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View Poll Results: Does the length of a game matter?
YES! Any decent FPS should be at least 20 hours! 16 48.48%
No! It is the quality of the 8 hours that matters! 2 6.06%
Unsure - I like longer games but not at lower quality 8 24.24%
Yoda!!! 7 21.21%
Voters: 33. You may not vote on this poll


Thread: Does game length matter?
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Old 04-01-2004, 11:22 AM   #1
txa1265
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Does game length matter?

Hi:

There's so much talk about Jedi Academy being 'too short', but not so much about Call of Duty or Halo, both of which were about half the length of JA. So I wonder - what matters to people?

Mike


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Old 04-01-2004, 11:48 AM   #2
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it matters. boy does it matter.


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Old 04-01-2004, 11:55 AM   #3
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Long, but only when it actually has a story to fill it out.


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Old 04-01-2004, 12:08 PM   #4
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Mike, putting in that Yoda option was a stroke of genius, as I really dont have much fps experience(apart from JK series, Elite Force 1/2), I didn't know what else to choose !

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Old 04-01-2004, 12:44 PM   #5
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I'm not using 60 $ on a game that is fun for 5 hours.

'nuff said!




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Old 04-01-2004, 12:57 PM   #6
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A game can be short if it has replayability. If not, it might die quick.




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Old 04-01-2004, 01:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sam Fisher
A game can be short if it has replayability.
For me, replayability != MP.

So a short campaign needs something seriously attractive in terms of replayability to hook me ...

Mike


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Old 04-01-2004, 01:12 PM   #8
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Games need to have some length to them. And I agree with the others in saying that replayability is a good thing too.
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Old 04-01-2004, 02:30 PM   #9
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Great games tend to be long and good (Far Cry is an example). But there are still games that are short and great (like CoD), but which also has replayability.

But with a game like JA, which was short and shallow with almost no atmosphere (compare the atmosphere to that of Kotor) then it has very little replayability.

Although Halo and CoD were both shorter, they were a lot better in terms of how a game should be made.

I'm gonna have to vote for 'unsure' on the poll. Or maybe Yoda.


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Old 04-01-2004, 02:35 PM   #10
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i prefer my games to be long, at least longer than 15 hours.
there are few exceptions though, like Max Payne 1 & 2, Jedi Academy to name a couple. they have to be really good though to make up for it's shortness. that way you're likely to play them more and get your money's worth.
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Old 04-01-2004, 03:16 PM   #11
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If you like long games, try "Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind." It takes forever, and even after you complete the main objective, there are still a lot of things to do.


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Old 04-01-2004, 03:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by narfblat
If you like long games, try "Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind." It takes forever, and even after you complete the main objective, there are still a lot of things to do.
I just got Morrowind for cheap on eBay ... I read someone describe it as Everquest with one person logged in

Mike


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Old 04-01-2004, 03:42 PM   #13
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I have both expansions for the PC version. "Tribunal" isn't very large but it makes certain things much better. I haven't played "Bloodmoon" yet, but I've heard it's another big island.


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Old 04-01-2004, 04:23 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Samuel Dravis
Long, but only when it actually has a story to fill it out.
Couldn't have said it better.

Oh, and Morrowind all the way. After 6 months, I'm still not even halfway through the main quest..


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Old 04-01-2004, 04:29 PM   #15
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Game length doesn't matter a whole lot to me if the game itself is exceptional, and I'm not talking replay value. Take Max Payne 2 for example. One of the shortest games I've ever played. I thought it was one of the best action games of last year, but once I beat it, I didn't really want to play it anymore.
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Old 04-01-2004, 04:41 PM   #16
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Morrowind: Bloodmoon is larger than Tribunal, and it's an entire island (maybe around 1/5th or a quarter the size of Vvardenfell). It's interesting. One of the items you can find there is a half eaten nordic leg...yes, you can use it as a club.


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Old 04-01-2004, 05:31 PM   #17
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I beat morrowind in a couple of weeks


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Old 04-01-2004, 05:32 PM   #18
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Every quest? If so, you must have a lot of time to play games...I wish I had that much time.


"Words are deeds." - Wittgenstein
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Old 04-01-2004, 06:19 PM   #19
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about 15 hours is good, To long and i lose interest.


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Old 04-01-2004, 06:33 PM   #20
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Hmm.. if you play nonstop for a couple weeks, and maybe the aid of a very explicit walkthrough, you can go through Morrowind, but I don't think Tribunal and Bloodmoon, as well as all the side quests for all the Guilds.




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Old 04-01-2004, 06:54 PM   #21
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I vote Yoda!!!!!!!!

