PS3 News: Do You Mind Shorter Game Campaigns? - PS3 News

Members Login: Register | Why sign up? | Forgot Password?

Do You Mind Shorter Game Campaigns?

Many complain that video game campaigns are shorter these days. Others, especially those who have gravitated toward multiplayer, really don't care.

Now, one historical fact before we continue- During the early days of the industry, video games were really short. Going through Super Mario Bros. or Contra actually wouldn't take any time at all...minus the dying, of which there was always a lot. Due to the much higher difficulty and the amount of time required for trial-and-error, those games seemed crazy long when in reality, the full amount of play time rarely came in at over two hours. Just nobody beat 'em in two hours without cheat codes.

But anyway, when people complain these days, they're basically comparing current generation titles to the last generation. It's true that campaigns were longer then but as I've said in the past, I have no issue with games being shorter these days. And no, it's not because I spend most of my time with multiplayer fun (I actually hate that, usually); it's merely because I don't have the time I used to. So when I play one of the Uncharted's, I never feel like I'm being short-changed; the length seems just about right and the story never feels rushed. It's just right, I say. Actually, campaigns that are longer than 12-15 hours feel really long to me now.

So what do you say? Are you annoyed that games are shorter? Or as you get older, do you find that with less time, shorter single-player adventures are preferable? Do you feel like you're getting your money's worth? Me, I pretty much always do if the game is great.

Tags: games, video games, campaigns, game campaigns, single-player gaming

8/23/2012 9:20:03 PM Ben Dutka

Put this on your webpage or blog:
Email this to a friend
Follow PSX Extreme on Twitter

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google Share on MySpace Share on Delicious Share on Digg Share on Google Buzz Share via E-Mail Share via Tumblr Share via Posterous

Comments (46 posts)

Doppel
Thursday, August 23, 2012 @ 9:40:21 PM
Reply

Depends on the kind of game, but generally it's the delivery of the story that matters to me and how everything in the game (music, technical, visuals, audio, etc.) comes together.

About length? I don't mind putting hours into a game, even if it's 1000 hours long I would reach the end someday. :P

Agree with this comment 7 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

matt99
Thursday, August 23, 2012 @ 9:46:10 PM
Reply

Well I wish Uncharted games were days long but that's just because I love them, but I'm more annoyed with the step back in the quality of most sp campaigns. It seems these days we're getting more generic stories that aren't very interesting.

Agree with this comment 6 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

bebestorm
Thursday, August 23, 2012 @ 9:57:45 PM
Reply

This generation I've found myself disliking short campaigns so unless its a game I really love I don't bother with it. In general it shouldn't matter if its a short or long game because who says you have to finish a game by a certain date. I still haven't completed Skyrim.

Agree with this comment 9 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Temjin001
Thursday, August 23, 2012 @ 10:24:46 PM
Reply

Very true about many 8-bit and 16-bit games with them being ultra short. Back then you'd play a level over and over again for like a day or so if it was hard. Back then controllers hit walls and stuff because the duration of the game was negotiated largely by learning patterns and twitch factor. Games like MegaMan, Ninja Gaiden, Strider, Shinobi, Double Dragon etc., were a lot like that.

Anyhow, I think if any game today gives me the ability to hit it and quit it whenever I need, I'm good with that. It doesn't really mean the whole length of the game needs to be short, just the option to engage and disengage at a moments notice. This was especially true of my PSP. I've played through 4 PSX rpg's on that thing. With an extra special thanks to the "hold" mechanism built into the power slider.

Agree with this comment 4 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Remo Williams
Thursday, August 23, 2012 @ 10:28:08 PM
Reply

When I was younger I could easily put 70+ hours into a game. In fact, I used to use game length as a deciding factor when purchasing games. Now, I could care less how long a game is. That being said, if I am choosing between two great games, one of which is 6 hours and the other 10+, odds favor the latter.

Agree with this comment 5 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Jalex
Thursday, August 23, 2012 @ 10:50:59 PM
Reply

Personally, I prefer longer campaigns. Mostly because of how much story factors into my enjoyment of a video game. A good story generally has strong characters, and a longer campaign means more time spent with said characters.
Also, I usually play games about an hour per day (two if I'm extra-fortunate), so shorter games last a week or two and really only leave a lasting impression if they're absolutely incredible. Whereas longer games give me time to lose myself in the world, appreciate all the little things I probably wouldn't during a shorter campaign, and they stay with me long after I've last played them.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, August 23, 2012 @ 10:52:21 PM
Reply

The fact that there are so many good games makes the shorter campaigns less disagreeable to me as I like to get them under my belt but it is unfortunate to see games shrink, Uncharted 3 shrank by about 2 hours and I think the plot really could have used that extra time because it got smashed up into Drake's quick overview explanations between the globe trotting action sequences.

