The recent Dying Light 2 "500 hours" controversy has sparked a huge debate in the gaming community: Can a game ever be too long?
Techland’s Dying Light 2 is one of 2022’s most highly anticipated titles, however the announcement that the game contains 500 hours of gameplay has shocked the gaming universe. Here, Dexerto writers Andrew Highton and Lauren Bergin debate whether or not this is just a little too much content.
It may seem outrageous to want less gameplay, but a few recent examples have highlighted why too much of one thing can often be a bad thing.
Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla was seen as the straw that broke the camel’s back for many. Ubisoft’s enormous Viking universe spanned an ungodly distance and crammed a ton of sidequests and collectibles into the game, not forgetting its lengthy story too.
But as with many Assassin’s Creed games in recent years, once you’ve played a few hours and the novelty has worn off, the repetition sets in harder than a pool of concrete. To fully complete the game, you were looking at anywhere between 100-150 hours.
‘Go there, do this, kill individual, fetch that item’ only has so much longevity before it begins to melt the mind. The Witcher 3 was able to do this because it’s heralded as an all-time great, whereas Valhalla is not.
The last few years have seen a large number of generic, open-worlds that are largely devoid of life and exist to look pretty. There’s no substance, and what substance it does have is the aforementioned rinse and repeat nature of side quests and collectibles.
Dying Light was a reasonable success due to its entertaining mix of parkour, zombies, and dynamic day/night combat system. I personally sank about 40 hours into the game and it was just about enough to quench my thirst.
That’s because I lapped up the game’s movement and uniqueness of its day cycle changes. They were the game’s two unique selling points, but right now, it doesn’t look like Dying Light 2 has drastically altered things so much that it needs to be played for longer than that – especially not another 400+ hours.
Conversely, titles like The Last of Us and Half-Life 2 have received countless awards for their satisfying gameplay. TLOU can be finished in 12 hours and Half-Life 2 about 15. But does anyone complain about their shorter run-time? No, because they’re brilliant games – and much easier to digest.
Insomniac’s first Spider-Man effort needed around 25-30 hours to fully complete the game and it was much celebrated on release.
Besides, many adults (myself included) love to play a variety of games throughout the year, meaning time is precious. When you consider that many people are working 40 hour weeks, have social and family commitments, and enjoy other hobbies, Dying Light 2 could eat up a lot of free time.
Less is usually more, and quality always supersedes quantity. So it will be interesting to see how players and critics respond to Dying Light 2’s well-publicized breadth of content. Can Techland’s ambitious project be truly sustainable for 500 hours of gameplay?
Words: Andrew HightonIs Dying Light 2's 500 hours of gameplay a good or bad thing? View Story