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Can a game be Too Big and Too Hard?

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OldWolverine

John Davison over at GamePro has posted quite a enlightening article about whether or not games in this generation are getting too big and too hard?

Basically whether games should start becoming easier and shorter.

And no this isn’t the rambling of some bean counter over at the development companies trying to push for shorted and simpler games, this is a seasoned journalist debating a point which is backed up by irrefutable facts.

The majority of major games we play in this generation incorporate telemetry systems which automatically phone home and tell the developers how we are doing, how far we have gotten and how we are the playing the game.

So how long do you think we generally play a game for? Not the Call of Duty, Bungie or Battlefield style games but more the Assassin’s Creed, Dragon Age or God of War style games?

Would you be surprised at 4 or 5 hours? I know I wouldn’t. I finally completed Wolverine: X-Men Origins last week and I have to say that while the beginning of the game was awesome I felt like I was pulling teeth towards the middle of it and was whining like a little girl towards the end of it.

The best single player (gaming) experiences of my life have taken between 4-6 hours. Anymore than that and I can’t finish it in a reasonable amount of time and they end up rotting away on my shelves for eternity.

Some other information they received from this data is that we don’t like hard games… we like to be challenged to a point. I would say if it takes more than 5 minutes to solve a problem the vast majority of us will quit and either look up a cheat sheet or move onto something else.

I am once again horrifically guilty of this and generally enjoy playing single player games on a reasonably easy level so that I can feel good about my gaming ability. I mean isn’t that what gaming is all about in the end? Escapism?

The big worry obviously is that the developers take this to heart and start producing more G.I. Joe’s and Rogue Warrior instead of good quality episodic games.

We still expect value, I just don’t feel that size is everything.

Head on over to GamePro to read John’s original piece.

Source: GamePro

*Header image taken from this awesome list of graphics related to movies and games (DesignYourWay)

Last Updated: May 3, 2010

8 Comments

  1. RSA-Ace

    May 3, 2010 at 08:51

    As long as the game keeps me entertained and doesn’t drag out then all is good.

    Look at Uncharted 2, it was 10-12 hours on just one play-through. It was one of those games they you never felt it was just wasting time to get the game length up.

    I think one of the reason’s Demon’s Souls was so successful was because showed you how spoon fed we are nowadays with games. I love a challenge and unless you play on hard or extreme difficulty in games there really isn’t much of that in games currently.

    Reply

  2. Arc316

    May 3, 2010 at 10:18

    I also like a challenge. Its nice to feel you achieved something when completing a game.

    For those that get frustrated when games get to difficult there is all ways tetris.

    Reply

  3. Fred

    May 3, 2010 at 10:24

    As long as it is fun all the way through and does not become tedious. 8-10 hrs is enough for me.

    Reply

  4. Milesh Bhana

    May 3, 2010 at 10:51

    Perhaps i’m reading this out of context, but games are definitely not too long/hard compared to the games of yesteryear.

    Got an old emulator and played some old NES classics. I was a huge Megaman fan. Can’t get anywhere in those games now, they are just too d@mn hard!

    I think having a choice of difficulty levels helps tho. I would rather play a game on normal and be less challenged, than play on hard and get frustrated (even though i’m probably capable of finishing those games on hard)

    Reply

  5. Lupus

    May 3, 2010 at 10:54

    I’ve noticed over the years, my attention span has started dropping on games. The longer they are the more I am like blergh. Especially FPS games, there was a reason Doom was released in 3 episodes.

    Reply

  6. ewie

    May 3, 2010 at 11:02

    It would depend on the genre, FPS / TPS and some action games, would lie dormant in my game box for months, then I will play a few hours, and they will go back for a while. RPG, and story driven games keep
    me occupied a lot longer.

    Reply

  7. D4RKL1NG

    May 3, 2010 at 11:37

    Demon souls violated me…it took my innocence.. :ermm:

    Reply

  8. Puppystuffer

    May 3, 2010 at 14:09

    #Correction thats John Davidson, not Davis, on topic, I’m at the point now where I play most of my games on easy or medium, don’t ever bother with the hard/extreme/insane/realistic modes, I don’t have time for that anymore. Attribute it to lazyness maybe or just the fact I really don’y enjoy struggling through games anymore, I look to my games more for en tertainment than something I can excell at.

    Reply

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