A new piece of information this week has got me thinking about game time, dear readers. Specifically, gameplay time for AAA open-world games. Now, I’ve been a fan of these for a long time, and am of the mind that as much as possible of an open-world game should be explored through the use of the story. Side quests can reveal smaller parts, but I feel like the majority of a large sandbox world in a video game should be shown off via the game’s narrative. This usually leads to a longer play time for these types of games, and allows for more depth of story as well.
Apparently, Insomniac Games disagrees with this.
Recently, James Stevenson (Community Director for Insomniac Games) tweeted about the supposed play time for the upcoming Marvel’s Spider-Man, and I’ll be honest…I’m more than a bit irritated.
ONLY TWENTY HOURS?? SERIOUSLY??
Now, I don’t know about you, but a mere twenty hours seems like not enough of a story for such a highly-anticipated, AAA, open-world game, right? And at FULL PRICE? Unless I miss my mark, the majority of us gamers who buy our games on launch day will go home and binge-play our new shiny for a good few hours…then do it again & again over the next few days. It’s just part of the excitement of getting a new game. The issue here, is that I don’t want the story to be over within the first weekend of having the game. That’s not fun for me. I like to be able to learn as much as possible about the characters & their motivations, the plot of the story through which I’m playing, and enjoy a lot of depth (and the occasional twist). I want to be able to play a bunch of content during my precious weekends, and still be able to go back to the game later to get more story out of what I’ve purchased. Now, while I’m sure that a good part of my experience with Marvel’s Spider-Man is going to be web-swinging around the city of New York and taking in the detail in this game, I don’t feel like I can get the depth I want out of a 20-hour title.
Here’s the other thing about this. We also already know that there will be episodic DLC for this game. “The City That Never Sleeps” will be in three parts, and will be released as follows:
- October 23: Marvel’s Spider-Man: The Heist
- November 2018: Marvel’s Spider-Man: Turf Wars
- December 2018: Marvel’s Spider-Man: Silver Lining
While I’m normally a fan of DLC for games, there are a couple of things about this that bother me. First, it’s a bit disheartening for me to see that Insomniac Games is releasing such a short-storied game, and yet they’re announcing DLC right off the jump. Second, the DLC will not be free. As of August 28th, 2018, the three installments of this DLC are available for purchase in the Playstation Store, at a bundle price of $24.99 USD. Alternately, you can get each individual chapter for $9.99 USD upon their respective release dates.
Sure, each chapter of ‘The City That Never Sleeps’ DLC will contain new story missions, new challenges, and new suits for our Friendly Neighborhood Wall-Crawler. But we gamers are again faced with the ubiquitous question: Why couldn’t these have been included in the initial game, instead of doing it as DLC? In researching all of this info, a friend of mine answered this question very succinctly by saying, “Basically, [Insomniac Games] could have put it in, but would rather give you 20 hours of gameplay to get you hooked, and then make you buy the game again to get the rest of it”. So, we could look at this in one of two ways, it seems. Those of us who pre-ordered the game are either:
Getting an unfinished $60 game next weekend.
Getting a finished game, with some of its content behind a pay wall, for which we’ll have to wait another entire month until we can access it.
Seriously, Insomniac Games… Do better. We gamers are not fools, so please don’t treat us as such.
With the game releasing in just a little over a week (September 7th, to be exact), I’ve gotta say that this doesn’t fill me with confidence. I’ve been one of those gamers who has been following every bit of news about Marvel’s Spider-Man since its announcement back at E3 2016, and I even pre-ordered it on the first day it was available. Up until now, I’ve clearly been very excited for it. Do I feel like I’ve made a mistake? Not yet. Only time will tell on that one, and I’ll still be bringing you all my thoughts on the game in one of our ‘First Impressions’ pieces the day after launch.
What do you think about this revelation, gamers? Does having such a short game on release day change your opinion of Marvel’s Spider-Man, or are you still looking forward to getting some play time with it next weekend (however short that may be)? Let us know in the comments section down below, and be sure to follow us on our social media!