Is "The Order: 1886" Long Enough For Prime Time?

Steve Anderson : End Game
Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
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Is "The Order: 1886" Long Enough For Prime Time?

Recently, word has come out surrounding the upcoming release of “The Order: 1886,” and while the idea of the game itself is exciting, some are discovering that the actual playthrough is a little less so. Indeed, some discovered that a playthrough was taking around six to eight hours, and in some cases, as little as five. A game with that kind of runtime—especially one that's being offered up at the full $60 price tag—is leaving some deeply concerned, but in the end, how long is long enough?

Naturally, some look at such an experience and suggest that, indeed, a six to 10 hour playthrough is nowhere near worth charging $60 for. They wouldn't exactly be out of line, either, especially considering the kind of experiences that could be had elsewhere. $60 might get days or weeks of play in “Skyrim”, but six to 10 hours seems kind of slack.

However, others would consider it good, particularly if the replay value is solid. I remember my time in the “Katamari Damacy” series fondly, able to play for hours, yet play through a game start to finish in the same space that might ordinarily be reserved for a good night's sleep. Indeed, every so often I still fire up a copy of “Beautiful Katamari” on Xbox 360 and try to engulf a black hole with a universe of random stuff. That's fun, and that's worth it, regardless of how long it takes. Same story with “Civilization: Revolution”--it may only take a couple hours to start-to-finish a round of Rome versus the Planet, but it's fun. Indeed, for the older gamer these days—who often has a job and a family to consider—something that can be knocked out in a weekend is a pretty good idea, even if most gamers will likely prefer to rent rather than buy such a title.

This may be the biggest problem “The Order: 1886” will face, the idea that this is a much better rental than it is a buy, and if it is a buy, a buy that requires a wait. Though reports suggest that some optional content was skipped over and the difficulty mode may have been set to easy, even a 10 hour playthrough might ultimately prove a tough sell. It's one thing for a huge game to be a worthwhile buy; it's hard to get much of anywhere renting, say, “Grand Theft Auto V” or “Skyrim”. But it's another for a shorter game to be a buy unless it has some kind of compelling aspect to it; multiplayer jumps to mind, but there are others.

In the end, it's not so much about how long a game is as how much fun it is. If I can play it over and over again, I don't much care about how long it takes as how much enjoyment I can get. Granted, $60 for one six hour playthrough is a bit hard to swallow no matter how good it is, but if I can play it again later and have just as much fun, that's a bit different. There's value in a shorter game, but not necessarily $60 worth of value. “The Order: 1886” might have a tough time getting the fullest value out of its release, but it's likely to still resonate with players, whether at the game store counter or at the video rental store counter.

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