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


Oct 27, 2017
Since linear has a bad connotation, I will say many games can do without the unnecessary or pace-killing padding that is the norm

Waddle Dee

Nov 2, 2017
Yes, desperately. I’ve bought less AAA games (especially Western ones) in the past 5 years than I did in 2005 alone.

Many of the best games of all time are linear, fairly short, games. Classic 16-bit games like Sonic 3&K, Shinobi 3, Donkey Kong Country 2, are all linear. And you have more recent examples like Resident Evil 4, Splinter Cell Chaos Theory, Uncharted 2, the Doom reboot, etc.

I’d rather not play bloated games, but I don’t see a AAA $60 game being shorter than, say 10 hours.
Resident Evil 2 just came out a few months ago.


Nov 4, 2017
I've come to the realization that I dont tend to game more than 20-80 mins max in any given session. I'm all for single player experiences I can finish within a 2 week time frame.


Oct 27, 2017
I prefer linear single player games more. Because when there is a big open world game like GTA, it makes the experience a little extra special. But I don’t care as much about the time it takes to complete. As long as it’s between 8 and 30ish hours, I’m good.


Oct 30, 2017
Yes. Almost every game that boasts a "100 hours of content" is bloated, and every single one of those games would be infinitely better if they were trimmed down, shorter versions of themselves.


Oct 25, 2017
Not really no. I think there's enough of them currently.

I think there needs to be more good open world AAA games though
Jan 21, 2019
Yes, but I care more about having finite experiences. A definitive beginning, middle and end.
One reason why I don't play multiplayer games. I need closure to my experience. I would love for games to shed some of their fat. For example, God of War really didn't need the whole armor system. It felt like it was added so current popular design choices that pad out the game could be added. It could have been a stronger game if it shorter and more focused.

I think games need to respect the players (that have little time because of responsibilities) and have an short mode.


Oct 29, 2017
These are pretty much my fave games to play so yes. I do like an action RPG (Souls) or a open world (GTA) style game every now and again but really want to keep those to a minimum as I only really trust a handful of companies to do those genres right.


Oct 29, 2017
Essex, UK
Yep. I rent or get review codes for most games so I'm rarely looking for more and more hours for my buck, so to speak. I find a lot of games are bloated and outstay their welcome in an attempt to propose more "value" to the player.


Oct 28, 2017
I'm all for more wide linear/immersive sim games like Hitman or Dishonored that can be completed in a short time frame but offer lots of replay value. What I don't want is the industry to go back to pushing the kinds of short, linear experiences that typically offer less replay value, like corridor shooters or platformers (played enough of those for one lifetime). I do have a weakness for survival horror games like Dead Space, Alien Isolation, Resident Evil, and The Last of Us, which tend to be shorter, so keep those coming!


Jul 25, 2018
As a gamer, sure why not, more options are great. In reality it's a terrible business model these days, and before anyone says, "But Sony...", remember they earn far more from each unit sold than third party publishers, also they benefit from more consoles sold.


Jan 31, 2018
I’d prefer longer more in depth single player games that tell an actual story. 10-15 hours is pretty short jmho.
Oct 27, 2017
Yeah. I’d enjoy more in-depth, linear, single player experiences. And I’ll pay full price for them, too. Especially if they lack micro-transactions.


Oct 25, 2017
The issue is big publishers want players to spend more time per game. They don't want someone to spend eight hours on a game and then trade it back in. And let's be serious -- the initial $60 purchase stopped being enough to satisfy publishers at modern budgets long ago. Only console manufacturers can really get away with that now. That's why there's DLC, special editions that are like $90, and so-on.


Nov 17, 2017
Absolutely. I'd love more games I can one sitting and get a satisfying replayable experience.

But I'll add to the pile of people saying it would have to be cheaper/wait until on sale.


Oct 25, 2017
Me and the wife are playing through Gears of War series. It has some of the most fun, linear, nonsensical gameplay. I think games are vying for time and attention in a way that wasn't as big an issue in the 360/PS3 era and before. I love games I can play again and again or for extended periods of time. But I find the variety of AAA games sorely disappointing and hope that the Microsoft acquisitions bring some life back into the AAA space. The quality is certainly there, but the variety is subpar.


Oct 27, 2017
Wide linear that lasts about 15 to 20 hours. Good, strong writing and satisfying gameplay. Recipe for success.


Oct 30, 2017
I'm sick of "cram every type of game-appeal in one box" kind of games. Ubisoft games; shared world shooters; open world; Games as a Service, whatever.

Give me something that's as technically impressive but on a much tighter scale.


User requested ban
Oct 28, 2017
I'd always argue that the price of video games (or any art, really) is highly subjective, so me paying 30€ for a game that is 100+ hours long but I just don't enjoy feels like a rip-off whereas paying 60€ for a 20h game that I massively enjoy and will likely frequently revisit feels like a bargain. So, yes, shorter experiences feel always welcoming to me, but alas, this is also a matter of enjoyability.

I'd also argue that openness and linearity are less dichotomous than it is presented here, and act more as the endpoints of a sliding scale, so to me, the opposite of the corridors of Final Fantasy XIII isn't the open sandbox of Minecraft (neither of which is a game I actually care for), but the area in the middle, where linearity and openness are balanced out. Recently, Tales of Vesperia was a game which's structure I enjoyed greatly, and it follows a linear path throughout the game's narrative, but there are these little "pockets" strewn throughout the world which allowed for doing things outside the main path, but were always constrained enough to not suffocate the main quest, though they grew subsequently bigger as the endgame approached. This was a pattern I feel was common for video games for a good while and most of the games I like - Metroidvanias, classic JRPG, the Zelda series - tend to orbit around this sweetspot.

