Sorry, Team Deathmatch. You're Not As Good As Other Modes.

Slayer. Deathmatch. Arena. Free-for-all. The mode has many names, but your aim stays the same: kill everyone, as many times as possible. Maybe there's a time limit or a kill limit, but it usually comes down to some variation of "the person or team with the most kills wins." Simple, seductive...and kind of mindless.

Now, don't get me wrong. Deathmatch can be a ton of fun, especially if you're looking for something quick and straightforward. The shooting genre as a whole — when it comes to multiplayer gaming, at least — largely rides on this particular play style. I'm willing to bet that you can pick out a game, any shooter, and if the game shows you how many people are playing online, chances are most of them are populating the team deathmatch servers. With good reason: a game must have a solid mechanical base to rely on nothing more than "let's just shoot each other until one of us stops moving."

Still, I've found myself straying from deathmatch-like modes more and more in recent years — instead opting to play modes with added objectives or special conditions. Part of it is weariness of experiencing the same thing over and over again, sure; I'm kind of bored of team deathmatch. I've also found that deathmatch often doesn't ask much of me — not in comparison to say, playing Rush in Battlefield or Payload in Team Fortress 2. These are modes that require you to attack or defend points on the map depending on the team you're on, and doing so often necessitates strategic thinking and teamwork. Blessed, blessed teamwork.

It all comes down to preference; I realise that. And my cup of tea is one that doesn't blend well with gametypes that are overrun with the lone-wolf player. For one, I live for the high of having a bunch of different moving parts come together, the high of perfectly orchestrating a complex attack on the enemy team. You can work as a team in deathmatch, sure, but it's often not necessary in order to win. Teamwork-centric modes require players to be crafty, clever — not just quick on the trigger.

Teamwork-centric modes require players to be crafty, clever — not just quick on the trigger.

But beyond that, in my experience, a mode that focuses solely on kills attracts the worst kinds of players — namely, those obsessed with their kill/death ratios. Or, if the mood in the lobby is feeling particularly salty, kill-stealers. The type of players who don't care if you lose so long as they don't tarnish their precious ratio — and I mean, who can blame them? Modes like these are all about self-preservation and personal gain (hello, kill-streaks). I'd rather play something that asks people to not be selfish, to work toward a greater good — but more importantly, I'd rather play something that challenges me.

Sometimes, it might just be that I'm in the mood for something novel. Party games are great here, like Call of Duty's Gun Game — which requires you to get a kill with every single weapon. It's a mode that demands versatility; I can appreciate that. And who can forget Sticks and Stones, the mode where you can only use crossbow, ballistic knife and a tomahawk? I also gotta give a shoutout to Halo's Infected mode, which has one player starting out as a "zombie" — when they kill a "living" player, that player also becomes infected. Last man standing wins...if they can survive. The tension is delicious. Modes like these make normal team deathmatch seem utterly boring.

What it comes down to for me is this: I know can kill other players just fine, else I wouldn't brave the cutthroat multiplayer waters. I like it when games ask me what else I can do. I'm curious though: what are some of your favourite game modes?

The Multiplayer is a weekly column that looks at how people crash into each other while playing games. It runs every Monday at 6PM ET.


Comments

    Some is mad about being sucky at FPS.

    BF3(PC) is where real team work lives

      I'd love to agree with you on that, but unfortunately it's hard to co-ordinate teamwork with the lack of ingame VOIP on PC :(

      Are we playing the same game? I love BF3 to pieces, and still play it on PC almost every day - but teamwork is not present unless you're in a clan. The rest of the game is populated by angry 'OMG BS YOU SUCK HAX F***OT NICE AIMBOT LOL' mouthbreathers.

        I guess you both play crap servers. The few servers I play on a regular basis have players that play the objectives, given the the lack of ingame VOIP does hinder it. No I'm not in a clan. I find most clans to be populated by arrogant such and suches.

        Last edited 25/06/13 7:13 pm

    Personally, FFA on CoD (specifically Modern Warfare 2/3) gets my heart racing the most and I like that a game can do that.