As long as there is a worthy story line, length does not matter to me. Though, with a good story line that is long, it would be better.

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Old 04-01-2004, 08:39 PM   #22
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if the game is long thats great, but it can't drag, thats a no no to game builders.
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Old 04-02-2004, 08:06 AM   #23
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Oh man...you know you shouldn't get me started on game length.

As far as I'm concerned, an 'average' game length is 20 hours, and I feel like I've got my money's worth. 10 hours is short, and well, anything less than that is just taking the proverbial. To my mind, these shorter games tend to be more linear 'movie-like' experiences, often with lots of cut scenes to tell the story, and often limiting player choice. They are basically a regression to how games originally used to be, and I can't see that as being a good thing.

The original Max Payne is a good example of this. I think the game took me about 7 hours (including reloads), and it was completely on the rails from start to finish. I couldn't save people I wanted to save, because they were simply killed in cut scenes. The levels were rat-in-a-maze affairs so you could switch your brain off and just go with the flow. The story was okay, but not exactly ground-breaking - and the city streets were devoid of all life except bad guys, which was completely unrealistic. The only choice I felt I had was which weapon to use for the next gun fight, and whether or not to switch bullet time on. As a result, I've only ever played the game once, and I have no compulsion to play it again.

When I play a game, I want to be in full control of my character, and I want to have a choice regarding what happens during the game. Medal Of Honour: Allied Assault was a bit better, because you retain most of your traditional control over your character and some of the levels allow you to exhibit some basic tactics when assaulting an objective. It's still largely linear, though, and static enemy placements don't help. I was just starting to get my teeth into it when the credits started to roll 8 hours after I started playing it.

I groan when I read interviews where people like Warren Spector and John Carmack spout rubbish like 'shorter, deeper games' - while at the same time for DX:IW they stripped away half of the character control and development that was available in the original Deus Ex. DX:IW took me about 10 hours to complete (without rushing), but a few hours of that was wrestling with bugs and watching load screens. The 'emergent gameplay' choices were basically meaningless in terms of the overall story, and it didn't feel like a very deep gaming experience to me. By comparison, the original Deus Ex had a more linear story, larger levels, far better environmental interaction and character development, and took me over 30 hours to complete. Deus Ex is one of my all-time favourite games because of the finite control I had over my character's development, and the tactical and moral choices I made when tackling the large multi-pathed levels. DX:IW will sit on the shelf gathering dust. I can only hope Thief 3 is better executed and offers a more compelling narrative and interaction with the game world.

I think game developers are trying too hard to simply emulate movie techniques and story telling, and sacrificing the very medium of games to do so. A game does not have to be completely linear or shallow - you can have open-ended gameplay, intricate detail and environmental interaction and a great story, and also retain a decent game length. It really comes down to how much time and effort you are willing to put into it. A great story is only part of a game's magic. If you, as the player, feel disconnected from the game world, and are simply required to click the mouse here and there to shoot bad guys and open doors, it becomes a monotonous drag no matter how good the story or the voice acting.

Personally, I'm not willing to pay full price for a game with will take 5 hours to complete and has next to nothing to offer in terms of replayability. For me, the 'journey' is the experience, and the paths I choose for my character - so the longer it lasts, the more enjoyment I get out of it.

When an expansion like DS:Legends of Aranna has already taken me 30 hours to play, and I've yet to finish it - and it was the cost of an expansion - then I find it increasingly hard to stomach paying full price for cut down titles that last a fraction of the time.

I'm waiting for Max Payne 2 and Call of Duty to come out on budget release before I'll even contemplate buying them. I'm extremely dubious of another Deus Ex title, I'm increasingly taking a back seat, trying out demos, and waiting for feedback from other gamers regarding game lengths. I just won't pay full price for any games under 10 hours - and even a 10 hour game would have to get excellent ratings and comments for me to consider it.

So as far as I'm concerned, I hope the Raven's of the world continue to churn out 20 hour FPS games. Jedi Academy was by no means perfect, to my mind, but in comparison to other titles I got a hell of a lot more enjoyment out of it, both in SP and MP.

I'm playing through Far Cry at the moment, and it's great so far. I don't know how long it is, but the vast open levels encourage you to pick your own route and tactics, so for me it has replayability built in. I can snipe from afar, or try to sneak in close and take out bad guys with a machete. I can drive a vehicle and mow down bad guys with a machine gun or simply run them down. This level of chocie obviously alters the gameplay dynamic. I wish there were more games in the Far Cry mould, where the AI's are constantly moving around and sometimes unpredictable in their responses.

