Is It Whether You Finish or Not, or How Long You Play the Game?

Illustration for article titled Is It Whether You Finish or Not, or How Long You Play the Game?

Of those who started Heavy Rain, 72 percent finished it, according to the president of the studio behind the game. That's a rather striking number for any video game, especially compared to another major hit released about the same time.


That would be Mass Effect 2, whose completion rate was about 50 percent, notes IGN. It makes the figure quoted by Quantic Dream's David Cage impressive indeed, and a testament to storytelling in games.

There's still enough out there though to make it not as much of an apples-to-apples comparison. Both Mass Effect 2 and Heavy Rain had variable story lengths. Most accounts have that game finishing in the 9 to 11 hour range although there is a lot of optional content elsewhere. The figures IGN quotes for Mass Effect 2 show an average completion time of 33 hours.


On one hand, Heavy Rain is an achievement because it shows that gamers are still motivated to finish a highly story-driven game, one capable of holding their attention four or five times longer than a feature film.

On the other, if half of everyone who started a sprawling space RPG like Mass Effect also finished the game, and put an average of 33 hours into doing so, isn't that as much, if not more, of a success?

GDC: 72 Percent of Players Finished Heavy Rain [IGN]

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The games I've left partially completed are usually games I've rented and didn't like (like Dragon Age) or games that were buggy as shit and felt impossible to enjoy completing (like Fallout New Vegas).

It's less common for me to buy a game and not at least complete it at least once (I guess buying the game means I already have enough interest/motivation to want to beat the game, so I try to)... and if it does occur its most likely because there were a lot of games released/bought within a short span of time and some titles took precedent because of general enjoyment or because they were sequels and I was excited to learn more about the story.

Of my collection now, the only games I haven't beaten but want to are Nier and Just Cause 2 (so many side missions there).The other games, Sacred 2 and Devil May Cry 4, I just lost interest in mid-way through the games and really don't care enough to complete but I've kept them in case one day I ever decide to.