Are shorter, linear single player experiences something you would like to see more of going forward in the AAA space?

Would you like to see shorter linear single player experiences in AAA gaming more going forward?

  • Yes

    Votes: 635 79.5%
  • No

    Votes: 164 20.5%

  • Total voters
    799
Dec 30, 2018
1,595
*Edit*

Just for clarity, by linear I don't mean small corridors etc, my definition of it here is just a more focused narrative experience more in line with games such as Uncharted for example.

Is the AAA space lacking shorter more focused single player experiences?

When I look back at games (such as Dead Space for example) which roughly took around 14-15 hours to complete, the thing that stood out to me about these games were that they were incredibly focused experiences, normally with great stories and didn't outstay their welcome and make you do lots of busy work.

In my opinion, the focus on open world has really harmed the single player linear experience and sort of pushed it out of favour with publishers because I think publishers truly believe people no longer want single player linear experiences which I think is inaccurate.

Now, don't get me wrong, I am not saying I dislike open world games, far from it, I am simply saying that I think not every single game has to follow this structure, this idea that a game is only good if it gives you 50+ hours of gameplay, even if the majority of that gameplay is of lower quality when compared to the main story is not something I agree with.

So basically my question is, are smaller more linear story-driven experiences that take around 10-15 hours to complete with no multiplayer and microtransactions something you would like to see more of going forward?
 
Last edited:

Lunaray

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,402
Tentative yes. But I don't want something as linear as Bioshock Infinite or FXIII.
 

TheMoon

|OT|
Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,781
Video Games
yes because digital landmass doesn't automagically equal money/value.

also: linear is a bad trigger word. linear is not the opposite of open-world.
 

Kyoufu

Member
Oct 26, 2017
10,673
Shorter games across the board be it indie, AA or AAA, would be welcome by me. They don't have to be linear though.
 

Glass Arrows

Member
Jan 10, 2019
1,413
There's a certainly a place for them. I don't feel the need to have every single game I play be a wide open-world.
 

Couscous

Member
Oct 30, 2017
3,402
Tilburg
Yeah, most games are way longer than they need to be. I felt that Uncharted 4, God of War, RDR and The Witcher 3 were all too long. These games are all solid at least, but they would all benefit from a shorter campaign imo.
 

Karlinel

Member
Nov 10, 2017
1,113
Shorter, yes. Linear? If it makes sense, yes. But don’t give me a giant world made of corridors.
 

Rosebud

Member
Apr 16, 2018
5,741
Absolutely, but I don't think AAA's will ever back to this.

At least we have the AA's, like the upcoming A Plague Tale.
 

Dragon's Game

Alt account
Banned
Apr 1, 2019
1,624
Yes

look at Rockstar my favorite developer... while i love their open world games, RDR 2 is my GOTG. there gameplay mechanics have always been mediocre and sub-par

PS2 era GTA's, GTA 4 all had mediocre shooting and gameplay. Red Dead Redemption was an improvement but nothing too special

then out of nowhere they come out with, arguably, the greatest 3rd person shooter of all time (at the very least one of the greatest tps).

its almost like this game was a fluke on Rockstar's behalf

and then they revert to sub par mechanics again in GTA V and RDR 2. R* plays it safe for their open world stuff, i want to see them get experimental again, they can do that with smaller budget, linear titles
 

melodiousmowl

Member
Jan 14, 2018
2,222
CT
this is era so the poll is where i’d expect, but i want innovation in gameplay over anything. been gaming since the early 80s, don’t need to play the same thing just for a story
 

exodus

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,307
Not really. I’m not paying $80 (Canadian) for a short experience that lasts me a few hours. Competition is getting fiercer with GaaS. If I’m paying full price for a title, it needs to be engaging and last me more than an evening.

I have no problem paying full price for meaty sub-AAA experiences however. I just see no value in paying extra for improved visual fidelity when it contributes less and less towards my overall enjoyment of a game.

