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One factor that always strikes me when playing a game is whether it is too short, too long, or just right. There are a huge variety of games out there thtspan these different lengths. But just when is a game too long or too short? How do you like your games to be? Some games are short, quick, and to the point. You get in and out. Others drag on and on until the point where I have to stop to ask myself if I'm even still having fun!
That said, I don't like it when a game is too short. The average game costs around $60 dollars. A game that will only last you 4-7 hours and can be beaten in just one mediocre sitting isn't worth that money at all! Battlefield 3's campaign was short! So short that there was almost no point in even adding it…
Straying away from the original idea here, other games excell with the short experience. They get in and get out with a bang. Call of Duty is a perfect example. The campaigns in the latest installments of the frachise have been short, but intense. They are filled to the maximum with heart pounding moments and big set pieces. It wants to keep your pulse punding throughout the entirety of the game so that when you put it down, you'll have trouble comprehending what the heck you just did. It was that amazing.
If the campaign in Call of Duty was extended, I'm afraid it wouldn't be as fun. You would eventually grow tired of the same repeated style of gameplay that is simply copied & pasted into different environments. You just don't really notice it because everything happens so fast. They don't want you to stick around and soak in whats happening. Besides, wouldn't it become uncomfortable after a while with your heart beating unstoppably for hours upon hours straight? I don't think I'd be able to take that.
In other games, the super long formula either works or backfires. It depends of the kind of player you are. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is a perfect example! Believe it or not, the game has an unlimited amount of quests. There is ALWAYS something to do besides the main quest line, or story. This could be a bad thing for completionists. Some players like to complete everything when they play a game Complete every side quest and main quest that there is to do. In Skyrim, that just isn't possible.
Other RPGs are simiar, though not many have an unlimite amount of quests to do. I for one always start off with the intention of completing everything. Thats how I was earlier this year when I first began The Witcher 2. I would always knock out every side quest the area I was currently in before I did the main quest line. This went on until I had about 30 hours of game time in and was just about fed up with the game!
I returned to the main story line in an attempt to reengrossmyself with the game. Thank goodness I did! Eventually, I just get bored of a game and begin to lose interest in it. That's how I am with the big games. It is a cool thing that there is so much to do, but eventually I just want to complete the dang game and move on to something new. I soon begin to feel like I am missing out on something else, some other game.
Skyrim does offer something else than just quests though. You can own a house, get a job, explore a massive world, craft, an the list goes on! I know that I'll be stuck in this game for a vey long time. But the jist here is that there is SO much more to do than just one or two core things. The pace of the game greatly differs and so does playstyle. When you get bored of one thing, there is always another thing you could do that may be the complete opposite of what you were just doing. That is one thing I definitley need in a LONG game.
Speaking of long games, the MMO crowd is always a bunch that continues to impress me. Most MMO players play that same MMO and nothing else for years on end. Some play a little of this and that on the side, but the majority of their gaming is done in one game. I just cope my head around that. My responce is always, "Your missing out on all of the other great games out there!"
I used to be an MMO player myself for about 2 years, but I was never fully entrenched into it that it was my one and only game. Now I play off and on from time to time now that that game is free to play (The Lord of the Rings Online). I don't raid, loot dungeons, farm, etc. like I used to though.
I understand why those players don't leave though. MMOs are the grand gateway to a good time. There is always a massive world to discover that unprescendented in scale by any other game out there. The memories you'll acquire throughout your adventures, leveling process, etc. are something you will always treasure. You may even make some friends that may stay with you for years to come! I even hear about relationships being forged thanks to these games. I could go on, but the jist of what I'm trying to say here is that if you enjoy the MMO you're playing, you'll get the experience of a lifetime! I miss my days in LOTRO, but I just don't have the time. My personal preference is I'd like to play different games.
The point as to when or how a game becomes that perfect length is up to you. For me it's about a 10-15 hour experience. That's enough for a game to impose multiple different sittings instead of just one in order to beat the game, but not so many that I don't want to play it anymore. Many of my favortie games have lasted roughly within this timeframe. Uncharted, Metro 2033, Resistance, Halo, etc. etc.
The obvious answer to my opinion is that I don't like my games too long or too short. I like them right in the middle. I'm curious to find out how long you like a video game to be? Do you like the experienceto be a short one? In and out like Call of Duty? Or do you like yourgames to be long such as Skyrim or Dragon Age? Maybe right in between like myself. What is the perfect length for you?