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Pacing is a lost art in videogames

Content of the article: "Pacing is a lost art in videogames"

I just played the complete second halve of silent hill 2 in one sitting, without even getting up for a glass of water or a toilet brake. This psychological horror rollercoaster ride had me glued to the tip of my chair for about 5 hours. The game still holds up very well and is definitely worth picking up if you haven't played it. It slowly builds up and makes you feel like you're going more and more insane trough every part of it. This game is a great example of how good the pacing in video games used to be.

This made me think about modern games. It seems nowadays every AAA game must be an open world game that's at least 50+ hours long. Games don't feel like a rollercoaster ride anymore, they feel like a sightseeing tours in a world that is way too big with not enough stuff happening in it. I'm someone with a very short attention span, so for me it is very hard to actually finish these type of games. Take a game like God of War (the new one): it starts out really good and the early hours have very good pacing. At one point the game becomes open world and it just slows it down for me. Of course it's possible to just do the main quests, but the game makes you feel like you're actually doing something wrong by ignoring the open world part of it.

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Another example of a developer that is losing their feel of pacing if naughty dog. The first three Uncharted games where action packed games that constantly shifted between shooting, climbing, puzzling and story stuff. The first last of us was a bit slower, but it worked very well because the game focussed more on the relation between Ellie and Joel, so the downtime was important to build on that and there was enough stuff happening in between slow parts to keep it interesting. Then Uncharted 4 came out, which is my least favorite uncharted game, because it just feels stretched out way too long with too many and too slow climbing and driving parts and not enough spectacular stuff, which is what I like most about the Uncharted games. Then Last of Us 2. 25+ hours. for a linear story game. that's way too long. I did really like it for the story (I know most people don't) and I still think it is a very good game, but at some point I was just waiting for it to end.

Looking back at game from the ps2 and ps3 era, it just seems like the pacing was actually something the developers really thought through. I just wish there would be more 10 hour long games that leave you wanting more, instead of making you feel glad it's finally over.

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