Down with short games! Bring back classic game length and enjoyment!
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Old 04-02-2004, 08:38 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by CapNColostomy
Take Max Payne 2 for example. One of the shortest games I've ever played. I thought it was one of the best action games of last year, but once I beat it, I didn't really want to play it anymore.
have you done the bonus chapters which you can download from the official site?
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Old 04-02-2004, 09:02 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by StormHammer
Oh man...you know you shouldn't get me started on game length.

As far as I'm concerned, an 'average' game length is 20 hours, and I feel like I've got my money's worth. 10 hours is short, and well, anything less than that is just taking the proverbial. To my mind, these shorter games tend to be more linear 'movie-like' experiences, often with lots of cut scenes to tell the story, and often limiting player choice. They are basically a regression to how games originally used to be, and I can't see that as being a good thing.

The original Max Payne is a good example of this. I think the game took me about 7 hours (including reloads), and it was completely on the rails from start to finish. I couldn't save people I wanted to save, because they were simply killed in cut scenes. The levels were rat-in-a-maze affairs so you could switch your brain off and just go with the flow. The story was okay, but not exactly ground-breaking - and the city streets were devoid of all life except bad guys, which was completely unrealistic. The only choice I felt I had was which weapon to use for the next gun fight, and whether or not to switch bullet time on. As a result, I've only ever played the game once, and I have no compulsion to play it again.

When I play a game, I want to be in full control of my character, and I want to have a choice regarding what happens during the game. Medal Of Honour: Allied Assault was a bit better, because you retain most of your traditional control over your character and some of the levels allow you to exhibit some basic tactics when assaulting an objective. It's still largely linear, though, and static enemy placements don't help. I was just starting to get my teeth into it when the credits started to roll 8 hours after I started playing it.

I groan when I read interviews where people like Warren Spector and John Carmack spout rubbish like 'shorter, deeper games' - while at the same time for DX:IW they stripped away half of the character control and development that was available in the original Deus Ex. DX:IW took me about 10 hours to complete (without rushing), but a few hours of that was wrestling with bugs and watching load screens. The 'emergent gameplay' choices were basically meaningless in terms of the overall story, and it didn't feel like a very deep gaming experience to me. By comparison, the original Deus Ex had a more linear story, larger levels, far better environmental interaction and character development, and took me over 30 hours to complete. Deus Ex is one of my all-time favourite games because of the finite control I had over my character's development, and the tactical and moral choices I made when tackling the large multi-pathed levels. DX:IW will sit on the shelf gathering dust. I can only hope Thief 3 is better executed and offers a more compelling narrative and interaction with the game world.

I think game developers are trying too hard to simply emulate movie techniques and story telling, and sacrificing the very medium of games to do so. A game does not have to be completely linear or shallow - you can have open-ended gameplay, intricate detail and environmental interaction and a great story, and also retain a decent game length. It really comes down to how much time and effort you are willing to put into it. A great story is only part of a game's magic. If you, as the player, feel disconnected from the game world, and are simply required to click the mouse here and there to shoot bad guys and open doors, it becomes a monotonous drag no matter how good the story or the voice acting.

Personally, I'm not willing to pay full price for a game with will take 5 hours to complete and has next to nothing to offer in terms of replayability. For me, the 'journey' is the experience, and the paths I choose for my character - so the longer it lasts, the more enjoyment I get out of it.

When an expansion like DS:Legends of Aranna has already taken me 30 hours to play, and I've yet to finish it - and it was the cost of an expansion - then I find it increasingly hard to stomach paying full price for cut down titles that last a fraction of the time.

I'm waiting for Max Payne 2 and Call of Duty to come out on budget release before I'll even contemplate buying them. I'm extremely dubious of another Deus Ex title, I'm increasingly taking a back seat, trying out demos, and waiting for feedback from other gamers regarding game lengths. I just won't pay full price for any games under 10 hours - and even a 10 hour game would have to get excellent ratings and comments for me to consider it.

So as far as I'm concerned, I hope the Raven's of the world continue to churn out 20 hour FPS games. Jedi Academy was by no means perfect, to my mind, but in comparison to other titles I got a hell of a lot more enjoyment out of it, both in SP and MP.

I'm playing through Far Cry at the moment, and it's great so far. I don't know how long it is, but the vast open levels encourage you to pick your own route and tactics, so for me it has replayability built in. I can snipe from afar, or try to sneak in close and take out bad guys with a machete. I can drive a vehicle and mow down bad guys with a machine gun or simply run them down. This level of chocie obviously alters the gameplay dynamic. I wish there were more games in the Far Cry mould, where the AI's are constantly moving around and sometimes unpredictable in their responses.

