Release Date: December 20, 2017
Platforms: PC / XBOX One
Genre: FPS / Survival
Developer: PUBG Corporation
Publisher: PUBG Corporation
What this initially indie game, formerly mod achieved is as remarkable as what Dota accomplished. PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS began as a mod for Arma 3, then became an indie game on a completely different engine (Unreal Engine 4), and released in early access stage in March 2017. It was immediately one of the most popular games on Steam, but over time it smashed records for most concurrent players, becoming not only the most popular and talked about PC or console game of 2017 but going as far as becoming the game with the most daily and concurrent players in Steam history, setting a new record for the latter at nearly 3 million!
The game is not an original concept, as it is just another King of the Hill game on paper. But it executes the concept better than any other shooter game. Players start in a plane and are air dropped onto a large 8×8 km island. Players jump out of this plane at will, allowing them to be scattered and immediately increasing intensity as you don’t know if you will land near anyone or not.
Players are split into teams which can contain up to several players down to just one. The goal is to be the last team standing. Everyone starts with no equipment so scavenging and scrounging and looting are huge parts of the game, while trying to survive unpredictable encounters with other players. It is one of the most intense multiplayer shooters ever made, learning from DayZ in this regard. It becomes even more intense as some magical circlular force field encloses the island; being outside this circle gradually kills you, so players fight to stay inside of it. The circle continually closes and closes until it hones in on a randomized, very small portion of the map, bringing players together and forcing encounters. So a round of PUBG goes from slower paced intense survival to a very deadly shooter.
- Rising Storm 2: Vietnam
- Day of Infamy
Best Multiplayer – Cooperative
Release Date: September 14, 2017
Genre: RPG (Turn-Based)
Developer: Larian Studios
Publisher: Larian Studios
From a multiplayer perspective, Divinity: Original Sin 2 represents a return to form for the RPG genre. It could be said it is the first “real RPG” since Neverwinter Nights 2 as pen and paper RPGs, the original and true RPGs, are all shared storytelling games in which one person must assume the role of Game Master, telling and controlling the story and its encounters. Only three video game RPGs have this: Neverwinter Nights, Neverwinter Nights 2, and Divinity: Original Sin 2, and they have everything else required of an RPG thus these are the only three video game RPGs that fit the exact mold of the original definition.
Regardless of what you consider it, Divinity: Original Sin 2 does represent the best platform for a multiplayer RPG (not counting MMORPG as that is a separate genre), surpassing Neverwinter Nights 2 here due to the fact that Divinity: Original Sin 2 is turn-based which is really required for a multiplayer RPG of this type. A Game Master isn’t required in Divinity: Original Sin 2, but it is highly recommended and makes the game more fun for everyone.
Unfortunately, while Divinity: Original Sin 2 has a near perfect blueprint, its default campaign lacks the role-playing of an excellent RPG, and it is not strong in writing. Like every other modern RPG (modern meaning the last 5 years), this game shows fear of role-playing and shies away from it at times, because combining a story with the freedom of choice offered by an RPG is a daunting task especially for single player. Thankfully, Divinity: Original Sin 2 is fully moddable and has an SDK for creating your own campaigns, and the Game Master feature inherently increases the role-playing potential.
- Day of Infamy