There is a lot of stink over games requiring an always online connection. My first real experience with this issue was with Diablo 3 on the PC. When I first heard that this game was going to require me to be constantly connected to the Internet, I hated the idea. It felt dirty to me. I thought about the places I have lived throughout my life and realized that some of those places still don’t have a broadband connection. To play Diablo 3 under those circumstances would mean I’d just have to stare at the title screen and cry.
However, I am lucky. Since my college days, I’ve always had a broadband connection. Even when I lived in a tiny town in Missouri, I had access to DSL. Sure, DSL isn’t exactly great, but it’s a heck of a lot better than dial-up. This means that the always online requirement for games would be, somewhat, a non-issue.
This brings me to today. More and more games are starting to require a connection to the Internet. While it still sucks, like this past weekend when the PSN went down and I couldn’t play Destiny, The Crew, or even Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn on my PS4, there are still plenty of upsides to this requirement. For example, in Diablo 3, my friends and I could easily jump into each other’s gamers. It was effortless. It was fun. It almost felt like a LAN party, minus all the smack talk and PC hijinks.
This past weekend, I found myself loving the always online deal. While playing The Crew, I was able to easily help other racers out, just as they were able to help me out when I asked. My friends and I jumped into a few games of Destiny thanks to this requirement. It was fun. It was effortless. It consumed, and still consumes, countless hours of my life. While connection issues still need some work as a whole, I’m finding the games I enjoy the most are those that make me stay connected to the Internet, yet provide me a great experience for having to deal with this headache.
Sure, we can hate always online games, but they are getting better. Internet connections continue to improve. Video game developers continue to make it worthwhile to be online. Love it or hate it, this is most likely where games are headed, and I can say I’ve changed my stance on it. I love the advantages it provides. It’s been enjoyable. Sure, I’ve had some days where I couldn’t play a specific game or two, such as this past Sunday, but those time are rare when I can go months without issue. Dare I say it, but I hope something like the next Assassin’s Creed or Grand Theft Auto requires me to be online so that I might wreak havoc in my friends games…cuz I am a saint like that.