Hopefully someone out there will read this and agree with me here (I cant be the only one)
Picture this, you purchase a brand new whizzy game and boot it up on your platform of choice. You go through the usual start up sequence, then start a game, complete the tutorial section blah blah blah…
But then suddenly a whole world opens up to you and you start seeing all the different side quests, activities, games, collectables, missions, co-op missions, multi-player missions, death-matches, hoard mode etc etc etc…
And you feel…. Overwhelmed!
A couple of prime recent example for me would be Far Cry 4, The Witcher 3 or the latest Assassins Creed. All offer so so much. But often they dont amount to more then the some of their parts.
For various reasons, I only have around 5 or 6 hours of gaming time a week. Tops. So my time is precious, and to be honest if I check out the reviews for a game and see a quote like “80 hours of gameplay!” – that puts me off rather then encourages me to get it. I simply don’t have the time to invest in something like that. It would take me 4 months to complete! That’s asking far too much of a player.
The reviews for The Order;1886 were not great, with many people moaning about the short 4-5 hours of game play. But having played it from start to finish, I can tell you that the problem with that game is definitely not the length. Sure a few hours extra would not have hurt, but the problem is for vast periods of the game your not even playing, your watching cut scenes. Had that game been all out balls to the walls action from start to finish, it would have been far greater received even if it was slightly short.
The pinnacle of modern gaming – The Last of Us gets the balance spot on. At only 15 hours (give or take) it doesn’t get bogged down with side quests, mini games etc that are just there for filler. Naughty dog had a clear vision of what they wanted their game to be and stuck with it.
It seems too often developers seem to see what other studios are doing a think ‘That’s cool, how can we add that to our game!?’ When that content has no business being in that game at all.
Sometimes I wish more developers would finish a game then take a step back and say ‘what can we cut out here?’ just like a film editor would. Get rid of all the filler crap!
Less is More!