I’ve recently been diving back into The Elder Scrolls Online and have been pleasantly surprised by just how far it’s come in the last two or three years. It’s now an insane value proposition, cramming in hundreds if not thousands of hours of gameplay, and it can be picked up for as little as £15 in a sale. So far I’ve enjoyed a few evenings plodding about in its gigantic world, reaching the lofty heights of level 12, but I can tell I’m only scratching about at the surface. It’s almost incomprehensibly large.
This left me with a decision. I either dedicate practically all my gaming time towards The Elder Scrolls Online, potentially for years, in order to fully immerse myself in everything it offers, or I don’t. Considering it’s being constantly expanded at an incredible rate (including the upcoming Morrowind expansion) I’m facing an uphill battle. In the end I’m probably going to skip it altogether, as I’ve done with pretty much every MMO of late. They’re just so time consuming that you have to sacrifice playing potentially dozens of other games in order to play just one.
Which brings me around to the major bugbear of mine, and that is when games are just too damn large. There’s a school of thought that bigger is always better, or that getting hundreds of hours worth of gameplay is better value for money. It is, in theory, if you’re having a high level of enjoyment over that entire period, or if perhaps don’t consider time a limited commodity. While I might eke out 2,000 hours grinding bosses in one of ESO’s Delves, would I not be better off spending just 8 seeing Resident Evil 7 through to its conclusion? Or is it that just considered a waste of money?
There’s a lot to be said for tighter gaming experiences that respect your time, that don’t repeat content and don’t bombard you with filler for the sake of a back-of-the-box feature checklist.
Where do you stand on this matter? Is bigger always better? Or do you prefer a tightly designed experience that’s over before it can grow old?