Killzone 3’s Game Length: The Truth

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 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.



  1. giving it a 9 so far. garanteed 10 once the single player is in my hands ;)

  2. Fuuuuuu…… i hope that is not true as i hate short single player games.
    What happened to the good old days where the story was at least 8 hours long.:(

    • they never existed.
      This notion that games have gotten shorter (or more expensive, for that matter) is entirely untrue. I timed myself through the original Sonic game on the Mega Drive back in the day (mostly because there was no way of saving and no in-game timer). It took 4 hours and 12 minutes in total and I died quite often.
      Games, at least the games that have an end, have always been in the 4-10 hours region for average play time. Obviously that excludes examples like RPG games and similar which are the exception rather than the rule.
      Nobody complains about having to pay the same price in to the cinema for the Toy Story 3 (around 90 minutes of quality) as they paid to see a movie like Robin Hood (over 2 hours of shit).
      If the game play and the narrative are good then it’s an enjoyable experience, surely that’s worth more than a poor narrative and dodgy controls for twice as long? You don’t pay by the hour, you pay for an experience.

      • It seems like people remember older games being longer than they actually were. Makes me wonder what games they are referring to.

      • Just like the school summer holidays, they always seemed longer

      • Although when playing through the free copy of Medal of Honor: Frontline with the new MoH, you realise that it is considerably longer than the new one. I would have to put that down to it not having multiplayer back in the day though.

      • Final Fantasies were always long. At least from 7-12(13 if you must include). My memory fades on past ones.

      • I think people remember games being longer in the past because a) they were younger and b) most of the time “playing” was actually reading the script rather than well directed/acted cut-scenes that we see today, the exception being MGS4 which had more cut-scenes than gameplay (was still a great game though)

        plus, people forget that FPS games are made mostly for online play these days, the single player story being the icing on the cake (sometimes it’s the other way around though, PREY and UNDERWORLD come to mind (great single player games, terrible multiplayer)

        The Killzone 3 story, from what I’ve seen looks amazingly good, also plays brilliantly online (though the beta servers are a mess right now) the “scores” it is getting on some sites are quite discouraging to those people who didn’t really have any interest anyway, but, like I have always said, if you are going to listen solely to reviews, it’s your own fault if you miss out on an epic gaming experience, plus I’d take 4-5 hours of epic gaming over 4 weeks of a tedious bullshit badly designed game.

        Killzone 3, can’t wait.

      • @Delriak

        Back in the day, I could finish Head Over Heels in less than 2 hours. That is, after I spent months learning how to beat the game and its 300 rooms.

        People tend to forget how harder games were 15 years ago, and how often they had to restart from the beginning after wasting their 3rd continue on a single level without any way to save their progress.

      • “15 years ago”

        Edit: I actually meant 25 ;)

      • I could of sworn games were longer back then. Then again i was crap at most games back then. I remeber it took me 3 months just to complete the dancing mission on GTA SA.

        I generally like Single player games and i don’t like wasting my money on somethung which can be complete in a few hours. It seems that Single player is dieing out in FPSes. I like having a game with a long and immersive story as well i sucker for well told stories. Robin Hood was shit? Glad i didn’t go see it.

  3. All FPS games are so short nowadays while the developers lavish on the online. But there is only so much variety they can put into the online so at the very least some addition to the story would be good for any FPS game but they just aren’t learning.

  4. Most FPS’ are mostly about the multiplayer these days though, aren’t they? Bad Company 2 and Call of Duty are pretty short, but they both sold well (CoD even more so) for the multiplayer.
    I personally buy for both elements, but I know the single player in these type of games are always pretty short so it doesn’t really bother me :)

    • Yes but the multiplayer eventually loses its “oh yay more variety” appeal and so its fun and when you’ve only got a 6 hour story or so then the game just crashes and burns. You’ve also got to think of those people who have no online access, what in a 6 hour story is going to make them buy a £40 game?