Usually I'd rather have a great compact adventure than a game full of filler levels but when varied gameplay is the focus then that's no bother.

This seems as good a time as any to mention how weird it is that some games have no save option and want me to just trust that the autosave worked somewhere along the line. Also I'm of two minds about being able to save anywhere, sure it's handy but remember desperately trying to survive in RE4 until you found the next typewriter? There's something to be said for that.

Agree with this comment 5 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

PoopsMcGee
Friday, August 24, 2012 @ 8:52:15 AM

I'm playing Starhawk SP on Mercenary right now and it autosaves, but only at the end of a level. As far as I can tell there's no way to manually save! Not only that but the levels are pretty damn long so there has been at least a few times that I battled like heck to the last section of a level and then something pressing comes up (baby stuff usually) and I have to start from the beginning again on my next playthrough. AHHHHHHHHHHH

Rant done.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Rogueagent01
Friday, August 24, 2012 @ 11:21:10 AM

And that is precisely why I wish devs would take more advantage of say a Hardcore mode within a game. Not everybody can make it to a save point because of things in real life or even attention spans, but for those of us that want an extra challenge they could put in a Hardcore mode that has save points spread out amongst the world, obviously making the game much more challenging.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

LimitedVertigo
Thursday, August 23, 2012 @ 11:06:08 PM
Reply

It all depends on the genre of game. I don't mind an adventure game being less than 12hours but an RPG without any of the filler questing better give me at least 40hrs.

Agree with this comment 6 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Temjin001
Thursday, August 23, 2012 @ 11:43:05 PM

mmmh filler questing. the elder scrolls anyone?

(nah, jk)

Agree with this comment 1 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, August 24, 2012 @ 12:09:30 AM

Temjin you aren't wrong, there are just too many sidequests in Skyrim. I can't ignore sidequests usually and that's how I get burned out without getting anywhere in the story. Fallout 3 has the perfect amount of sidequests going on.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Temjin001
Friday, August 24, 2012 @ 12:16:08 AM

I became a vampire-beast man thing one time.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

BikerSaint
Thursday, August 23, 2012 @ 11:25:36 PM
Reply

I want all of my SP campaigns to be as long & drawn out as they can be.
(or at least a good 15+ hours for a shortie, LOL)

Agree with this comment 4 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

homura
Friday, August 24, 2012 @ 12:03:14 AM
Reply

There's a saying, It's not all about how long is your journey, it's about what you will accomplish during that journey. Or something like that. Hehe.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

MrAnonymity
Friday, August 24, 2012 @ 12:06:20 AM
Reply

Hm... having beaten Sleeping Dogs already, I wonder about short campaigns. Perhaps - as Temjin pointed out - if there is a wealth of additional stuff on top of the campaign, it CAN be negligible that a game has a short campaign. However... as one that appreciates a solid story, I do tend to get disappointed when the campaign seems compressed. Recently, Mass Effect comes to mind. Positively loved the games... but I can't help but feel there could have been more added to the universe to make it a truly epic experience.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, August 24, 2012 @ 12:11:57 AM

Haven't beat ME3 but ME2 kept me busy for a very long time.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

homura
Friday, August 24, 2012 @ 12:32:46 AM

Wow ME2 is really that good? Glad I already bought it last week, I'll just have to finish Dead Space first then I'll play ME2, I'm having so much fun with Dead Space, I'm playing the game for the first time and it's in hard mode and only with plasma cutter as a weapon. It's intense.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

MrAnonymity
Friday, August 24, 2012 @ 11:17:09 AM

Homura - Yes, ME2 really is that good. The series has become one of my favorites. Very easy to get absorbed into.

World - Really? I did literally everything there was to do and still found myself wanting more. I suppose multiple playthroughs are a different story though...

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, August 24, 2012 @ 11:50:49 AM

I did everything as well, I don't remember my exact time but it had to be around 35 hours of gameplay. That seemed ample.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Yukian
Friday, August 24, 2012 @ 12:13:09 AM
Reply

Well, I would take a short but interesting story than a long and boring one... I haven't played Skyrim but I don't think I would like it even if the gameplay is great 'cause it seems that the story takes the back seat in favor for the sidequests that adds a surprising amount of play time.

On the other hand, the last 3 weeks I managed to play and beat, which is a miracle since I can't get to do that frequently, Assassin's Creed, ACII, Batman: Arkham City GOTY and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake which were a bit short (the latter surprised me, having so much to do for a game made on 1990) but each of the stories were quite enthralling.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Phoenix
Friday, August 24, 2012 @ 1:35:40 AM
Reply

I'd say shorter games is fine, aslong as the story and gameplay arnt bad, but I also think that if your going down the short game path, you MUST have very high replay value.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Ludakriss
Friday, August 24, 2012 @ 4:39:54 AM

So, really, what you're implying is still the importance of more time, with a game. Right?

