A perfect example of why single player is so important is the recent game Shadowrun. Its strict online multiplayer formula only hurt the depth that the game could have had, which ultimately I feel is the reason the game suffered as much as it did. If you cannot get to know the character through a captivating plot, why would you care about them enough to come around repeatedly to role-play as that character? Master Chief is one of those characters that you love to emulate. If you did not know who he was and how coolly he responded to situations then you would not have the sense of honor you have when you play as them.
Without single player, there would not be anything for you to get your friends pumped up about. Of course, you have the multiplayer, but would you rather hear someone talking about an insane level they had to overcome rather or how many rounds they played some friends online (or were creamed depending on who you ask.) It is the heart of the single player that will get gamers talking faster than anything the multiplayer has to offer.
Multiplayer - D'Marcus Beatty
I honestly think that most people love the Halo games more for the multiplayer experience than for the single player. While the single-player experience is fun, I believe the vast majority of gamers use the single player as a sort of "boot camp" for online gaming. The storied single player portion is elementary school, while the multiplayer portion is the real world equivalent of having to get a job and support a family.
The single player portion of the game, while varied, can become somewhat predictable to an observant enough gamer. On your eighth playthrough of Halo 2, you know how many Covenant Elites are waiting for you around the next corner. The first time most gamers had to play through as the Arbiter was either exciting or incredibly disappointing, but the second time through the game it was expected.
Multiplayer, on the other hand, is unpredictable and fresh every time you play it. While you might memorize the maps and weapon locations, you never know exactly how skilled the other players are. You might find the sniper rifle already pilfered from its preset location, and while you're puzzling over its lack, the offending culprit might put a sniper bullet in your armored helmet.
Halo 3 takes that unpredictability to a completely new level with customizable maps that allow you to design your own locale. Add to that formula new weapons, gadgets, and vehicles and you now have chaos on an incredible level.
Little boys have played imaginary games like cops and robbers since childhood. The Halo games allow us to actualize and enact our childhood aggressions with a game series that has nearly perfected weapon balance, stage size, and the fun factor.
Ultimately, it doesn't matter whether you are going to spend all of your time perfecting your run through the second campaign level or if you spend your time climbing to the top of the leaderboards as long as you're enjoying your Halo 3 game time. Whatever your preference and wherever you spend the majority of your Halo experience, we're all expecting to enjoy Halo 3 when it ships shortly.
D'Marcus Beatty & Matthew Walker
CCC Co-Site Director / Project Coordinator