How Long Is Long Enough?
It's a common subject of discussion amongst gamers, and there appears to be no definitive answer.
Given the multiplayer boom and the rise of the casual/mainstream gamer, lengthy single-player campaigns aren't as highly sought-after. Many will still say they won't buy a game unless it satisfies in the single-player category, but that group is often drowned out by the hordes of multiplayer enthusiasts. The most popular games of the generation thus far are in the Call of Duty franchise, and campaign length is obviously irrelevant. Certain hardcore gamers who still love their RPGs require a long, in-depth, fulfilling story, but what can be considered a "decent length" for other genres?
Shooters especially fall under the microscope. Take id Software's upcoming Rage, for instance. It is large enough to require two DVDs for the Xbox 360 version and yet, according to what creative director Tim Willits told OXM, the game can be beaten in under 15 hours. An interesting blend of open-ended elements and shooter mechanics (ala Borderlands), one would assume the sheer size of the game would translate to more than 15 hours. Then again, if we are to dub Rage a "shooter," that's almost an unheard-of length in this day and age. So the question seems to revolve around the perception of the gaming community.
It's not just about getting our money's worth; it's about feeling as if we accomplished something, and had the time to experience a fully fleshed-out story. That desire seems to be falling by the wayside, but do you see that 15-hour report as good news or bad news? And what are we calling Rage? It's not exactly like CoD or Battlefield, now is it? Then again, it's not exactly The Elder Scrolls...
4/6/2011 12:07:54 PM Ben Dutka