This week on TSG we’re talking about games that should have given us just a bit more. Whether providing a small, slow stream of content or being unable to satisfactorily resolve a game’s narrative threads, these games left us unsatisfied. Our question for this week is:
I really wish Titanfall 2 had been longer. That it had a campaign at all was a step up from the original, and what’s there is quality stuff, but I was surprised when I reached the end so quickly. The main problem was that the story didn’t feel like it was given enough space to explain itself, and I was never really clear about why I was doing anything. Each level was well designed and seemed themed around a certain gameplay mechanic, which is all great, but the narrative moments felt rushed or missing altogether. There are a handful of bosses you fight, all with interesting designs and mechanics, but I’ve played through twice and still don’t know who they are, why they want to kill me, or why any of it matters. A couple of slower, narrative focused levels, or even a few longer, clearer cutscenes, would have gone a long way for this sequel.
In this current generation of games, there’s consensus around one specific title that was way too short: The Order 1886. The aesthetics and lore caught my attention from the moment its first trailer dropped. Personally, I really enjoyed it as a self-contained, narrative heavy experience, with some fun cover-based shooting elements but the fact remains that for a game worth $60 on release, there was not nearly enough content for the normal customer to justify the purchase. I hope Sony Santa Monica continues to work on this IP because what they have shown has been, in my opinion, excellent. Only time will tell if The Order survives this, its greatest ordeal.
Back in 2008, I played Star Wars: The Force Unleashed a lot. The game was a ton of fun primarily because of how successfully LucasArts delivered on the promise of feeling like a powerful Jedi warrior, but the story was also an intriguing bridge between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. Unfortunately, the game always felt just a little short to me. There are a few narrative moments that lack emotional resonance because they feel rushed and there are several spots in the game where an extra level could have dove really deep into the universe and characters. The experience isn’t hurt that much overall, but the development team missed out on some fantastic gameplay and narrative opportunities by not exploring other avenues of Starkiller’s adventure.
Monument Valley ended way too soon. This unique and charming puzzle game for handheld devices was perfect on almost all fronts except for its length. Each level was filled with whimsy, wonder, and unique challenges. By the end of what I believe was stage six, after I experienced what I assumed was more of less the tutorial section, the game was over. I shelled out for the Monument Valley DLC which added another one or two stages but that didn’t quite satiate me. Luckily, Monument Valley dropped a couple months ago giving me that fix I’ve been craving. Still, I wouldn’t mind paying a subscription and getting 1-2 new levels every month or something.