So, yeah... what I want is more of a mix of linearity and openness and not the radical extreme of hallway gameplay.

EDIT: An exception to that preference would be story-driven genres - notably, adventure games and visual novels, I don't mind if they're a bit linear and I also don't mind if VNs are "kinetic" - i.e. they just tell a story and don't have branching narratives through choices.
Last edited:


Jan 9, 2019
As someone who doesn't ascribe to the 'amount of gameplay per dollar spent' metric of quality that some people here seem to have, I really wouldn't mind some of these shorter, more focused single player AAA experiences at $60.

These wouldn't be to replace open world/GaaS/MP focused games but to compliment them. Variety is the spice of life and open world fatigue is definitely a thing. For me, a well crafted, detailed SP game with a great story could easily be worth the expected entry fee


Oct 25, 2017
When I think shorter I think like 5 hours not 15-20 like the op said, 15-20 is long time for a linear game. To answer the question, if it makes sense for whatever it is they are making sure.


Mar 21, 2018
I don't think they need to be AAA though, I think that 'linear AAA' is no longer viable. But something with the budget of a Hellblade or A Plague Tale seems to me like the way forward, along with indies of course.


Alt account
Jan 10, 2019
Not really, I love huge open worlds where I get to set the pace of how I play. I will never get tired of roaming a beautiful open world like Egypt or The Wild West, that is the pinnacle of gaming to me.

But in some games I wouldn't mind.


Jan 14, 2019
Yes, please.

60$ for 100 hours of entertainment is simply not a thing, compare it to any other activity. But gamers demand it so open world bloat is the only way.


Oct 25, 2017
Yes. This also perfectly fits the rise of subscription services for me since I can just pay for a month and complete the game. I rarely replay stuff.


Oct 28, 2017
Yes please. That's why games like Control and Jedi Fallen Order are so interesting to me. They seem focused.

I'm still playing Ac Odyssey and there is really no place in my life for 2 OW behemoths at the same time.


Oct 27, 2017
Angola / Zaire border region.
I suppose I wouldn't mind more linear AAA games like Uncharted, but I still tend to prefer open world games like RDR2 / Horizon Zero Dawn or at least open-ended games like MGSV / Monster Hunter World / Mario Odyssey etc.


Oct 30, 2017
yes, though dead space isn't the example i'd use. that game felt like it was twice as long as it needed to be.


Oct 28, 2017
A 1000% yes. The last open world game I finished the story was Ass Creed whatever the pirate one was called*. It's just not for me to meander through worlds with ten minutes hikes to quest markers. I will go across the map to the most interesting feature in the distance once, but generally moving around the map repeatedly and especially for fetch crap feels like a time wasting practice to pad numbers. If I want to kill time with playing, I'll play one of my few MP games.

I can stand hub-worlds better, the Lake of Nine in GoW didn't stop me from finishing the game, but I don't really need something like it. "Linear" games with wide "corridors" like TLOU or MGS1-3 (4 was hardly a game) that still offer multiple routes and/or approaches are vastly preferable to me. I had some of my favourite gaming moments with even more constricted level design like Uncharted 1+2 and Resi4, games you can easily replay just to beat a higher difficulty or enjoy the tight pacing.

I value my time more than games and I rarely feel like playing more than 2 hours max when I actually play. I don't play countless games as a result, so most months I won't buy a single new game. And I rarely buy games and almost never for full price, so I don't value X time spent for Y amount of money when purchasing, but rather "will I probably have fun with this purchase". Uncharted: LL, my last purchase, recommended here as a short, mure fun UC4 lasted me a week of daily play. I'll replay it one day, whereas I never got past chapter 3 or so with my replay of the weirdly paces UC4 (and I've beaten every UC on PS3 at least thrice and GA twice). Before that I had GoW4 for close to a full year before finishing it and BF5 as my "time waster" game. And both could be had for ~50€ a few weeks after launch, since most big games are part of competition between retailers. Remake 2 will be my next game and it's 36€. If I get one person's campaign done in 12 hours or so I'll consider that money very well spent if the gameplay is as good as they say. Did I get my money's worth from the ~15 to 20 hours I put into AC Origins I paid 35€ for? Yes, but only because of the marvelous sights and critters in the game, not from 100% watchtower areas.


Oct 27, 2017
Yes. I’m always been prone to these sort of games. I like open world games too when done right, but often they can feel padded too. The older I get, the less time I have to play too.

If these type of games would disapear forever, I would probably quit gaming.


Nov 5, 2017
Definitely. I miss the good old 8-12 hours of well paced games. I’m burned out by massive open world games, that are so huge just for the sake of it with repetitive side missions and collectibles.


Nov 10, 2018
Not particularly.

Some Open world or semi-open world game this gen demonstrate well enough that you can have exceptional story/graphics/gameplay even in a bigger world and games like the order or quantum break demonstrate that small games can be still mediocre.

Also when a game is good, i prefer to play for 30 to 60 hours and not 10 hours and you're done.

(sorry for my english)


Oct 25, 2017
If "open world", do something segmented like new GoW.

A lot of open world games are an absolute slog to play.


Jul 4, 2018
New Zealand
As long as the gameplay is great then yes. Most AAA are far too long and many people don’t even finish the story, I’m not a big story gamer but I would be more prone to playing a story based game if it was movie length or a bit longer say between 2-6 hours, and if the production values were worth it I wouldn’t even mind paying the full retail price as I would probably replay it.