Recent releases of games, especially in the current generation of consoles, have seen games getting shorter in playable length. A prime example of this can be found in The Order 1886 which reportedly has around 2.5 hours of actual gameplay with a campaign run through of about 5.5 hours. Maybe it’s the RPG or strategy player in me that is used to games taking much longer to get through, but this seems incredibly short. However, this choice has been protected by the company saying they were aiming for quality over quantity, to paraphrase.
This shouldn’t be something gamers should endure though. An emphasis on the multiplayer functionality has seen many games have a seemingly tacked on single player experience, such as witnessed in Battlefield 3, and now it seems even games that are solely single player are neglecting it. They cite reasons such as quality of the art work, graphics and sound design, which these games and current generation achieve an extremely high quality of, but it still seems functionality isn’t at the top of their priority list.
I look back to games such as the Final Fantasy franchise that incorporate cinematic sequences you would expect to see in a cinema, but also a game that has longevity and replayability. It appears these qualities are being lost as companies look to shunt you from game to game rather than get a player immersed in a universe or fully involved in the gaming experience.
Also despite being promised a 60 FPS generation of consoles, something that PC gamers have enjoyed for years beforehand, this mark is being missed, with many games, like The Order 1886 and Assassin’s Creed Unity, being capped at only 30 FPS, something that is attainable in the old generation. Even at this level, the games are suffering game crippling and breaking problems, with companies having to roll out patch after patch in order to make the game playable. Yet, with all these disappointments the developers of the triple A games are asking us, the gamers to cough up more money to play their games when we have a plethora of a back log with, arguably, some far more enjoyable games I would rather pick up and play.
You can argue growing pains, but this has been the case since console releases well over a year ago, and this shouldn’t be a case as they start to wean players off the older generations making newer games current generation only. It is time for these companies to step up to the mark and make an experience that players across the board find refreshing and invigorating, rather than just churning out a similar game that has predecessors that play similarly but this latest version looks prettier. Unfortunately, I don’t see the cure in any close release for the consoles.