Sometimes Long is Too Long

I've hit the wall with Dragon Age: Origins.  I just want it to be over.  I love the gameplay, I like the world, I'm enjoying the story, but I've been playing the game for 66 hours now and I'm still not at the end.

Why do games have to be this long to be considered worth our money?  RPGs especially suffer from length problems.  How often have you played a quick RPG?  RPGs need to be a little longer to tell a story, but when I'm pushing 70 hours in one playthrough there might be a problem.

Portal told an amazing story in less then 5 hours on my first playthrough.  The game concept and story execution resonated with me on a deep level and the developers didn't need 70 hours of my time to accomplish that.  It was a first person exploration/shooter but there still has to be middle ground between 5 hours and 70.

I'm going to be a trooper and make it to the end of Dragon Age: Origins but at this point it's mostly because I want it finished by the time Dragon Age II releases in March.  My enjoyment of the game is low.  I'm ready for that final boss any time now...


  1. Its funny that you consider to be a problem the very thing that most game developers dream of: gameplay and story that is engaging enough to keep a player playing for dozens upon dozens of hours. Honestly though I don't think that thats a problem on your end, to me its an indication of gameplay and story that -while initially amazing- doesn't evolve enough to carry a player through to the end. It may have started out great, but that doesn't mean the writing team will continue the excellence throughout. A shame though!

    The longest time outside of an MMO that I've ever spent on one game was Final Fantasy VII, not because there were 90 hours of story (there are maybe 30), but because the story was SO good and the gameplay was SO good throughout, even leveling and doing sidequests felt more meaningful than tedious. But I'm preaching to the choir on that one :) Hope the FF challenge is going well!

  2. I loved the world of FFVII. I think I invested about 50 hours there when I was younger. That's a game that never felt like a drag while playing it.

    I wonder how I'll feel when I go back to revisit it.

  3. My DA play through was ~50 hours, but to me that never felt too long because I was always either in the middle of the action or else making tough choices. So long as the pacing is right, I don't care if a game is 5 or 50 hours.

  4. My biggest concern with long games is that I don't have a lot of time to play. I play in bite sizes instead of the marathons I indulged in way back in high school. Consequently, when I go back to something like FFXII after a month's hiatus, I have almost no idea what is happening or where I need to go. Some sort of journal mechanic would be a big help in these long games. If it were a book, I could go back and read the last few (or few dozen) pages. Not so in games.

  5. I'm in the same boat. I am completely lost when I return to a game after a month. So much so that I often just re-roll a new toon other to make it easier with the tutorial than try to figure out what went on a few months prior. For a sub-par player like myself DA is a long, long game. Thank goodness my daughter has completed every DA version with all the classes and expansions. I just watch the story with her now.

  6. Part of it is my fault because I'm such a completionist when I play RPGs. I want to beat every sidequest and find all the awesome gear.

    I've given up on that in DA and I'm sprinting towards the end. Sidequests be damned.

    Andrew is correct though, as long as a game is paced correctly I don't have a problem with it being too short or long.


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