Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Have you ever played a game for 500 hours?

There has been a lot of talk about how long games last this week. After the developers of Dying Light 2 Techland bragged that it would take 500 hours to complete the game over the weekend, the internet’s collective moans over the reveal were reportedly heard from the far reaches of space. Personally, I think it’s an absurd number for a single player game, but as someone who also keeps an active table of all of my various playing time stats (yes, really) it got me thinking too. On the whole, is 500 hours really that nonsensical? I asked the team what their most played game is on Steam to find out.

And as it turns out, Dying Light 2’s 500 hour turnaround time has nothing to do with some of our favorite time wasters …

Alice bee

My most played games on Steam don’t really reflect my most played game. At the top of the list is Skyrim, at 92 hours. I have probably seen this opening car on film several times. There’s a surprise entry from the original Mass Effect from 2007, at 40 hours (Mass Effect 2 sits comfortably underneath at 32, which is apparently the same time I spent playing Disco Elysium). My most played game right now is Dragon Age: Inquisition, which I initially had on PlayStation and which I know I played over 200 hours. Predictable. But times are changing. These games all date from when I was in my late teens and early 20s when I had nothing to do to do , so the most important factor in deciding which game to buy was how much of that empty space it would fill. Nowadays I have a job and other hobbies. My last played list is very different. Excerpts from indie games during lunch break; 3 hours of WorldBox.


I thought my most played game on Steam would be the endlessly adorable roguelike crying of The Binding Of Isaac, but no, it’s Destiny 2. Over 2000 hours apparently in Bungie’s MMOFPS. When you consider that I’ve seen and done pretty much everything in it, repeatedly, over several years, yes, that fits. Roguelike likes and multiplayer games: the things I’ve played the longest. I’m grateful and sorry that I don’t have statistics on old Quake and Half-Life mods; Maybe for best, I don’t know exactly how much of my teenage years and early twenties were spent there.


At university, a roommate and I decided we needed a break from two grueling years of League Of Legends. So we switched to Counter Strike: Global Offensive and really looked at target training and mouse DPI settings and whether we were claw grippers or palm grippers. That translates into 362 hours the concentration that I have not been able to reproduce since then. I suppose it left me with some transferable skills, like being reasonably good at aiming in FPS games and having a nice zowie mouse. The university really makes a lasting impression, huh.

An assassin looks out over a sandy desert in Assassin's Creed Origins


My time sinking game is almost definitely the amorphous blob that is Modern Cold Warzone Vanguard Royale, but that uses Battle.Net and my playtime is mixed up between the four titles. Warzone alone boasts 214 hours, so let’s not get into that any further. Things are actually much tamer on Steam, with Assassin’s Creed Origins taking the crown 92 hours. There is just something about these rolling deserts that cried out for replayability and I loved every second. It’s really weird because I don’t like sand. It’s gross and rough and irritating and it goes anywhere.


I’ve kind of accumulated 2815 hours in Dota 2. Here are some stats to consider as I turn to stone in my chair: That’s 117 days, 14 Apollo 11 missions, and enough time, according to Google Maps, to get from my London apartment to one nice restaurant to run in singapore. With a few days to spare.


As I’ve lamented in the past, my most played game on Steam (much to my lingering, burning shame) is Shadow Of The Tomb Raider at 130 hours. However, at least 100 hours of those hours have been spent pondering his benchmark, so I declare this an automatic disqualification (hey, I make the rules here) and leave mine indeed most played game as Death Stranding, appears at 99 hours. I’ve never really had a live service game running to spend the hours with and the 100 hour mark is usually the time I type on most open world single player games these days. I also stopped playing Assassin’s Creed Odyssey at 99 a.m. on Ubisoft Connect, although Valhalla is definitely taking the crown 112 hours.


When asked about the most played game in my Steam library, I thought for a moment, “Ah, this must be Factorio, the king of automation games!” Unfortunately, there are still a few hundred hours left. It turned out that I had underestimated how much time I had invested in the Rocket League in those first glorious years. Within about 700 hours I reached the title of Grand Champion, the highest rank in the game, and after that I played a good 400 hours before the advent of the Battle Royale era swept me away and the total number rose 1,121 hours. It’s very gratifying to know that the game I put the most hours into is also the game I did my best compared to the rest of the player base. I can imagine that won’t be the case often, considering how many hours my friends are immersed in Dota 2 and CS: GO. The best part, though, is that every time I return to the Rocket League (and I go back occasionally) it only takes a match or two for all of those skills and muscle memory to come back. In other games, when I come back after a month of no play, I feel completely left behind by the player base. Rocket League is like driving a car.

A screenshot of Max Gentlemen Sexy Business!  in which a blond man in a green suit


At number 1 in my Steam library * is Max Gentlemen Sexy Business! at the 63 hours and still counting. MGSB! was released in late February 2020, perfect at the right time to become my obsession during the UK’s first lockdown. It’s an addicting mix of dating sim, business sim and surreal comedy that often found me in pajamas at 1 p.m. on a dreary day at the beginning of the pandemic, wondering where my morning had gone, but at least one otherwise gloomy time had a lot of fun. I finally stopped after the original plot fizzled out around the 48 hour mark, but a chunky 2.0 update last October (with loads of new stories, mini-games, and unlockable elements, plus a real ending) pulled me back on with additional content means I expect to easily crack 100 hours before I’m really done.

* However, for a proper comparison, it’s worth noting that I did well over 700 hours at The Sims 4 via Origin.

But, dear reader, have you ever spent more than 500 hours playing a video game?

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