With the release of The Last of Us Part 2 we have been making our progress through the story of the smash hit. Josh Miller conceived of this roundtable with ”should AAA games be shorter” and I will get to my opinion below so here are our idea length for games.
Allan Muir – Admin/Co-EiC/Domain Hunter
Ideal Game Length – 8-10 Hours to 20-60 Hours
When I was a teenager I was able to knock out games like Resident Evil 4, Uncharted 1, Fallout 3, and BioShock. That was over a decade ago. Things have changed significantly since then. There are only so many hours in a day and so many games to play whether they are in my backlog, a recent release or a completely new game I never gave attention to or as I call it; the “Life is Strange phenomena.”
Certain games have a perfect length such as the Bungie Studios Halo games. When I was an Allan Jr. I played the first three Halo games and just sped right through them as the “five seconds of fun repeated” made the Bungie developed Halo games feel like you were just getting started with the game and what feels like 2-4 hours in your head is actually 8-10 hours and before you knew it the game is over. Another perfect example of this would be episodic games such as Life is Strange, The Walking Dead, and most of Telltale’s products.
The Bioware Roleplaying games of the past two generations of consoles such as the Mass Effect and Dragon Age series of games have done the opposite in giving you a living breathing fantasy world to explore in the case of Dragon Age and a sprawling space odyssey in Mass Effect. Take Dragon Age: Inquisition, for example, I put nearly 80 hours into the base game alone and I have yet to touch the expansions and one of the reasons I’ve pushed it off is the fact that I don’t want to leave that magical world. While Dragon Age is a rich, cultivated game to experience, Mass Effect has an equally well-developed universe. Despite the way the Mass Effect trilogy ended and the response to Andromeda’s technical issues, the four games were still a hoot to play. They have massive amounts of action set-pieces throughout the games and is another case of deceiving you when it comes to how much time you put in versus how much you really put in.