Yesterday NowGamer posted an article claiming that Killzone 3 was just “4.5 hours long”, along with proof of the claim by way of a series of screenshots of the level select screens.
As things happen on the internet, a few gamers were a bit annoyed about this, with one saying that they “wouldn’t buy it day one” for the simple reason that the game is, apparently, so short. Indeed, the comments on the N4G post (which was approaching 1000 degrees at the time of printing) were full of similar jibes.
The official Killzone.com twitter account replied back quickly, though, confirming the 4.5 hours claim to be – in their opinion – false.
“That ‘4.5 hours’ number is a misunderstanding of the ‘best time’ stat,” said the Tweet. “Normal playthrough time (including deaths) is 8-11 hours.”
So who’s right? Well, we bombed through the game for our review on a few different levels of difficulty, but we can safely say that even on Normal we were playing a good few hours on Saturday, a couple on Sunday and a few more on Wednesday before committing ourselves to a score.
Was it as low as four and a half hours? No, it was more. Was it as long as eleven hours? No.
The truth is that for games like this, with an upcoming embargo, chances are the reviewer will want to rush through the game and ensure they’ve at least seen the ending. Would that represent an ‘average’ play-through time? Probably not, no.
There’s a chance that the reviewer in question (who was actually writing up for the game for GamesTM, a magazine that shares the same publisher as NowGamer) was above average – he’s almost certainly a better FPS-gamer than myself.
And yes – those times do represent your ‘best time’ through the level, presumably not taking into account the cut-scenes and those times you died – the timer might reset back to the last checkpoint each time you do. So, if you can total up your times and reach a figure of four and a half hours, you can add another hour of cut-scenes onto that time and the time for each of the section retries you had to do.
And on the subject of the 7/10 scores floating around: had the game just been a single player our review score would have been very different. But it doesn’t: Killzone 3 offers both a solid co-op mode and that massive, expansive online multiplayer, and because of that we’re absolutely sticking to our 9/10 score. We know our community will be right behind the game when it’s out.
But the single player length? Well, that’s going to be up to you guys, isn’t it? For the record, we think about 6-8 hours was closer to our estimates.
We’d welcome clarification from Guerrilla on this, by the way.