One of the many good things we can always say for Bethesda’s game releases is how they are always focused on their vision- they know what they are, and they never try to shoehorn needless elements just to ensure market appeal or popularity. For instance, in spite of a growing tendency towards the inclusion of a multiplayer mode in just about every major release these days, Bethesda has never yet capitulated and included multiplayer of any form in any of its game.
And yet the question of multiplayer of some sort in upcoming Bethesda releases is something that is worth considering. It’s too late now for Fallout 4, but let’s consider the next Elder Scrolls game- could it have a multiplayer mode of some sort? What does Bethesda stand to win or lose by doing something like this?
The arguments against having multiplayer modes of any kind are well documented: they take away resources that could go into making the single player mode even better, they are unnecessary and dilute the game’s focus, they are often shoehorned and compromise the game’s single player campaign- these are all complaints that have rightly been leveled at recent Bioware releases, for instance.
But could Bethesda make it work? I certainly think there is a chance that they could, and it wouldn’t require much reworking of their single player framework either. I see a form of co-op gameplay, featuring high level quests that function a bit like raids, with high leveled monsters at the end. Defeating these monsters and completing these quests gains participating players access to high level gear and loot that is otherwise harder to achieve in the single player mode (although still perfectly possible).
Essentially, think of it like a Bethesda take on the Monster Hunter or Destiny formula. I think that not only could it work, but it could also fix some longstanding issues in the Elder Scrolls series- the increasing trivialization of gear and loot, the scattershot combat mechanics, the lack of compelling sidequests. Something like this would include a form of multiplayer in Elder Scrolls, yes- but it will improve the overall experience for the players, instead of dragging it all down needlessly, as multiplayer modes in traditionally single player franchises are otherwise wont to do.
What do you think? Do you foresee a multiplayer mode of any kind in the next Elder Scrolls game? What would you want it to be like? Let us know in the comments section below!
This article is part of our weekly series on Bethesda’s next big entry into the world of The Elder Scrolls. Through this series we take a look at the possible new features that Bethesda can add into the next The Elder Scrolls game, based on what they implemented in the previous entries and player feedback.