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Phoenix
Friday, August 24, 2012 @ 11:21:57 AM

perhaps you didnt read the article, or mis understood it.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

kraygen
Friday, August 24, 2012 @ 3:01:58 AM
Reply

I first and foremost want a game that has a great story that flows well. If it's fun for 100+ hours then give me 100+ hours, but if it's not fun for more than 20 hours, I'm usually not that interested.

If a game offers a really fun 5-10 hours, that's great, but I don't want to pay the same for that as I do for 100+ hours. That's where the bargain bin comes in.

I don't have as much time to play as I used to, but I don't feel the need to play every game on release day. I might be playing a game 2 years after it's released, but I'm not rushing through it just to beat it either.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Gordo
Friday, August 24, 2012 @ 3:18:02 AM
Reply

8-10 is the sweetspot for me with an action game.

Loved Killzone 2 and 3 campaigns. Played through them 4 times each so their length wasn't a problem.

Same with Uncharted 2. Played through that campaign 4 times.

As long as a short campaign has good replayability I'm usually fine. Seem to be getting too "time poor" to spend too long grinding any more.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Ludakriss
Friday, August 24, 2012 @ 4:22:49 AM
Reply

Very good subject. Well put, bro.

No, I do not feel like I'm getting my moneys worth these days. Everything is such a poo gamble.

The times I truly enjoy having spent money is when I get absorbed with the story (FF12, Heavenly Sword) or gameplay, exploration (Souls Franchise, FF12).

Like you said. In the past even if the game was shorter it didn't feel like it.

Personally I don't care I'm getting older and the whole "I don't have the time I used to" is bogus. You enjoy it, it makes you happy? Then MAKE time for it.

I miss exploring deep worlds, having something of a either well crafted action combat or a turn based or a mix of both (Star Ocean, Legend of Dragoon ish?).

Yeah I miss em and I miss having to choose a game just because the cover art was so appealing that you can't resist.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Ludicrous_Liam
Friday, August 24, 2012 @ 4:41:09 AM

Okay this is starting to get creepy...we keep commenting at the same time! Wow xD

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Rogueagent01
Friday, August 24, 2012 @ 11:34:06 AM

Nice! I'm playing Star Ocean: The Last Hope right now and I already have almost 300 hours in it. I really miss games that have that kind of length to them. Sacred 2 is another one this gen that has pretty much 0 story but has an insane amount of length to it, and I still find myself playing it from time to time, wanting to get to level 200.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Ludicrous_Liam
Friday, August 24, 2012 @ 4:38:24 AM
Reply

When a game has so much depth to it, as so many games DO nowadays, then the 'length' seems longer than how long the campaign actually lasts, if you get me.

And to me, games never feel short unless it ends somewhat abruptly, for example Killzone 3. I tend to play games at a slow pace anyway, because unlike you guys, with your jobs and wives and all that jazz, I have plenty of time!

Infact, I'm playing MGS4 now; I'm up to the 4th act and I've already played in excess of 16 hours. When you think that this's my 5th playthrough, you know I've been doing it slowly lol. But there is so much depth to the game; the gameplay allows you to do so much (with literally hundreds of ways to complete a mission) and no matter how many times I play it, the story always manages to completely grab my attention. But, essentially (when you skip the cutscenes, and I'm sure many do), the game is really only about 10 hours in length. But, because there is SO much depth to it, it just feels so much more than that.

So I guess, if the game has enough depth to it, I don't mind 'shorter' campaigns at all.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Ludakriss
Friday, August 24, 2012 @ 4:43:52 AM

"Jobs and wives and all that jazz" xDDD that's right, son!

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

___________
Friday, August 24, 2012 @ 6:41:08 AM
Reply

totally depends on lots of things.
1 how good the game is, id rather a crap game like naughty bear last 2 hours than 8!
2 what genre it is, 10 hours for a FPS is bloody awesome!
a RPG though pretty poor.
3 obviously till your satisfied, if the story just ends abruptly even if the game lasted 96 hours im going to be upset!
or if the game lasted 2 hours, as long as the story is finished and i feel there was no need for it to be longer than thats fine.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Nynja
Friday, August 24, 2012 @ 7:43:45 AM
Reply

I couldn't agree more. Well said.

8-10 hrs is enough for me. There are just too many games out there that I have yet to play. Finding time to do them all is just impossible.

That's not to say a 3hr game like MGS4 can't still be good or 30hr game being better. Length really isn't as important as the enjoyment found playing a game.

