Long games or short games?

Do you prefer longer or shorter games?

  • I prefer games I can finish in 10+ hours

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I prefer games I can finish in 20+ hours

    Votes: 1 8.3%
  • I prefer games I can finish in 50+ hours

    Votes: 3 25.0%
  • I prefer games I can finish in 100+ hours

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I don't care about how much time it takes to finish the game

    Votes: 2 16.7%
  • I play games for the experience, not completion

    Votes: 5 41.7%
  • Eh? I spend thousands of hours in games

    Votes: 1 8.3%

  • Total voters
    12

Antimatter

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There is a huge discussion happening right now in gaming regarding the length of games and what players prefer more: to complete games quickly or invest many hours in them.

It started with this tweet by Techland regarding Dying Light 2:


The Tweet caused a major uproar around the net, with comments like this one following from many players:


Turned out, the 500 hours message was just a wrong tone set by the developer to lead about the game.


Marketing aside, I'm curious what do you think about this topic?
 

BelgarathMTH

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I voted "I play games for the experience, not completion".

The fact is, I rarely play any game all the way through to the end. Lately I've been focusing my gaming time on Sacred 1 and 2, which are Diablo-style action rpg's. There's no ending to them until you decide to stop playing your character in favor of another one. I just spent my whole winter break playing the heck out of Sacred 2 with four different characters. I got 2 out of 6 large regional maps completely uncovered on one of them; all of them have either completely uncovered or 3/4 uncovered the first regional map.

I frequently start new characters in Baldur's Gate and Pillars of Eternity, and then, in the case of Baldur's Gate, I stop somewhere around the Nashkel Mines or Cloakwood, because I start wanting to play another new character or another new game. I think I just love starting new characters, making plans for them, and then leaving the whole endeavor open-ended.

Have you ever seen "The Neverending Story"? That's how I like my games, "neverending".
 

Cahir

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For me it has changed over time. When I was younger and had more time for computer gaming I liked longer games, the longer the better. Now I think I prefer them to be slightly shorter (but not too short). For example one of the major gripes I've had with WoTR was that the game is... too long (which speaks highly of the game, if this is my major gripe). The game must be exceptionally good for me to not get bored after playing over 100 hours (lie WoTR, RDR2 or Ghost of Tsushima, to name the last couple of examples).
 

Antimatter

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Lately I've been focusing my gaming time on Sacred 1 and 2, which are Diablo-style action rpg's. There's no ending to them until you decide to stop playing your character in favor of another one. I just spent my whole winter break playing the heck out of Sacred 2 with four different characters. I got 2 out of 6 large regional maps completely uncovered on one of them; all of them have either completely uncovered or 3/4 uncovered the first regional map.
A bit off-topic, is it the first time you've been playing Sacred 1&2? A friend has gifted me Sacred Gold for New Year, can you compare it to Diablo 2 and explain what you prefer more and why? I missed on this series entirely in the past.

For example one of the major gripes I've had with WoTR was that the game is... too long (which speaks highly of the game, if this is my major gripe).
Yeah, a lot of reviewers have had this problem with WoTR - not having enough time means not being able to actually review the game and vote for it as the best game/RPG of the year.

For example, this part from the PC Gamer review of the game (they at least managed to review the game): "This is a huge game, easily 100+ hours, in which you take a meticulously crafted hero, throw them into a meatgrinder of war, politics, and interplanar travel, and see how they're reshaped by it. After the most complicated character creation system I can think of, it tricks you into thinking you're done when in fact the entire game is about making a character. That size is both its strength and weakness, because it's got room for half-baked areas of story and systems that feel like you've wandered off into unmapped wilderness. But when you find the right path and are solving the world's problems while jogging across fields with your gang of colorful pals, it's like Baldur's Gate 2 never ended."
 

Urdnot_Wrex

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This is complicated.
I voted "I play games for the experience, not completion", but not because I don't care about completing a game. It's just that the experience is more important to me than completion just for the sake of it. "journey before destination"

With that said, I do prefer to finish games. Same as with books, I try not to drop them. I play mainly for the story, although I do like challenging games. So of course I want to know how it continues, and especially how it's all wrapped up in the end, where all the threads lead, what's the plot twist, conclusion or revelation waiting for me and my team. I seem to have a desire for closure.

I also don't have restartitis. The only reason where I'll drop a run and start over is when I realize I messed up a build thoroughly and can't continue properly, or at least when I think that's the reason.
That's happened to me in Pillars of Eternity. I played until getting the stronghold multiple times, only to start again with another class. And then I made the mistake of trying to do the Endless Paths all the way down when I entered. Which, as I now know, is a very bad idea. I also know now that I probably simply didn't learn the gameplay and combat mechanics well enough, and that's why I was having difficulties, not because of wrong builds. That and NWN2 were the only games that I really dropped for a long while.
And eventually I'll get back to PoE at least and finish it, after playing the more interesting stuff I have in my library first.

I think I would occasionally play short games, too, but not short RPGs. I think I would be disappointed with an RPG that you can finish (not as a speed run but with all side quests) in 20 hours, unless it's very well done. I also don't have a very good inner sense of time, so if it's a good game, it might not feel so short.

Real life is an issue too, of course, as my time to play games is rather limited. But that wouldn't keep me from starting a game that I think I would like, just because it would take an average of 200 hours to complete it. Then it will take me more time in real life and that's it. I might occasionally take a break and play something different for a few hours, if I'm stuck in the game for months, but it wouldn't be a reason to stop playing it completely.
 

mlnevese

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@Antimatter If you're playing Sacred 2 for the first time, I hope you are not a completionist... Every time you complete a quest it looks like 10 more comes out of nowhere :) You soon have 10+ interest points in your map, and I'm just talking about your first hour in the game...

