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Game Length Affects Bang For Your Buck, But Not Quality

I've said this before but clearly, it needs to be said again.

So, everyone's freaking out over the latest news concerning the apparent short length of this week's anticipated PlayStation 4 exclusive, The Order: 1886. There's a complete YouTube playthrough that clocks in at roughly 5 hours, which isn't what gamers wanted to see.

But for the last time: Length has no bearing on quality. None whatsoever. Some of the greatest poems in the world take less than a minute to read. A longer book doesn't make it automatically better than a shorter book. Same goes for movies. If we're talking about artistic-oriented entertainment mediums, if the creator(s) produce something that conveys their message and satisfies the consumer, everyone comes away a winner. You don't need to stand before a masterful painting for hours, despite the length of time required for its creation.

Now, one could argue that length certainly impacts the "bang for your buck" angle. Well, yes and no. For me, I don't need to play something for 50 hours to feel fulfilled. If the game was only two or three hours and I enjoyed myself immensely, and I didn't think it could've used more content, and the pacing felt right, that's a winning product for me. If The Order: 1886 is only five hours but I feel as if I've played through an enjoyable adventure that seemed to end when it should, I'll say that's money well-spent. If I think it feels rushed and more could've been done to flesh out various parts of the game, I'll come to a different conclusion.

The bottom line is that quality and length are mutually exclusive. Sure, we might want great experiences to last longer but if we believe the artisans in question did their jobs successfully, and we emerge content with smiles on our faces, what is there to complain about?

For a specific example of what I'm talking about, read my Journey review.

Tags: video game length, gaming industry, the order, the order 1886

2/15/2015 9:52:14 PM Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (52 posts)


cLoudou
Sunday, February 15, 2015 @ 10:35:38 PM
Reply

YES!

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bigrailer19
Sunday, February 15, 2015 @ 10:47:26 PM
Reply

Makes sense to me.

How is this youtube video even out there? I've never heard of these guys who made it so how did they get the game? Is there no embargo date and should we expect reviews to start coming out?

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 2/15/2015 10:47:39 PM

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Jawknee
Sunday, February 15, 2015 @ 11:16:23 PM

Sony needs to make like Nintendo and Capcom and start coming down on people who release these videos before the street date.

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

bigrailer19
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 12:29:07 AM

Apparently they do. I'm still confused on how they got. YouTube video up and it's not down yet.

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

WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 11:04:24 AM

They should not be able to release unlicensed content of the game before release. I'd sue the shiz out of these f*cks

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

bigrailer19
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 1:21:19 PM

Yeah it doesn't make sense to me.

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

DemonNeno
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 2:13:28 PM

Some retailers allegedly sold the game prior to its release date. We can all make our assumptions as to how that chain events led to this mess.

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FAREEZ
Sunday, February 15, 2015 @ 10:54:16 PM
Reply

The order campaign not even great, it's just QTE with great graphics, right now watching part 8 of the gameplay, no need to buy it...

Agree with this comment 3 up, 8 down Disagree with this comment

Snaaaake
Sunday, February 15, 2015 @ 10:58:45 PM

Well dude.........you do know you are watching spoilers right?

Agree with this comment 3 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

FAREEZ
Sunday, February 15, 2015 @ 11:10:59 PM

I don't mind, having fun watching it than playing it...

Agree with this comment 3 up, 7 down Disagree with this comment

sawao_yamanaka
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 1:17:38 AM

Oh hey, douchey mcdoucherson again. Why are you here again? Don't buy, have fun watching. Sound so much like an Xbox troll. Have fun not actually playing any play station games you whiny little boy.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 7 down Disagree with this comment

FAREEZ
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 3:39:00 AM

Sawoa, you sound like a fanboy, calling people weird name, grown up please...

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Kevin555
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 6:52:45 AM

I will reserve judgement until i rent the game but it doesn't look like anything special to me either. Just duck and cover shooting against generic looking enemies.

Just watched the final boss too....... i won't even go there with that, just horrible.

