There’s been a lot of discussion on gaming sites lately about game length, and whether it matters. The catalyst for this conversation was the recent release of the PS4 exclusive The Order: 1886. If you haven’t been following the story, The Order is a Victorian England-set, most-gorgeous-game-ever-candidate third-person shooter that was hotly anticipated until days before its release, when a video appeared on YouTube purporting to show a complete playthrough of the game clocking in at around five hours, about half of which was devoted to cutscenes. The developers responded that at normal difficulty and played at a normal pace, whatever that is, the game would take eight to ten hours. Most reviews I’ve seen put the game at about six or seven hours. Let’s charitably call it seven.
(One caveat: I have not played The Order: 1886, nor will I likely ever play it, as I do not have a PS4. The game has gotten generally mediocre reviews, but I can’t attest to its quality or lack thereof, other than to say that the graphics are undeniably gorgeous. So for this post I will be treating it as a roughly seven-hour game of indeterminate quality.)
That the game – which is single-player only and costs the standard $60 – might only take five hours to complete predictably drew ire from more or less everyone in the world. And this ire, in turn, provoked a number of think pieces about game length and its importance. It seems like every gaming website and blog has had an article or panel discussion asking, “Does game length matter?” Continue reading Of Course Game Length Matters