A cowboy on a horse looks at a mountain in the distance.

Open World Games: Who Has the Time?

Recently I poured my heart and soul into Red Dead Redemption 2, so much so that I chose to review the game. My journey with Red Dead 2, took me approximately 50 hours to finish and believe me when I say this, I was ready for the conclusion. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the game – far from it, in fact – it’s that the time needed to finish the game was not as readily available to me as it once was. I am a 36-year-old gamer, I am married, I have a son and a day job. This means, for me, in this “golden age” of gaming, I am truly unable to sample ALL of the delights that are on offer.

I am not as upset about this as I thought I would be. Gaming has been and still is a huge part of my life. I regularly interact with many people online in regard to gaming and when I have the time I write articles for my own website and others.

With the birth of my son, I knew going in that my gaming time would be curtailed, at least until he was a little older. I am now, very aware of the time constraints I have in regards to gaming and it has its frustrations. Tempering that frustration, I am also aware that, I will hopefully be able to enjoy and experience the games I love and cherish with my son one day and that thought is what gets me through the periods of frustration.  That frustration surfaces especially when a new game releases and I know I simply won’t have the time to enjoy it. This may come off as selfish to anyone other than a gamer so I hope I am in good company here with this article.

With my “playtime” seriously reduced it made me think that unless you have a very large bank account and, more importantly, unlimited time, you will not be able to play even half of the games that release throughout the year.

This brings me onto a question: who has the time for all of the large 50-hour open world games?

The average age of a PlayStation owner is, according to a number of sources, 35 years old.  That means there are a large group of people that I imagine are in the same or similar situation to myself.

Nowadays, I find myself becoming a lot more selective about the games I play. Years ago during my time with the PS3 and early days of PS4, I would purchase most if not all AAA games. I had the time to pour 40+ hours into a game and then move onto the next. I know I still crave the open world experience but feel I am unable to truly put the time and effort in to really get the maximum experience and enjoyment from it. Those who are in the same situation as myself will know the term “backlog” well.

After playing through Red Dead Redemption 2 I was hungry for something a little lighter on the palate, in terms of hours but not quality. I chose Resident Evil 2 as I am a huge fan of most of the previous games in the series. Apart from the game being a breath of fresh air, I was very aware that the game would only last, at least for each character, around 5 – 10 hours. I knew that I wasn’t going to pour countless hours into this game to find out some semblance of a conclusion; it can be played easily with short blasts of 30 minutes here or there. Red Dead, on the other hand, felt like I had achieved or accomplished almost nothing if I spent 30 minutes playing it.

Moving forward with my gaming life, at least for the time being, I am definitely going to alter my purchases. I will try out other game experiences and put the open-world genre to one side for the time being. I am keen to try some arcade style games as well as experiencing some lesser known indie titles. This I feel will keep my gaming urges at bay until I can set aside some REAL time to battle those open-world adventures I know and love.

Can you handle the rigours of open world games as an adult gamer?  Have you had to change the way you game due to aspects of your life?  Leave a comment below!