Today I want to talk about something that I have been thing about the last couple of days. Is there such a thing as a game that is too big? Now, there is a difference between big games, for example Destiny is quite a small game in terms of content, but has immense replayability. Comparing Destiny to a game such as The Witcher 3 or Dragon Age Inquisition, both of the latter games are immense in scale and story. The thing is, for someone like me, who doesn't give over whole weekends to gaming, instead playing a little everyday, going into a game such as The Witcher 3 or Inquisition, I consciously think that I will not finish the campaign for this game. I will do side quests, level up, explore and acquire new gear, but I fear that I am not a committed to the campaign of the game because I know I won't finish it.
Take The Witcher 3, the story of the game takes most people around the 100 hour mark to complete, that would take me at least two months of only playing that game. In that time there will be new games released that I want to play, and also older games that still have appeal for me. I have played countless number of games, but only three games have ever taken more than 100 hour from me, Battlefield 3, Battlefield 4 and just recently Destiny. Now maybe that says more about me as a gamer than it does about the games, I'm a stickler for a good multiplayer game, where I'm "grinding" for the next rank up or piece of loot. They are also the most fun for me, as I can zone into the game, and just play. Where as a game such as Inquisition firstly takes an emotional toll on me, but also I always make massive decisions that will affect the rest of the game. Because of this I feel that it needs my full attention, why I don't think I can always give to a game!
A similar point could be made for The Last of Us, I highly doubt there are many players of that game that weren't emotionally affected by it in some way. However because I knew it was a medium length game(around 20-25 hours for completion) I "pushed" on with it and it is now one of my most cherished games. The problem, then, with games as large as The Witcher 3 or Inquisition is that they last around 4-5 times longer than a game like TLoU. I thus feel less of a drive to finish it, because I know that some other game will drag me away from it before I reach it's conclusion.
Casting our gaze back to the last generation, I played Mass Effect 2 and 3 to their conclusion(both Bioware games like Inquisition) because they were closer to the short end of the spectrum, at least when compared to Inquisition. Bringing yet another game into this debate, Batman Arkham Knight, has a large open world which is incredibly fun to explore; but Arkham Knight apparently lasts around the 15 hour margin to complete. Because I know that the story won't take me too long, I can focus my attention on that, suppressing my Destiny urges in the process.
Maybe there is no happy medium, though I know this, only AAA games have this problem. Unfinished Swan is a very short indie game, and knowing this, despite the fact that my interest in it was definitely present, but not burning. I set aside a few days in which to complete it; and did. This was because I knew that I could see the game from 0-100% in a few days. It is only when AAA games such as Inquisition The Witcher 3 enter the scene that I lose my focus on the story(despite both of them being superb), because I know myself as a gamer, and I know that completion of such a game is beyond me.
I know I haven't drawn and conclusion from this, and I apologise for that, maybe it is dependant on the gamer, how much time they can spend in a game, and what kind of game they like. I'd be very intrigued to hear your thoughts on this issue, you can either let me know in the comments below(which is open to everyone) or let me know on Twitter!
Thanks for reading,
Friends of The Games Critic:
My name is Ed, I write everything here, covering all kinds of games, but I only play them on the PS4!