To me being able to save at any moment is more important than the length of the game. I'll enjoy it even if I never complete it because I lost interest.
 

BelgarathMTH

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Mlnevese just touched on one of the big draws of Sacred for me - the open world. I get really into uncovering the map, which is huge. Other Diablo-style RPG's don't have that element, that I know of. The character building system is also very quirky, but for some reason I just love it. There's probably also a nostalgia factor for me, since I played it at release, and have kept playing it on and off ever since. I definitely have the most hours in Sacred 1 and 2 combined than any other game. Current Steam hours for Sacred 1 are at 287 and for Sacred 2 a whopping 799 hours. But that's not counting all the older versions of the game, because I started with disc versions before Steam even existed.
 

Chronicler

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I mean, if I'm being honest, most of my game time goes into gacha games that are designed to be played in perpetuity, on some kind of endless treadmill of progression.

I know I'll probably lose some gamer cred for that or whatever. Don't have a lot of patience or energy for learning new games at this point, and it's nice to have new stuff to look forward to periodically through content updates to games I already enjoy. Granblue Fantasy does 1 story event a month, with about two or three hours of reading following characters I'm already attached to. About once a year they'll release some big new grind that'll keep us busy for a good long while. Every two weeks they release some new units to play with. There's stuff to do every day, but very little of it won't come back around if I take the day off.

It's not like High Art challenging my mind with its deep and nuanced symbolism and its thoughtful handling of the ludonarrative, but most days I'm just too tired for that anyway.
 

Chronicler

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I mean, I can sympathize when we're talking about AAA titles. BG3 costs 80CAD. It'll be closer to 100 once the tax man gets his cut. I'd be pretty disappointed to spend that and get a game I can finish in an afternoon.

But of course, those AAA games are precisely the ones to fill their game up with 100 hours of unfun bullshit just to so they can put "100 hours" in the promotional material.

Hi Fi Rush is some smaller indy project though, right? Usually the scale of the project and the price are both proportionally smaller with those.

It would be easy to pad out those hours with some simple "That was a fun level, right? Well what if I mandated you play it 100 more times before you're allowed to move on to the next objective." like a lot of those AAA games do, but would that make it a better game?
 

O_Bruce

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It is not about whether it's short or long, what matter is how you use it... Oh sorry, we're talking about the length of games. Ok.

For me, some games may be short, while some may be longer, it depends on the genre and what the game is aiming for. It is totally ok for me for a game to be short if at the very least it is very replayable. It is okay for me for a game to be really long when it is rich in content. It is also okay for me for a game to be short or medium in length, as long as the progression system is really nice and makes me want to grind it, test different builds etc.
 

Chronicler

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Now that I'm thinking about it more, attitudes are also probably different between kids who are talking about games as like Christmas Presents and stuff, and adults with money who can buy games any time they want.

Like, when I was a kid with no money of my own, who got maybe 3ish games a year, how many hours I'd get out of each of them was a huge deal. The ideal game would take forever to complete and be infinitely replayable because I was probably going to be playing these things until I'd worn out the disk.

Where today, the idea of a $20 game that takes 10 hours to complete and then I never think about it again is much less offensive to me. I'm not rich or anything, but I am the master of my own money, and I can afford to spend $20 on an evening of fun from time to time.
 

Urdnot_Wrex

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I have come to appreciate short in-between games that can be "consumed" in a few hours, because they can give a good intense story or other experience (as I posted about Portal, A Plague Tale: Innocence and Stray, to name a few) and I'm not always in the mood for a few weeks or months of RPG. Sure, the stories that accompany us for a longer time tend to have more of an impact, but the intensity can't always be measured in hours.

As for the price, even if I'm lucky enough to have a solid job without financial worries, I think money should be spent well, and I would agree that it's important to make the most of an experience. But the quality of the experience matters.
Yes, I would be upset if BG3 had only 20 hours average playtime, because it's hard to tell a story in an RPG that way, at least the kind of story I expect from that kind of game.

But what about a ticket for a 2 hour concert with the same price as BG3? An awesome experience, not a waste of time. And yet I wouldn't pay that price for a 2 hour game.
Some other people spend much more on a meal at a fancy restaurant though.
 

WarChiefZeke

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I could probably beat Dragon Warrior Monsters 1 and 2 (GBC) in an afternoon with speedup on...yet i've invested more time into them than most full length RPGs. I think there is something to be said for replayability over having a very long main story. Not that there is anything wrong with a long story, either. Provided you manage it well, which is more difficult.
 

Urdnot_Wrex

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I would no longer count replayability as a condition for me to like a game. There are so many games where I think "next time I'll play this or that class" but it never happens, because I move on to the next experience, independent of game length. Of course it's even less likely to replay a 200 hour RPG though.
 

shmity72

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297
I'm very much not a game completionist. The last game I completed was Deus Ex because the story and action were just that good.

Usually I say to myself yes...I see where this is going, good yarn. And then as Urdnot says: 'next time I'll play this or that class'.
 

shmity72

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If you would like to play one of the ALL TIME CLASSIC shooter rpg. This is the one.

It kind of predicted 9/11...

terrorists bomb nyc. I didn't actually quite get to finish one of the three choices for the ending because right before it I was cornered in a vent with no ammo surrounded by genetically altered vicious animals.

I was on a budget at the time of purchase. At the store I couldn't decide on this weird deus ex game or baldurs gate ii. I went with the one that had really cool packaging.
 
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Nimran

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159
Replayability effectively gives limitless hours of gameplay, regardless of how short or long a game is. If I can keep coming back to it, even after years of playing it, then it’s a good game. I figure that in a few years, I’ll end up like my dad, only playing older games with endless replayability, rather than trying out new ones.
 
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