Bad move THQ, bad move.
Metro: Last Light, sequel to the under appreciated Metro 2033, will be shipping without the previously announced multiplayer. The first game was a purely single player based experience and though the single player was great it did leave me feeling as though I didn't exactly get my money's worth when I handed over my £40. So the idea of multiplayer was a welcome one, especially as I was sure the team could make it fresh and fun, just as they had with the single player.
But, alas, there will be no multiplayer, at least not at launch. This leads me to two different issues, one is that games are released all too often in an unfinished form and two is that more single player games need a multiplayer component.
I have spoken before about games being released unfinished in my post about patches ruining games but this is different. This game isn't going to be released in a broken state, instead it will not be released as the developers intended. This is bad news, this is publishers muscling in and interfering with creation and this is businessmen getting their own way when really they should be locked away in a dark, dank cell and left to talk amongst themselves.
There are few single player games that can carry a £40 price tag and be worth it without multiplayer, RPGs can get away with it, as can assassination games that have multiple options in them but just about all other forms need multiplayer or else they are simply too short to be worthwhile. Look at Uncharted 2, it added multiplayer and a good game became great because you weren't left feeling like you'd been ripped off when you finished the story. The developers wanted multiplayer and they got it and so I bought the game, kept it for months, played it for months and it gave them an opportunity to release DLC for me to purchase making me even more happy and them even more rich. Imagine if they hadn't? Imagine if it had either never had multiplayer or you had to wait months, with the game gathering dust on a shelf, for multiplayer to finally be added and the game be worth it's asking price. This would not be ok.
I understand that THQ are in a desperate position and really need some cash but Metro is not a big franchise, if it doesn't pack big bang for buck then it is highly unlikely to fly off the shelves because, quite simply, most people just aren't interested. I know this because I am not interested, I might pick up a used copy when it only costs about £20 but then THQ will get no money, if however they released it with multiplayer then I would buy it brand new on the day it came out. Of course it's THQ's decision and its their money to lose but I'm afraid with the news of it not having multiplayer I am unlikely to buy it, and I suspect I'm not the only one.