Too Much Death… in games

*Let me start off by saying this post is probably not what you think it is from the heading. I just wasn’t very clever with naming it.

Over the past few months, I’ve requested and received many game review codes for new releases and upcoming video games. Some codes come with review guides, recommendations and more info. Other codes come in the form of a quick email:

Here’s your code for [NEW GAME]. Enjoy!
Game Code: [R4ND0MG4M3C0D3]


What always stands out to me is when an email includes, “It should only take you about XX hours to beat the game’s main story.” I’m not sure which pro gamer is benchmarking these estimates, but they are usually way too short (for me).

My main problem is that I die too much in games. Other times I may get lost and explore for too long. So, a short five to ten minute boss fight may end up taking me an extra twenty to forty-five minutes — sometimes an hour, or even a couple of days.

Death’s Door knows how to handle “Death”

One recent game where I found this to be very true was Death’s Door. The email I received mentioned it should take about 10-14 hours total. When I reached ten hours of gameplay I was only at about 46% complete with the story. I never quite reached 100% completion, but I did reach the story’s end — and after about 18 hours, maybe more, that was enough for me.

What also made Death’s Door take extra long, was that every time I died I would be taken back to the last checkpoint. And checkpoints were far and few between. In the past I have googled, “How long to beat [CURRENT VIDEO GAME]?” Just to see how far I am. I am usually somewhere past that point (in hours) but still nowhere near the end.

Here’s a chart of some recent games I beat/played including the recommended hours (rec hrs) to beat the game, and how many hours I’ve played (played hrs):

Why does it matter?

I didn’t write this article to complain about sucking at video games. As I’ve said before, video games are cool because you can suck at them and still have an awesome time with them.

I just think these game developers should get a better understanding for how long it will take the general public to beat their game. Maybe they should put together a team of people who know what they’re doing and some others who have no idea what they’re doing. Have these two groups complete the game and then come up with some sort of average time.

This study would make the estimated number of hours of gameplay a little more realistic for someone like me. And I’m sure there are many like me out there. It will also help on the other end of the spectrum. Having higher numbers will make those quick game beaters feel even faster than they are. Everyone wins.

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