I’m paying full price for Anno 1800 because it’s a deep game that will offer me something unique and engaging for a good while.

I don’t care how good it looks. I’m not paying full price for another Order 1886. Production quality is only a small piece of the puzzle, and if that’s how we define AAA I’m not really interested in paying full price for nothing more than a visual showpiece. Lower priced titles like Hellblade already fill that niche.
 

Freakzilla

Member
Oct 31, 2017
3,956
I think there's room for both open and more linear games but man do we need more of them. Shorter is not what I want however. No matter how little time I have to play I want a lot if content to enjoy. Either way, too many games are all about the MP which sucks.
 

I KILL PXLS

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,984
For sure. I'd love to see more tighter stories that didn't feel the need to bloat themselves for the sake of padding out a longer experience.
 

MP!

Member
Oct 30, 2017
2,968
Las Vegas
no ... i'd like shorter games in general though...
but yeah... I guess if that makes games more linear I guess... but ... no i don't need more uncharteds if that's what you're talking about
 
Apr 9, 2019
552
CLT
Yes. I do believe that the open world format is absolutely fantastic when properly utilized. Some-- actually most-- of my favorite games are open world experiences. However, when a highly polished, focused game which doesn't dawdle with extraneous side quests and excludes backtracking in favor of mechanics and/ or narrative hits me, it really hits me. They may not be games that I play as often unless I want to expose others or experience the feeling again, but they usually stand out profoundly.
 

Ravio-li

Member
Dec 24, 2018
183
Without question. The last massive open world game that I managed to play through was the Witcher 3, since then I struggle with long AAA experiences, even if I like them (AC: Origins for example). Soulslikes are the only exception, but while I usually need +50hrs to finish them, they have a certain focus, that a lot of AAA titles lack.
 
OP
OP
Thinkdifferent
Dec 30, 2018
1,595
Yes

look at Rockstar my favorite developer... while i love their open world games, RDR 2 is my GOTG. there gameplay mechanics have always been mediocre and sub-par

PS2 era GTA's, GTA 4 all had mediocre shooting and gameplay. Red Dead Redemption was an improvement but nothing too special

then out of nowhere they come out with, arguably, the greatest 3rd person shooter of all time (at the very least one of the greatest tps).

its almost like this game was a fluke on Rockstar's behalf

and then they revert to sub par mechanics again in GTA V and RDR 2. R* plays it safe for their open world stuff, i want to see them get experimental again, they can do that with smaller budget, linear titles
Max Payne 3 (or the Max Payne series in general) is a perfect example of what I mean by linear single player experience, something that doesn't give the player a huge amount of freedom in terms of level space and approach but gives a damn good narrative experience with excellent gameplay.
 

eXistor

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,670
Very much so. Screw multiplayer and open world can be fun, but there's nothing like a more structured game imo.
 

KiLAM

Member
Jan 25, 2018
1,402
Oh God yes. I adore linear games and I have been shifting more and more towards indies as big publishers are slowly moving away from linear and shorter games.
I can still enjoy 'wide linear' lke God of War or Souls games but open world games with tons of checklist options don't interest me at all.
 

Poimandres

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,616
I don't really have time for 50 hour games. I prefer shorter games with interesting art direction, stories and gameplay mechanics.
 

Gilver

Member
Nov 14, 2018
2,230
Costa Rica
I enjoy compressed linear games more than big open worlds and even if they are short if I like the game enough I will definitely play it multiple times so in the end I spend almost the same amount of time in a linear game as an open world or Gaas game. I cant even remember how many times Ive beaten Dead space 1 and 2 but at least 7 times each just due to the lack of down time and padding those games have which I greatly appreciate.
 

