I have been wrestling around with this concept for awhile now and I have to admit I have been on both sides of the fence. As the economy has taken some hits and is regaining it’s shields I have started to notice games aren’t as long as they used to be. I guess I didn’t notice because I would look forward to DLC. But now I want my game experience to be epic. For $60 a game, I want my experience to last 40+ hours like the good old days. Halo 3 was seriously short, being as I finished it on normal in around 8 hours.

What is the appropriate length a game should be when priced at $60. In my opinion it should be around 25 hours with a solid online multiplayer (such as Halo 3 and COD 4:MW). If there is no multiplayer aspect (Bioshock) then the game should last around 30 to 40 hours. In all rights Bioshock was adequate in length and depth. If a game is less than 25 hours long then a confirmed DLC should be available within 3 months of release and continue until the total content reaches at least 25 to 30 hours of game play. Fable 2 did an ok job of delivering DLC. Actually Fable 2 was well thought out and executed. The Pub Games was a fantastic idea (although I didn’t play them, and i was still able to buy everything in Albion) to get people interested in the game and give them a leg up when the start playing or a handicap depending on your skill at the casual pub games.

I haven’t played Drakes 2 yet but I plan to pick it up soon. (Unless Game Informer is generous enough to send me a copy…. yeah I didn’t think so but one can try). But from what I have read about the game, it is a blockbuster sequel easily overtaking it’s predecessor as best in the series. In all honesty I still haven’t finished the first one, but I am very close to completing it and should do so this coming weekend. But with that being said, everything I read said the game is only about 8 hours long. I haven’t read anything about the multiplayer, so I won’t speak about that. But adding multiplayer to a game is not enough to justify shortening the single player campaign and for the most part does not constitute the $60 price tag. Maybe reduce the price to $40 and then make the remaining profit from a solid stream of DLC.

It gets to the point where it is like they (game companies) consider the single player campaign like the training level before you get into the multiplayer. But let us be real for a minute. There are only about a handful of real lasting multiplayer games out there Halo 3 (360), Gears of War 2 (360), COD:4, COD:5, and Killzone 2 (PS3).

There are exceptions like Rockband and Guitar Hero who are well balanced but these are in a different arena than the FPS and action games I am talking about. But even these 2 games have a steady stream of DLC coming in at an alarming rate whereas the action and FPS games don’t have that same content stream. There are those RPG’s that do like Oblivion, Fallout 3 and a few others but again they are in a different genre, the majority of FPS and action games do not have the same level of DLC. This may be due to low sales or low player counts on the multiplayer servers so they don’t feel it justifies adding content to a “dead” game. The best way to revivie a game gone dead is to offer DLC. Many people say “I really liked this game but I finished it and now it just sits there because they won’t offer DLC for it. If they did I would play it again”. BRING BACK dead games and keep current games alive with quality DLC.

I can tell you one thing; all my friends flocked to the PS3 for Killzone 2 for about a month but then lost interest for one reason or another, then they were all back to Gears of War multiplayer. Every gamer has his/her fallback game whether it is online multiplayer or single player campaign. Gamers will jump to the new game out but will fall back to their go to game when the nostalgia wears off. Game companies should take heed when they are making these extremely short games especially when the multiplayer isn’t up to par.