Many modern games are filled to the brim with stuff to do and collect, but you aren’t actually experiencing anything new. It’s becoming so common for games to have multiple collectibles that do nothing but add the illusion of value to a game.
I recently played Far Cry 4. I loved the game’s art style basic and gameplay foundation. It had some truly stellar moments of exploration, surprise and creative carnage. But the game was so concerned with keeping the player entertained that they added so many “extras” that detracted from the experience. 240 posters to tear down, 20 letters to find and damn near constant “karma events” which had you killing soldiers that just happen to have a couple “hostages” on the side of the road. After liberating an outpost, it would have soon be attacked again, and I’d have to literally repeat the exact same scenario or lose the fast travel access point that I’d just gained.
Some people may enjoy the endless list of repetitive tasks and things to find and press the action button in front of, but if Ubisoft’s had spent a little more time developing characters and a story that made sense, it would have been a much better experience and garnered serious acclaim. The incredible open world of Kyrat had so much additional potential. I still think it was a great game, but it could have been outstanding. Ubisoft is just listening to fans though, they want a bang for their buck, they insist on loads of unnecessary content to add to a game’s length and it’s overall “value.”
The best games are ones that don’t overstay their welcome; they focus on the core gameplay and story, and they know when to end. Like a good film, editing down content to deliver on the essentials makes the type of experience I’m going to remember and love, not struggle to complete.