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