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Jawknee
Sunday, February 15, 2015 @ 11:21:33 PM
Reply

I don't remember people whining about how fast you can speed run pretty much every Resident Evil game. My personal best is under 3 hours. It's possible to beat MGS4 in under 5. People are seriously making this a bigger deal than it needs to be.

Agree with this comment 6 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

sawao_yamanaka
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 1:16:30 AM

Yup, my personal best was 2:58 on the remake. Can't do that anymore. Last time I played it on hard it took me 8 plus hours lol.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 3 down Disagree with this comment

Vivi_Gamer
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 4:12:42 AM

Yes, but that is only if you skip the cutscenes... which is not the case with The order 1886.

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Kevin555
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 7:17:33 AM

Yeah let's compare speedrunning through a game you've already completed, know where all the key items are located, enemy patterns are etc to say completing a game in five hours during your first playthrough where everything within the game is new to the player.

Don't kid yourselves, the defenders are just as puke-worthy as the whiners but i do agree that with each passing generation it's getting worse, whether you're a defender, a whiner, or both ;)

Last edited by Kevin555 on 2/16/2015 7:19:09 AM

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SayWord
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 11:43:23 AM

Hah look at Kevin and his smug preaching acting like he is better than everyone. A dude that complains about people being logical labeling them as defenders except we are just people who dont fall for bull.
Hey Kevin how long have you been playing games? How many times have people put up youtube videos like this that have all been discredited? Actually why am i even wasting my time on someone so stupid?

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Underdog15
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 10:25:18 PM

There's no way... no WAY that youtube video guy was playing the game for the first time. lol

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cLoudou
Sunday, February 15, 2015 @ 11:50:19 PM
Reply

I hate this generation of gamers sfm...

"under 5 hours, not open world, no multiplayer = sh!t"

"having fun watching than playing"

The only thing that'll tell me if it's good or bad is the reviews, and even that can be subjective.

Last edited by cLoudou on 2/15/2015 11:51:53 PM

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bigrailer19
Sunday, February 15, 2015 @ 11:56:27 PM

I would say the only thing that will tell you if it's good or not is you. However it's tougher to decide if our want to take a chance on it.

Agree with this comment 5 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Jawknee
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 12:01:17 AM

You're not alone Cloudou. New group of of whiny p*ssants with each new console generation.

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

Jawknee
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 12:02:52 AM
Reply

Mega Man 2 can be beat in 30 mins. We all know how bad that game is....oh wait!

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___________
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 2:32:48 AM
Reply

completely missing the point as usual!
length may not effect quality, but it most certainly effects enjoyment, and last time i checked people spend their hard earned money on things to ENJOY them!
how would you react if you went to a 3 michelin star place, paid 600 bucks for a extremely expensive meal, and was only given a really tiny portion leaving you still starving?
exactly!
does not matter how good something is, if it leaves you with a oh should of been so much more, then of course people are going to complain, and rightfully so!

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

DemonNeno
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 2:20:40 PM

First of all, you're obviously not much of a fine diner. Most expensive places serve smaller portions.

This game is meant to capture a cinematic vibe like that of a movie. Considering a Blu-ray movie will cost you approximately $20 for 90-120 minutes of run time, this game is offering a deal. It's 3x more ($60) with 4x the run time (approx 8 hours if you're not on easy doing a speed run, apparently).

Not sure how he's missing the point. Realistically, you're missing the point. If only half of the movies that release didn't try to target 90min of runtime, a lot of them wouldn't be stuffed with crappy scenes that shouldn't be included.

This game is intended to focus on the story and cinematics. Hence the black bars,comparison to movie CGI, cutscenes you can't skip, and the color/design choice.

Clearly, you're clumping the game into a smorgasbord of genres where it doesn't belong. Your comment about complaints is just proof that you're basically jumping on prejudice bandwagon. There isn't a review for it to speak of, yet you know this game isn't fulfilling HOW, exactly?

