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I think main campaigns can absolutely be too long, and its a good thing if they stay short(ish) and sweet

Content of the article: "I think main campaigns can absolutely be too long, and its a good thing if they stay short(ish) and sweet"

I'm not saying that an open world RPG should be less than 10 hours or anything, but the best experiences I've had with gaming are those that I could finish within a couple of weekends, and not feel like I was burning myself out. I understand that everyone's different, but people rarely ever speak about a game being "too long".

The most recent experience, was playing through RDR2. It was a great and immersive game and I personally found the main story quite captivating. But holy moly, those last 10 hours felt like an absolute slog. I just wanted to know what happened, as I felt quite invested in Arthur as a character. But the sheer length turned me from loving the game, to feeling like it was a chore. I'm a one-game-at-a-time kind of guy, so I compulsively couldn't move on until I finished it. Once I finished the main story (which was a great ending if I do say so), I let out an audible groan once it moved onto the epilogue. I essentially rage-quit after googling that it would take another 4 hours, then closed it for good.

As much as I like ARPGs, I feel burned out every time I play a long one, and am genuinely nervous about starting new ones, because I know I'll just compulsively play them until I have finished and there is a good chance they'll devolve into feeling like another bloated slog-fest. As appealing as it otherwise is, I'm scared to start the Witcher 3, for one example, which has been installed and on my backlog for a while now, knowing how long it is. Cyberpunk was announced its going to have a shorter campaign length than W3, and I just thought "good".

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I kind of respect that making a game feel like its moneys worth is something devs strive towards and they kind of need longer play hours. But I think that if game devs really have to pad out playtime, maybe they should keep this to the endgame and maybe a couple of optional side quests. I mean I think Skyrim struck a perfect balance between padding out the game with completely optional quests and short sub-stories, that it felt like something I could just get back into the game at my leisure, having had the previous satisfaction of completing a smaller bite-sized portion of the game. Making it such a chore just to find out what happens in the main story, though, isn't good design in my personal opinion.


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