Today Video Game Chronicle reported an astounding piece of news, Grid is better with Google Stadia. The article in which this news was reported included direct quotes from the Development Director for Grid at Codemasters, Mark Green, who stated that Stadia allows the developer to bring an entirely new mode to Grid, one which sees 40 players compete in a single race event. Apparently this feat is only possible withe the Stadia version of Grid, and it’s all because of the hardware, and the way in which Stadia servers talk to each other.
This got me thinking about the lineup of games that will be on Stadia by the end of 2019, and what the service could do to enhance them. Some of the games we know about don’t have multiplayer, and so don’t really have the possibility to be enhanced by this technology that Codemasters says is so impressive. However, there are a few games with multiplayer that could be enhanced, so let’s take a look at them.
Red Dead Redemption 2
With Red Dead Redemption 2 comes Red Dead Online, and while it is yet to be confirmed for Stadia, I’m going to assume that it is for the purpose of this point. Red Dead Online can currently host 8 player posses, with a total of 32 players in each game world. Considering that 40 players can exist in the same race with Grid, it stands to reason that at least that many can also exist in the same game world in Red Dead Online. Granted, Red Dead Online has a lot more systems, and a much larger map, but if the technology can support more players, then why not push it?
I could see Rockstar Games using Stadia to create 100 player game sessions in Red Dead Online, populating each game world as much as possible. This would allow for much more mayhem, much more gang gameplay, and a world that feels a lot more like the western frontier that the title is aiming for. Imagine the chaos with 100 player-controlled cowboys running around in an online game world, it would be incredible.
No one pushes the limits of their games like Gearbox Software, and Borderlands 3 is no exception. I can’t see Gearbox not taking advantage of the possibility to increase player limits in a game world, but I don’t quite see how they would do it with Borderlands 3. A key part of the game is the four player co-op, and the synergy between characters within a game of four players. Instead of mixing up the core gameplay, which has been tuned to perfection already, I think Gearbox could surprise us with a brand new game mode, one that allows for 40 or 100 players, basically as many as they can get. This game mode would probably be competitive, and could even be a battle royale mode, but only time will tell what the developer does with this new technology.
To be honest, NBA 2K20 is perfect as it is, but I think with Stadia’s new technology it would be worth seeing one new thing in the game. My idea is for multiplayer matches to allow for every single player to be controlled by a live human being, as long as that many people want to play online. I could see this going very badly, mainly because of lack of communication and showboating, but it could also open up a new Esport. Imagine teams of virtual basketball players competing in huge tournaments, on the same level as League of Legends, just with far more players. There’s already an Esports tournament for the game, but only one player can currently win that. I really believe that there would be a market for NBA 2K20 multiplayer matches fully controlled by players, but we’ll have to wait and see if 2K agree.
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Breakpoint
This is the last game I could see with multiplayer that may be enhanced in some way by Stadia. Of course Ubisoft has a lot of work to do on Breakpoint already, so it’s unlikely that they’ll put any time into a new competitive mode. However, if they were to do so, they could create similar 100 player matches to games such as Fortnite, but with the Ghost Recon tactical twist. Yes, battle royale has been massively overdone, but in Breakpoint it could be different. Imagine 100 players being dropped onto Auroa, all with skills honed from dozens of hours in the main game. Pitting these players against one another would show a level of skill that you just don’t get in Fortnite, Apex Legends, or any other battle royale game. These games would last for hours, not minutes, and the added threat of drones closing in would make them even more exciting. I genuinely believe that this game mode would be brilliant, and if it can be achieved with Stadia, it should be.
Let me know what you think Stadia could change in your favourite game in the comments.