Down with short games! Bring back classic game length and enjoyment!


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Old 04-02-2004, 11:04 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally posted by Siv
have you done the bonus chapters which you can download from the official site?
That is *SO* not the point ...

Great - grab a level here or there ... whatever.

The game is too short. *MOST* games these days are too short, and the gaming media is adjusting their ruler and becoming apologists for short games.

Jedi Academy took me longer than Max Payne 1 & 2 combined.

Jedi Knight II took me longer than MoHAA & CoD & Max Payne.

Deus Ex took me longer than MoHAA & CoD & Max Payne 1 & 2 combined. Same for Jedi Knight.

I'll not compare 'action-RPG' like Dungeon Siege or 'real' RPG like NWN or KotOR to FPS, which are inherently shorter.

I would like to see a major game site say ' any SP FPS game shorter than 15 hours loses 5points, and shorter than 10 hours loses 10 points and 5 points for every 2 hours less' So MoHAA and CoD would have capped at 85%, for instance.

MoHAA was such a glaring example of a game that was just too short, perhaps because of the unsatisfying finish. That last section was tense, and then ... credits. You destroy stuff and go home. At least CoD has an ending.

And I'm tired of the - hey, you pay $8 for a 2 hour movie, so $50 for a 8 hour game is just great. Besides the fact that the math doesn't work, movies and games are very different entertainment experiences.

Mike


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Old 04-02-2004, 11:39 AM   #27
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I don't mind shorter games I just can't stand to not be able to play them again, I played FOCOM four times running before I stoped to take a breath I'v played JO so many times that I don't like to count, GBG was okay some of the time but... the ex pack CC was just to much, and it went away for good. I also played X-Wing and TIE fighter for more than a year before I got FOCOM.

I really like SW gaming.
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Old 04-02-2004, 11:46 AM   #28
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Replayability is a very subjective thing for a SP experience.

Some FPS games have replayability designed in - I would put Jedi Knight, Deus Ex and Jedi Academy in that category, along with basically all RPG's.

That is because they allow you to basically act as a different person when playing the game each time.

Most FPS don't have that, so there has to be some other hook.

Maybe for you it is the gritty realism and tension of Stalingrad in CoD ... good for about 10 minutes of fun (like every other level in the game ).

Maybe it is the weapons and hit zones of SoFII (that is actually one of my more replayed games for some reason)

Maybe stealth like Thief I and II or Splinter Cell.

Or maybe something else ...

Mike


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Old 04-02-2004, 12:27 PM   #29
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[bart simpson's voice]Hell Yes![/bart simpson's voice]

They should be about 20-24 hrs for me!




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Old 04-02-2004, 02:28 PM   #30
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Re: Does game length matter?

Quote:
Originally posted by txa1265
Does game length matter?
Let me quote one of a thousand mails in bulk mail:

"length does matter!"

For me the ideal game is one which does take long to complete, but in a steady move. I don't like playing for example 3 hours on 3 levels and then 3 hours on the 4th level because some parts are just too chaotic.. CoD was awesome as SP but there i felt everything went too fast, but was long enough. (try to understand me there...fast as in moving from location to location) But Ja was good. Ja went in a steady line and i immediately played it again cause I enjoyed it so much..There i don't think it went too fast in a level since it was more like "small level with lots objectives" and cod was "one big landscape where you run trough"
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Old 04-02-2004, 02:45 PM   #31
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To me, the most important thing about a game I play is quality. As long as I still find it interesting and challenging, the time it takes to complete the game is irrelevant to me.

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Old 04-02-2004, 04:29 PM   #32
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There are times when gamelength really matters to me.

The best example I have of this is 'Way of the Samurai' on the PS2. It was a really fun game, had some nifty ideas, and there were like, 6 different endings you could get. But it took me LESS THAN ONE HOUR to beat it the very first time I ever played it. Thank God it was just a rental.

So, if you go for ALL of the endings, it would take less than 6 hours. NOT even reasonable for a game with 6 endings.

However, I'm a sucker for repetition. I can read a good book 10 times and enjoy it as much as I did the first time, I watch movies over and over again, so if I enjoy a video game, there is a really good chance of me playing through it again, and so short games don't bother me that much.

Hell, I play through PUZZLE games a lot of times. I lost count of the number of times I played through Zork: Grand Inquisitor, and that game is as linear as they come. I also played through Kings Quest 5 & 6 a lot.



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Old 04-02-2004, 04:52 PM   #33
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I like an immersive single player experience, story wise and gameplay wise. Most of these types of games are over 10 hours long, which is fine with me, but if a game is short but does a great job puting me INTO the game, I'd play it.
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