Last edited by DemonNeno on 2/16/2015 2:22:12 PM

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___________
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 @ 7:01:33 AM

again completely missing the point.
point is short games always leave you wanting more, and more often than not end up ending really abruptly and feeling sloppy and rushed.
CoD a perfect example you can always pick what the last level is.
you spend 5 missions obtaining something then boom all of a sudden everything happens, oh sh*t the games already finished no i was just enjoying it, yup the bad guys dead and theres the credits how'd i know!
i couldn't care less how short something is if it felt well executed and did not feel rushed and fulfilled what it set out to do, but that never ever happens they always feels rushed and empty.

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

Beamboom
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 4:06:14 AM
Reply

It all depends on the price.
You would not pay the price of a novel for a single short story. Nor a full ticket price at the cinema to see a short film, regardless of quality.
It's that simple, really.


Last edited by Beamboom on 2/16/2015 4:10:16 AM

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Banky A
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 8:11:47 AM

Sure you would.

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Beamboom
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 12:22:21 PM

Never have, never will.

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

Vivi_Gamer
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 4:11:34 AM
Reply

The difference between this and Journey is that Journey is an indie title at a budget price (I got it even cheaper at 5 pounds on sale), while The Order 1886 is set to be one of the biggest PS4 exclusives of the year. What's more concerning is that The Order 1886 is actually more expensive than most other PS4 game here in the UK by 10 pounds, which is a big difference. I don't want to splash out on a game which I know I'll be done within a week. Why do so when I know I can buy other games which last longer?

We have the argument of the games production value, something I certainly appreciate in games. If The Order 1886 is a short but sweet experience I am fine with that, so many other games I have enjoyed in the past like The Bouncer have been the same. But... I can wait. I'll buy the game just when it is cheaper. That way I wont feel so sour when I have Platinumed the game within a week.

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Kevin555
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 7:10:10 AM

The Bouncer atleast had branching storylines and different cutscenes each time you played through it though as well as a multiplayer mode after the main story was done. The Order it seems has none of that.

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

WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 11:02:23 AM

The bouncer was so tasty

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Vivi_Gamer
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 11:42:12 AM

Yup, fair point. It's probably why it has more replay value, even though I have seen the story through all 3 characters perspective I still love playing it. I still say had that game offered Co-op play within Story mode it would have been a huge hit.

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sawao_yamanaka
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 2:27:04 PM

And yet the bouncer was short. Three hours total for all "storylines". The "multiplayer" was not fun at all.

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smileys_007
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 5:30:29 AM
Reply

good article Ben, very well said! ^_^

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Bio
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 5:33:46 AM
Reply

I can't help but find logical fault in the headline

Agree with this comment 5 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Underdog15
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 10:31:10 PM

No, to you and your upvoters.

A small taste of the world's finest scotch is still the world's finest scotch. The quality is above board and all the competition.

$1500 for the bottle vs. $1500 for the taste...

Both are of exceptional quality. Only one gives you "bang for your buck".

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Underdog15
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 @ 1:38:35 PM

Sometimes being right can be a lonely road. *sigh*

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Axe99
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 6:02:02 AM
Reply

Well said - a 5 hour speed run is not indicative of length in any case. Somewhat ironically, only 25-30 per cent of gamers tend to finish the games they play in any event (even shorter games, although the longer the game gets, the less likely they are to finish, going by Steam, XBLA and PSN achievement/trophy stats).

Once gamers start, on average, finishing the games they play, _then_ they can start complaining about how long they are!

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DarthNemesis
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 6:13:57 AM
Reply

You have never paid for the length of of a game.You pay for the experience and quality.People are delusional as games during the 2D age could be completed in less than an hour.MGS,RE,DMC and similar games can be completed within 4-5 hours so if you are a fan of those games be quiet.The Order is longer than 5 hours though as I know someone who owns it.l and confirmed this personally.

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Banky A
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 8:19:30 AM
Reply

Shout outs to Journey. One of the best games I've ever experienced on a peaceful couch on three different nights.

I would've paid double, triple if I knew.

No thoughts on this topic. My price ratio to show support for quality titles (that I feel is a step forward) is embarrassing.

