Monday, February 13, 2017

How to judge the time commitment of your next video game


One of the most crucial skills for success is proper time management. It’s vital that we use our time as effectively as possible. In that spirit, I offer a tip that will help you make some important decisions concerning the time you dedicate to the great pastime of playing video games.
Today’s AAA titles vary wildly in the time they take to complete. You could spend more than a hundred hours getting through The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt or less than a day on a game like Resident Evil 7: Biohazard.
The appeal of a game’s size depends on your own personal preferences, and your interest in a particular game or series. Nevertheless, it’s still valuable to know how much time a given game entails.


A site that can help you figure this out is HowLongToBeat.com (HLTB). As its name suggests, HLTB gives you the average time it takes players to complete a particular game. The site even breaks out different categories of completion.

howlongtobeatHLTB
The search results for Battlefield 1 on HowLongToBeat.com.

If you’re someone who prefers to blast through the main story, HLTB gives you a sense of how quickly you can get the job done. If exploring every single corner of a game is your thing, you can find the average amount of time it takes to do that.
The site also has a bunch of extra features such as personal game tracking, comparing completion stats against your friends, and so on. If you’re into that stuff, great—the site’s playing-time estimates are based on user-contributed data.
In this look at the site we’re going to focus on how HLTB can help you find the amount of time it takes to play a particular title. Keep in mind that HLTB's reliance on user data means it takes time before newer games show up in its database. That said, games tend to show up on the site fairly quickly.
Get started by clicking on Search at the top of the site’s homepage. Once you load it, the search section of the site automatically generates a list of games, with newer and more popular games at the top. At this writing, the site had more than 24,000 games in its database.

battlefield1 howlongtobeatHLTB
Battlefield 1’s summary on HLTB.com.

Let’s say you want to find out how long it will take to finish the campaign for Battlefield 1. Search for the title on the site and it will appear at the top of the search results. Right here you can get a quick summary of the time you can expect to spend on the game: about 6 hours for the main story and 14.5 hours to complete everything.
You’ll notice that each time estimate is color coded. These colors represent how confident the site is in each estimate. The more blue the estimate is, the more accurate it’s supposed to be. If it’s red, the site doesn’t have a lot of confidence in its accuracy.
To dive deeper into the information you can click on the game title. Each game has a page like the one you see above. The time estimates are at the top, along with a synopsis. Below that you’ll see all kinds of data about playing time such as how many players were polled for the various completion times, and the number of players from each platform that contributed data.
Just this one aspect of HLTB makes it a useful site that even casual PC gamers should bookmark to help make decisions about which games to play, and when.
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