Many like to justify length with cost. This is understandable. Especially when you are dropping $60+ on each new game.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

gumbi
Friday, August 24, 2012 @ 8:35:45 AM
Reply

As long as it's good, I'm a big fan of shorter games nowadays. Which is in stark contrast to the answer I would've given 6-10 years ago when it was all about maximizing the return on my $ investment. The bottom line is, and this was touched on recently in another article, there's just no time for a lengthy drawn out adventure. If a game is under 15 hrs, then that means I'll be able to get through it in a couple weeks. I seriously second guess anything that anticipates 30+ hours of gameplay, because that means I could be at it for months.

You'll never hear me complain that a game like Journey, Heavenly Sword, God of War, etc... was too short. I love those games because I can start and finish them within a reasonable time frame. I really DO feel like I get my money's worth.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

BTNwarrior
Friday, August 24, 2012 @ 9:22:22 AM
Reply

the only time that i have ever wished that a game was shorter is right now. This years lineup of christmas titles is coming out soon and I still havent played through all the games I got at christmas last year. Damn Skyrim, Mass Effect, Dragons Dogma, and Kingdoms of Amalure and their rediculously long campains

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, August 24, 2012 @ 9:36:29 AM
Reply

Heavenly Sword was the right length even at 6 hours.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, August 24, 2012 @ 10:09:00 AM

I really don't see how that game is beaten in 6 hours. No idea. Pretty sure it took me 8 or 9 and I wasn't going slow.

Because it was one of the first games of the generation and it was quickly put in direct contrast to games of last generation that were longer, the length of HS got CRAZY exaggerated.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, August 24, 2012 @ 10:57:42 AM

The number of enemies seemed overwhelming so I put it on the easiest setting :)

I played Enslaved on medium but that might have been even more brief. I'm hoping DmC comes in at 8.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 8/24/2012 11:01:44 AM

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

gumbi
Friday, August 24, 2012 @ 11:11:46 AM

I remember HS took me just over 7 hours. I wasn't pushing through, but I wasn't dawdling either. I normally don't really track my hours but there was so much publicity over its brevity that I paid attention to it. I thought it was just right, and was getting unfairly accused of being too short.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, August 24, 2012 @ 11:51:27 AM

Some people were saying it was 4 hours. Utter nonsense that.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Rogueagent01
Friday, August 24, 2012 @ 11:52:35 AM
Reply

I really dislike short campaigns and with some franchises I have even not bought the second or third entry because of the short length of the first(Uncharted). I am the type of gamer who buys games with the intent to beat them, and time is not a factor. I still play all the Command & Conquers, Sim City, Railroad Tycoon, Theme Hospital, Sacred 2, Yakuzas, Pesonas, and Star Oceans and it doesn't matter to me if it takes a decade to beat them as I really enjoy them. It is not uncommon for me to put hundreds upon hundreds of hours into one specific game, so long as there is something to do.

I am the type that feels cheated with some of these campaigns as I don't consider 10 hours to be worth $60. I don't care if the stroy blows my mind, I would still feel like I got ripped off if the game is too short. Mind you I will never say a game sucks because it is short, however I will NOT suggest it to other people if it is, without warning them first that it is short. If they charge appropriately then I am fine with short campaigns as many of the downloadable games have done this. I also suggest games to people that are short by telling them wait for it to be in the bargain bin.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Underdog15
Friday, August 24, 2012 @ 3:22:55 PM
Reply

I don't really have a measurable to live by, but I absolutely hate the feeling of seeing credits roll and thinking, "what??? That's it?!"

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Mogreen
Friday, August 24, 2012 @ 8:05:39 PM
Reply

Well if all the cards are right as in
'

Story is decent or better
Music is on point
Pacing is great
Has limited filler areas

I love my long stories. I say every game that's up to par with my list should be Uncharted's length or longer. With that being said yes we are being gimped in single player this gen, and I don't like it.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Gordo
Saturday, August 25, 2012 @ 2:28:19 AM
Reply

Unfortunately my wife says I'm more of a Vanquish than a Skyrim...

Ho hum, its quality over quantity I have to console myself with...

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

T2X
Saturday, August 25, 2012 @ 9:06:12 AM
Reply

I feel that 12-15 hours is good enough for me personally at about $60.00. That way, I can usually get in about 2-2 1/2 hours in a night maybe if I'm lucky and it will last me about a week or more.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Robochic
Sunday, August 26, 2012 @ 8:34:50 AM
Reply

It depends but i do prefer longer campaigns but the story line has to be good too.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Leave a Comment

Please login or register to leave a comment.

Our Poll

Got the Wii U?
Yep, had mine since day one.
Yeah; I just recently picked it up.
No, but I might get one soon...
No, and I don't ever want one.

Previous Poll Results