For Goodness Sake, Stop Shooting At Me!

As a reviewer, I can see the positives and negatives in every game I play. But on a personal level, I just don't get multiplayer shooters. I'm talking about the games that have Team Deathmatch as the default game-mode — your Modern Warfare 2s, Medal Of Honors and even Uncharted 2s. I've always questioned whether I truly have the patience to play these games for long periods. This week I got my answer.

I like Red Dead Redemption. Love it in fact. Between the Free Roam multiplayer and single-player campaign, I've put almost 50 hours into Rockstar's Western sandbox. After some pretty lengthy sessions with the co-operative mode (which I love), I decided to jump into the competitive multiplayer. There's nothing much else to play here at the PushSquare office, so I really considered building myself up to level 50 online.

I should clarify, I'm not terrible at online shooters. I'm not terrible at all. I'll usually finish in the top five of whatever game-type I play. I'm not bragging. I'm not particularly brilliant at these games either. But I'm prefacing the rant that's about to follow. It's not about me completely sucking at games. I'm alright at them.

It's just that I can't stand playing games competitively online. I get so stressed out. Every match is like you're clinging to the edge of a mountain, desperately trying to save your life. It's not relaxing. It's tense and stressful. Perhaps maybe that's the point I'm missing? Perhaps people enjoy this feeling? I don't. Playing Red Dead Redemption online, I managed to finish up in the top three a few times on various game modes. Capture the bags of gold, shootout and team deathmatch — I did fairly well in all of them. But I wasn't enjoying myself. I had a headache, I was stressed, I was tense. The other people in the house were asking me things and I was giving them short, snappy answers. I felt pissed off. These games just get me so angry. I don't have fun with them.

But I still can't put my finger on why. I think it's because of the amount of time you die in a game like this. I hate dying in games. I'm of the belief that you should never die in games. I just hate it. Particularly in a narrative game where I want to get to the next part of the story. Singularity did a good job of making me feel challenged without ever making me die. That's good game design. Don't put me up against a brick-wall and leave me to bleed out.

Brick-walls are around every corner online. There's always someone there with a better gun than you, or someone with quicker reactions. That's fine, it's a competitive video game, but it's just not for me. And yet, these type of games are among the most popular around.

I'll boycott the trends if you don't mind. Thank goodness for Red Dead Redemption serving up some co-op alongside the standard multiplayer and tying it all together. I'll probably work towards my level 50 rank in Red Dead Redemption. But I won't be doing it competitively. I'd rather have fun.

“Twiggy” is an anonymous PushSquare columnist who has been spotted in three major cities across the globe. It’s rumoured he’s on the run from the British monarchy who accused him of treason.