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How Long is Too Short?

How Long is Too Short?

Written by Mike Holmes on the 1st of August 2016 at 08:55

The recent news that No Man's Sky can apparently be completed in around 30 hours, and the reaction that this news has brought with it, certainly has caught my attention, and it has me pondering the question: what is the ideal length for a video game?

As someone who plays them in less than ideal circumstances (having to rush through them for review) a complete but somewhat succinct experience can be quite a relief, but that doesn't mean that every now and then I don't like an extended love affair with a game (Crusader Kings 2, Destiny or The Witcher 3 in my case). 30 hours, with the option to get distracted and expand on that if required, seems like a perfectly reasonable period of time to play a game like No Man's Sky, but I also appreciate why some people might be disappointed that the scale of the galaxy built by Hello Games doesn't quite tally with the (prospective) length of the game.

In this case we'll have to wait and see what the future brings, but it's still an interesting question and the answer will change depending on who you ask. As someone who loved the super-short Thirty Flights of Loving just as much as the timesink that is Destiny, I'm going to sit on the fence on this one and say "how long is a piece of string?"