The multiplayer mechanic has been around in video games since I can remember. From roaming through jungles in Contra to taking on your friend’s team of Pocket Monsters. And even playing Medal of Honor in a four-player split screen mode on a 54cm television set. Over the years, this feature has evolved. Evolved alongside technology and the internet. Evolved to a state where we can now play together, no matter how far apart we are. Multiplayer gaming has never been more accessible than it is right now. With multiplayer in video games allowing players to co-op from different locations to a game allowing there to be 100 players going up against each other simultaneously. It would seem that every genre of video game has incorporated multiplayer mechanics into it as well. Hell, where would the esports industry be without multiplayer? It is a blessing to video gamers across the world. And with this blessing comes SA Gamer’s Multiplayer Award of 2018.
Monster Hunter: World
Although the Monster Hunter series has never truly been a large one in the West, there is one thing that the games always encompassed themselves around, Multiplayer. A multiplayer that showed off what true co-operation can embody. And Capcom could not have done a more fantastic job then to play with this strength that the franchise has built on. In my experience, the Monster Hunter games has never been something easy to pick up and play. I’ve seen many a player pick up and give up after a few hours. I will be the first to admit that the games have always had a difficult barrier to break into. Resourcing items, crafting gear and prepping for hunts was a huge task to ask of beginner players. And yet if you did, you’d find yourself surrounded by not just a Guild of Hunters but a family of players.
And this is why Monster Hunter: World is our Multiplayer game of the year. It has broken the mold of entry for newcomers into the series as well as retained the secret that forged veteran hunters. With no loading screens within a hunt, players gain a more immersive play within the hunting grounds. New monsters, as well as returning faithfuls such as the King and Queen of the skies, ensure that players are kept entertained and engrossed for hours. Not to mention the ability to now chat through the game in voice chat which isn’t always necessary as Capcom has also opened up the multi-region cross play barrier and allowed players from the West and Japan to play together. What’s more is that Capcom has continued to support the game almost monthly in adding new content. Introducing even more monsters as well as a continuous collaboration with not only their own franchises such as Mega Man and Street Fighter, but also a collaboration with other development companies such as Square Enix’s Final Fantasy and soon to come CD Projekt Red’s The Witcher. Indeed, Monster Hunter: World is the Gift that keeps on giving.
Runner-Up: Black Ops 4
Honourable Mentions: A Way Out, Overcooked 2, Gwent: The Witcher Game