Too long? Too short? How about JUST RIGHT?! Yes, it's another blog by MrMcJerk about Kane and Lynch 2 - a game brutalized in reviews for being "too short." I say it's a perfect length.
KL2's storyline takes place over 48 in-game hours - a blink of an eye. While "epic games" such as Dragon Age 2 span dozens of years in game time and 30ish hours in real time, KL2 pulls no punches with its length. You're here to get a job done, things go wrong, so now it's time to leave, any way possible. There's no filler, no fetch quests, no pointless slogs for a +1 trinket that adds damage to your flame axe. Ever had a really bad hangover? Where everything feels oversaturated, blurry, and just a little foreign? That should never last more then a day. Couple that with wanton brutality and you're happy when you top out at 6 hours.
The game was designed to make you feel uneasy. Around every turn there may be a police dog, a Chinese SWAT team member, or a tweaking gnagster waiting for you. Get out of Shanghai is what you need to do, there's no time to stretch out anything elaborate. Even the multiplayer (which extends the lifespan of the game in your disk drive exponentially) is swift. Rounds are no more then 6 minutes - it ends and you die. Brevity is the soul of KL2. Get in, get the cash, and get out.
Truth be told, adding artificial length to a game has always held a sour note to me. I mean, I've played as the savior of the universe, the Champion of Kirkwall, slayer of demons, saver of citizens, and still people come up to me and it's all HEY I KNOW YOU RESCUED OUR ENTIRE CITY FROM ZOMBIES BUT CAN YOU GIVE THIS PACKAGE TO MY SISTER I WOULD BUT I'VE GOT TO GO WATCH TV AND THEN SCAN THIS PLANET THERE MIGHT BE ORE OR SOMETHING. Inflating gameplay length with this jarring babble just to get the coveted "30 hours of gameplay" in a review is a disservice to fans.
Thomas Hobbes said that life is nasty, brutish, and short. KL2's brevity is the perfect metaphor for our existence. Unpredictable, curse-filled, and when you run, everything shakes.
Bonus one-sentence anecdote about the longest amount of time it ever took me to complete a game - It took me 13 years to beat Final Fantasy 3 for Super Nintendo.