Whatever happened to our split screen gaming escapades?
With the emergence of online gaming and the constant bombardment of downloadable content, or online starter packs drip-fed into our overloaded brains, has the onus of games and the gaming demographic shifted towards a egomania-driven landscape based on self absorption? Have we lost touch with, or simply abandoned the traditional playing styles of the past? Has Split Screen Gaming been tossed on the scrapheap to make way for a modern alternative approach with the onus firmly on online functionality.
Everywhere you look additional content for games nowadays strives to solely improve the attributes of your character in order to help you surpass fellow peers in the online arena. It seems many wish to earn the coveted “best on the block” trophy and beast out their playable persona to maximum effect.
This has paved the way for a tidal wave of online orientated games, seemingly eradicating the split screen format from the gaming cosmos altogether. Is this to be expected as the gaming industry aims to keep up with newly emerging technologies, and proliferated hardware advances.
Long gone are the days where you would embark on an epic split screen gaming quest from the comfort of your sofa with a trusted sidekick and whittle the hours away. I myself am a proud product of the 90s and 2000s era, growing up with split screen gaming before the commencement of online possibilities. It’s hard not to reminisce with rose-tinted nostalgia, and get all gooey over the classic titles such as GoldenEye, and Mario Party on the Nintendo 64, or the immortal Sonic The Hedgehog 2 on the Sega Mega Drive, which brought so much shared elation. Who can forget the release of the multi tap, which was revolutionary at the time, believe it or not allowing up to four players on the same screen. Crikey moses, you’re thinking! I remember inviting the comrades over for a four player battle to the death on Crash Team Racing. This was an integral part of the social calendar which gave us the opportunity to meet face to face, as opposed to talking via a headset playing in an open lobby, and being on the receiving end of an unpleasant ear bashing from a high flying whizz kid who thinks he’s the beez neez.
Memorable Split screen experiences
If you are all about the comradery, then the Borderlands saga is surely an unmissable experience.
A rich, expansive and dystopian open universe offering up to four ragtag vault hunters the opportunity for colossal joint-exploration. An unlimited supply of devastating weaponry giving the chance to trade gear with your ally, and massive looting potential. The bosses are inventive and creative too, supplying a challenge for coop virtuoso’s or moderate gamers alike.
Another memorable split screen gaming experience I can recall was playing the Portal series, this perplexing puzzle platformer required teamwork to unravel the mysteries of each level by unlocking portals. Working together was the aim of the game. Timesplitters was another title which bears all the fruitful hallmarks of an epic split screen experience.
It seems that the fleeting era of split screen gaming is leaning towards extinction.
With game companies offering exclusive, unlockable content for playable characters online, and enticing online starter packs offered up by the propaganda machine. The focus has drifted towards popularity, with short sighted bloodthirsty online shoot em ups like Call of Duty or Battlefield stealing the limelight. There is an ever-increasing ambition of gamers these days, to be better than the rest, to the detriment of the collective experience. In my personal opinion games bring the most joy and euphoria when experienced together.
Have you experienced any memorable side splitting, split screen moments ? Please leave any comments below.
Don’t forget to check out this link for a complete compendium of split screen gaming, should you wish to take a trip down memory lane and relive this euphoric experience.