How Important is Game Length to You? - hist Blog - www.GameInformer.com
Switch Lights

The lights are on

What's Happening

How Important is Game Length to You?

The length of games has been an issue for gamers for many years now, with people coming down on both sides of it.

Some say that it doesn't matter how long a game is, as long as it's an overall quality experience.

Others say that "If I'm paying $60 for a game, I'd better get at least 10 hours of gameplay out of it, or I feel ripped off."

This issue has come up again with THQ's new game, Homefront.

(Thanks to Videogames Blogger)

Supposedly, early reviews of the game have talked about how short the single-player campaign is, with some reviews stating that it takes around 5 hours to complete.

Disregarding multiplayer for the moment, since that extends the life of any game but doesn't necessarily appeal to everybody, is that too short for a game?

Kaos Studios responded to the criticism:

"[Homefront Creative Director David] Votypka also noted the alleged 5-hour run time is a subjective figure, and Kaos' extensive play testing has shown only experts were able to breeze through the game at that speed, while most testers required anywhere from eight to ten hours to reach the final credits."

The studio also says that Homefront is comparable to other FPS games out there, and that they are concerned more with quantity than quality, that there's a lot of bang for your buck in there, and besides, they paid for a shelter to house 5000 homeless people too. And they like puppies.

Ok, I made those last two up, though they may very well like puppies.

The "different gamers finish at different speeds" argument is certainly true. But how many hardcore FPS gamers are more than equal to the playtesters, and will finish in that 5-hour time window? And will that cause these gamers, at least those who don't care for multiplayer, to shy away from the game? Or just rent it instead of buying it? Do you think this will affect sales?

I have a few differing and sometimes conflicting thoughts on game length.

First, I like multiplayer, so a short single-player campaign isn't necessarily a killer for me. That being said, the only multiplayer that I've played a lot of is Call of Duty, so there's no guarantee that the multiplayer will grip me anyway.

If it's a single-player game, however, it's a delicate balance between quantity and quality for me. The shorter the game is, the more quality the experience had better have. If I'm just enjoying a game, but I'm not really knocked out by it, then a short campaign would be a rip-off for me. But if the experience is intense, well-written, and a lot of fun, then short is ok. My experience was worth the money, no matter how short it was.

(Obviously, if I'm not enjoying a game at all, then it would get shut off before I even knew how long it took to finish anyway).

I'm not the greatest shooter gamer around, so I always take campaign lengths in reviews with a grain of salt anyway. People say they finish Call of Duty in 6-8 hours, but it usually takes me 10-12 at least, because I keep dying.

Five hours? It had better be a d*mned good game, if that's the case. If it is, then I could forgive it.

So what say you? Are you one who is good enough to race through a game?

Or are you like me, finding yourself not worrying about length as much because you're not good enough to race through it anyway?

Or perhaps you just take your time for the hell of it, stopping to smell the roses, luxuriate in the graphics and the story, and end up not finishing quickly anyway?

How short is too short for you?

comments