Necron

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,233
Switzerland
Yes

look at Rockstar my favorite developer... while i love their open world games, RDR 2 is my GOTG. there gameplay mechanics have always been mediocre and sub-par

PS2 era GTA's, GTA 4 all had mediocre shooting and gameplay. Red Dead Redemption was an improvement but nothing too special

then out of nowhere they come out with, arguably, the greatest 3rd person shooter of all time (at the very least one of the greatest tps).

its almost like this game was a fluke on Rockstar's behalf

and then they revert to sub par mechanics again in GTA V and RDR 2. R* plays it safe for their open world stuff, i want to see them get experimental again, they can do that with smaller budget, linear titles
Loved Max Payne.

Yeah, I wish more games had a greater focus to them.
 

RoninChaos

Member
Oct 26, 2017
3,277
Games need to be shorter overall. Open world fatigue is real and it seems like devs just want to add more content without determining if that content is actually good.
 
OP
OP
Thinkdifferent
Dec 30, 2018
1,595
Yes. I do believe that the open world format is absolutely fantastic when properly utilized. Some-- actually most-- of my favorite games are open world experiences. However, when a highly polished, focused game which doesn't dawdle with extraneous side quests and excludes backtracking in favor of mechanics and/ or narrative hits me, it really hits me. They may not be games that I play as often unless I want to expose others or experience the feeling again, but they usually stand out profoundly.
This is what I mean, I love open world games but honestly if you asked me what games have really stood out to be over my life it’s always been the smaller more focused games, things like Max Payne, Half-Life, Dead Space etc.

Even SOMA was an incredible experience to me.
 
OP
OP
Thinkdifferent
Dec 30, 2018
1,595
Without question. The last massive open world game that I managed to play through was the Witcher 3, since then I struggle with long AAA experiences, even if I like them (AC: Origins for example). Soulslikes are the only exception, but while I usually need +50hrs to finish them, they have a certain focus, that a lot of AAA titles lack.
I really loved AC Origins as well but I never completed it because it just demanded too much of my time.

I recently played Yakuza 0 and have put well over 50 hours into it but it hasn't felt like a slog at all, it doesn't feel like it demands your time, it just feels like a damn good focused experience.

And the thing is, you can just stick to the main story and be done in 15 hours but it’s one of those games where you want to actually do the side quests, they don't feel like filler.
 

NediarPT88

Member
Oct 29, 2017
3,499
Not really. At least I'm not paying full-price for them.

I want more games like Sekiro (49h first playthrough) and God of War (~40h 1st playthrough maybe? I did everything besides the crows and collectibles), which offer incredible amounts of great content without being open-world games full of padding shit and checklist types of activities.
 
Apr 9, 2019
552
CLT
This is what I mean, I love open world games but honestly if you asked me what games have really stood out to be over my life it’s always been the smaller more focused games, things like Max Payne, Half-Life, Dead Space etc.

Even SOMA was an incredible experience to me.
Each of those games is more memorable to me than much of, say, what Ubisoft has put out recently (no shade, of course.) Also, SOMA was fantastic.
 

RoboPlato

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,744
Oh my god yes. Give me something tightly designed I can finish in a weekend instead of having the spend weeks on it to get through or have to go back every few weeks for some new event.
 

00lsen

Banned
Nov 8, 2017
234
No, if you want a short experience then just skip side activities. I want my games as bloated as possible
 

Sky87

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,148
Not sure what you mean by short. I wouldn't gladly hand over 60$ for a sub 10 hour singleplayer-only game for example.

Completely fine with the lengths in Spiderman, God of War and Sekiro. 15-20 hours.
 
OP
OP
Thinkdifferent
Dec 30, 2018
1,595
I am genuinely surprised (and happy) seeing the desire for more of these kind of games.

I really hope developers and publishers read and see the responses to this, if ERA is anything to go by then it’s clear there is a want and desire for these kind of games and even people who I speak with that don't post here seem to miss these kind of games as well.
 

TheMango55

Member
Nov 1, 2017
3,776
I don’t really want to pay $60 for something under 10 hours.

12-15 is a good length for an action adventure game though.
 

Dabi3

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,287
Yes, but I care more about having finite experiences. A definitive beginning, middle and end.