companion AI is.

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      Have you played Borderlands? Personally I found that really good playing alone, even though designed for co-op. That said I have never played it in co-op, so I dont know how different it would be – just saying that the SP experience was very enjoyable IMO.

    • edit says:

      Borderlands is a good example… except that I played it solo first (siren focusing on sniper rifles) and had a decent time. Then I jumped into co-op and hated it. It really cheapened the experience to me to see dudes jumping around punching enemies and acting ridiculously. When playing it alone I was able to suspend some disbelief and immerse myself a bit (although the game is not the most immersive anyway..), but with other people it suddenly felt arcadey and killed much of what I had enjoyed.

  48. vanilla bear says:

    I wager that there’s been a word comprehension failure somewhere here, and all it means is that Valve doubt they’ll ever release another game that only has single player (i.e. Portal). In future their titles will usually have a coop mode, in whatever form works for the game (for Portal 2, that meant a separate coop campaign). Jim might be right though, maybe HL3 will be drop-in coop with Alyx and Gordon together all the way through (or if you want to play single player, Alyx will be AI as before).

  49. sakmidrai says:

    Portal 2 is isolated because the player is totally alone in a huge facility with no other human beings or anything trully alive. HL games are not isolated…
    Maybe someone already said that.

  50. JohnnyMaverik says:

    Bah… I like isolated single player experiences.

    • Urael says:

      As do I.

      PS: Kudos for the G’kar love.

    • Vinraith says:

      Indeed. Worse, Valve has enough clout within the industry to usher in a wave of anti-SP sentiment, which is the absolute last thing gaming needs.

      Thank goodness for (non-multi-billion-dollar) indies.

    • JohnnyMaverik says:

      I know… and just as it looked like SP was starting to come back in as a viable “we’re doing this and only this” option (if your not making a modern military man-shoot).

    • MrEvilGuy says:

      I love games with a mixture of isolated gameplay and societally-integrated gameplay… Stalker for a quick example is successful at this.