    Swat on Halo is great as well as Action Sack (Party games kind of similar to CoD variants.) I'm really in to Action Sack on Halo 4 atm there are some fantastic game types like Lightning Flag!

    These are the only two FPS franchises that matter to me, although I will likely get on the Battlefield 4 gravy train.

    It's exactly the lone wolf attitude you describe that stopped me playing domination modes on call of duty. Nobody tries to get the captures, they just play for kills. I can't count the amount of times someone on my team has gotten the highest amount of kills but our team loses because nobody bothers with captures, despite the incentive of counting towards killstreaks.

      I don't think that's entirely true. I'm a skilled player of CoD. When not partying up I let the potatoes on my team cap while I go for kills. My justification is that if I kill them before they get to the objective, I'm cutting out the middle man. So I AM playing the objective but doing pro-actively.

    Now I want to play Brink again.

      Thanks! Objective fps is way more enjoyable when your team works together!

        Amen to that.

          I bought it for $5 recently but there's barely anyone playing it.

            That's a bummer.
            It was awesome when it was at its peak. Which was, unfortunately, a pretty short window thanks to dickhead reviewers and blind followers of dickhead reviewers.

            Check my reply below as to why it's got a dead scene.

      Brink was pretty majorly underrated.

        Unfortunately they had polish issues. Had to postpone the launch date, and consequently couldn't postpone it again. It got released prior to being 100% ready, so the bugs got it poor ratings. Also, objective gameplay is too challenging for imbeciles who only want to shoot anything that moves, which unfortunately is the majority.

    Ever played Arma 3? Thats the best teamwork I've ever experienced coupled with a game where tactics matter

      Is that out already?

    DM hasn't been fun since Quake and UT. Quake2, The Edge...now that was some serious shit.

    Last edited 25/06/13 5:46 pm

      Nah for me it was "The Longest Yard" from Quake 3: Arena. spent many hours playing that level and the fun and chaos that ensures at a LAN Party all because you nailed someone with the railgun + quad damage

      Last edited 25/06/13 6:15 pm

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    I don't like FFA compared to TDM. I've liked it in all games I've played with it included so I guess maybe it's just me alone that likes it more than any other mode. :P (Not including Co-Op)

    This is what people bad at FPSes actually believe.

    And that's why I like Search and Destroy plus the other modes mentioned in cod and squad rush/ rush in BF.

    @deegsmith

    Yeah I hate that too, Im usually in top 3 on my team and usually don't have that high of kills and usually die a lot because of trying to cap flags all the time my win ratio in dom on BO 2 is like 2.63 approx. so I am a very objective based player with my group of friends so we only ever lose if there is a better group of people on the other team.

    Also I like FFA a lot when Im up for a non objective based game on cod.

    Modes in order of Greatness:

    Dustbowl on TF2
    Crossfire on MNC
    Face Off in Splinter Cell Conviction
    Conquest in Battlefield
    CTF in TF2
    Conquest in Transformers FoC
    Wanted in AC Brotherhood
    CTF in Halo 4
    Gold Rush in RDR
    Execution in Gears 3
    GTA Race in GTA IV

    Last edited 25/06/13 8:18 pm

    Counter Strike is incredibly good when played properly. CS:GO makes it easier than ever; you can join a competitive game straight from the menu.

    You've got 5 people per side, playing on some of the best maps in fps history. Each game involves an incredible amount of strategy, all the way down to economic game you play between rounds. Every weapons behaves a certain way and actually has recoil, so no spray to win here, folks.

    1.6 was great, CS:S was a massive let down... for the competitive scene, at least. Casual players love it to this day. CS:GO attempts to take what made 1.6 special and build upon it to create a more balanced and thus varied game.

    Why do I even bother reading Patricia's articles?

    My favourites are Kill Confirmed, Search & Destroy and all the Party Game modes. Been getting into Domination lately since it was added to Hardcore mode though.

    A quick look at Halo 4's playlist history and it shows the equivalent of Team Deathmatch (Infinity Slayer/Big Team Infinity Slayer) has more players than any other playlist.

    http://halocharts.com/2012/chart/playlists/2013-06-25

    Not just today. Every day.

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