      • Well, you could say that about Black Ops. It’s lost it’s ‘variety’ already, yet a lot of people play it often.
        And for the people that don’t have online access- Unless they get told by someone that it’s a short story, the only way they’ll know is after they’ve purchased the game.
        I would like a longer story but in all honesty, I can’t see it happening.

      • just to point out, you may have only a 6 hour game, but you’ve probably put in a few weeks if not months of online play…so I think it deserves it’s £40.99 price tag (not that I love paying that much for any game)

        plus they have thought about those people without internet access, have you not tried playing against the bots offline, even on recruit, they can give you a good thumb/eye/trigger finger workout, I would like them to add in the ability to build up your character with the harder level bots (so it’s not too easy to achieve) as doing it online can take some time (especially when you get stuck into a match with clans on the other team) and it would also mean those internetless people won’t miss out on that part.

  5. Its no secret you arnt going to get a lifetime of SP out of an FPS. Even if it were 5 hours I bet you any money you would be spending triple that on Elite difficulty ;)

  6. 8 hrs is long enough i think.especially if ya dont play it on easy.killzne 2 took me ages to do the fight at the end killed me a million times lol. n e ways this will be the meanest 8 hrs of ya life.least it oozes quality unlick most fps campaigns ;D

  7. Wonder how quick I used to finish a Sonic level when I was racing against a clock & then how long it took when I was playing normally, collecting rings killing bad guys?

    Criticism was levelled at CoD for taking 6hrs or whatever when it took me about up to 12… No one in their right minds (who isn’t looking for headlines) spends £40 on a game & then races though it at the speed of light.

    • hear hear ;)

    • This.

      Just look at some of the speed run videos on YouTube, hardly representative of the average gamers experience.
      It may be possible to barrel through K3 in 4.5 hours, maybe even less, but when playing it ‘normally’ I expect it takes a lot more.

      I took a lot longer to complete Uncharted on my first play through which I did on Normal difficulty, than on Hard, because I was watching every cutscene and didn’t know what was coming. Crushing was slower still as I had to be more careful.
      That also highlights another factor, replayability.

      • what about Vanquish, that has to be the shortest story driven shooter in the gaming world to date, but, one of the best.

      • you buy a game, and rush it?
        ruining the experience for yourself in my opinion…

    • MW2 took me only a few hours, and that was without me rushing. It was a VERY short single player.

      Personally, though, I expect about 8-10 hours for my first run through KZ3. The 4 and a half hours was most likely done on easy mode, and basically just running through the levels. That’s not the game’s true difficulty level, nor length, so it’s false data.

    • I used to be able to do Green Hill Zone 1 in 24 seconds.

  8. i must admit i played KZ2 single player more than multiplayer, i think i completed it at least 4 times and played the missions over and over again as i loved it too much.

    i would like a lengthy campaign but at least if theres a story to it i dont mind it behind short (by that i mean at least 8hrs)

  9. The demo was quite good. Also, the snipers basic scoped rifle holographic aiming is a copy of the M14MOD Enhanced Rifle from Battlefield Bad Company 2. Just thought i’d mention that

  10. one more thing if theres over 2 and a half hr cut scenes then these guys are saying theres 1 and half hrs gameplay? come on now we all know its BS.bring on the campaign ima be all over it and loving it. killzone campaigns are up there with uncharted. all other campaigns dont come close.

    • There’s just over an hour’s cut-scenes.

      • is it? damn my memory is failing me,im getting old ;s

      • better than MGS4 cutscenes :D

    • Im assuming, and I think fairly correctly, that cutscenes are not counted in level runthrough times. The timer stops when the cutscene starts and resumes when the cutscene ends. this is the whole point of this, yes its possible to run through the game in that time if you skip all cutscenes and ignore all enemies, but who plays a game like that? Just sensationalist headline grabbing

    • “kill zone campaigns are right up there with uncharted”

      You must hate uncharted. Killzone 2’s campaign was very average for a FPS with heavy focus on the multiplayer. Unharted’s campaign is miles above all others, only rivaled by the likes of Mass Effect 2.

      Obviously only my opinion.

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