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shaytoon
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 10:11:44 AM
Reply

im with you ben. this new generation of gamers need to burn off somewhere and go back to their mobile/fb games.

journey. child of light. short yet amazing and beautiful games.

resogun. short yet super fun

dead nation. not that short, but has tons of replay value.

i hate all the hype thats surrounded the order, even though i kinda contributed and said it could be a whatever game, but im still looking forward to it and see whats it all about. bc the concept and story look really cool.

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bigrailer19
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 10:41:58 AM

I get what you are saying and I agree. However, those games you mentioned are Indie titles that cost around $15.00. *Those are not good examples*.

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Temjin001
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 1:57:31 PM

Journey and Child of Light were $15 games.

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shaytoon
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 4:05:52 PM

youre right, that didnt occur to me. "big games" that cost $60 should be fulfilling as much as possible.

somehow it all comes back down to that mona lisa dlc pic when it comes to bigger produced games.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 11:06:34 AM
Reply

What's odd is that we have haters hating (shake it off) on this PS4 exclusive due to length at a time when most gamers admit their games are too long for them to even finish, here in the age of twitter.

Make up your minds! It's not an RPG. And it's gonna be great, buncha turds.

Viva la France!

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SayWord
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 11:49:18 AM

World people make youtube videos like this all the time. Also stupid people fall for it all the time. Everytime someone makes a video like this it usually takes me double the amount of time to beat it.

Also do people not replay games anymore? There is no right or wrong way to play but for single player cinematic games i love taking my time taking everything in for the first playthrough. Once im done i jump in for higher difficulty and collectables.

Whats sad to me isnt the fact that people post videos like this but the fact that people use it as ammunition and attack other. How can people actually believe the length of these videos. Some gamers are a sad bunch, just look at this kevin fellow here how he is proud of he talks to others here is very pitiful.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 2:48:28 PM

It's the xboxers who have no games.

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DemonNeno
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 2:30:33 PM
Reply

I don't understand all of the whining. Perhaps the concept of a new genre/game style hasn't sunk into the minds of the observers.

The clues are everywhere, yet aren't taken into consideration. $60 is fine. If it's too much money, then you're obviously not the person that should buy it. Not everything needs to be 15hrs+ and I'm glad that it isn't. Games tend to drag ass for the sake of stating it's THIS LONG! No thanks.

What I've enjoyed about UC3 was the lack of fluff. It was nice and lean. It's the reason I want UC4. The price wasn't too much. The replay was there. Overall, it was a great experience that didn't hog up my life. I was able to play UC3 and Gran Turismo.

Same here. This game is offering an experience that is meant to feel cinematic. As I said in another post, it's 3x the price of a movie with 4x the run time and us interactive. How is that bad?

Let's not forget that games haven't gone up in price since the SNES days. That alone makes me thankful games are priced where they're at today. Even gum has doubled in price.

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Rachet_JC_FTW
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 5:25:34 PM
Reply

yeah thats true to true so lets how great this new game and new IP, new series but all this scar mongering is just stupid and before review and offical info comes out honeslty this is madness

happy gaming

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trumpetmon65
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 5:42:41 PM
Reply

Boom Ben. Boom

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johnld
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 7:28:23 PM
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for me, if the story doesnt warrant the game to have 100 or so hours, thats fine. my standard on whether a game was worth my money is based on my enjoyment alone, not the time i played. uncharted games are short compared to those 50+ hour games. i still uncharted games. farcry 4 and dragons age boasts all those hours of gameplay but im not in a rush to go back to finish those. story was lacking and gameplay felt like it was dragging on without much reward. so a game that tells a compelling story to me even if its "short" compared to other games win against a game boasting hours of gameplay but filled with lacking story, gameplay that drags on, and whatever fluff they put in to make it feel longer (fetch quests and time based stuff like in any day. correct me if im wrong but for me it seems like inquisition story can be beaten relatively fast but certain factors stop you from progressing. like that map thing where you need to get points just to move forward.

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