How to make a game longer without boring the pants off everyone

Add an arcade side-game like... Resident Evil 4

Resi 4 is one of the best games ever made. It doesn't need anything to make it longer because the impact it makes and impression it leaves will never fade. But let's say, for argument's sake, you only have the money for one game a year. Would you get enough enjoyment from simply replaying the story over and over? Perhaps not. Perhaps it would lose its appeal. Just a little.

Enter Mercenaries mode. Like Bayonetta, it adds a ranking system to your play, but unlike that game, it takes the action of the frantic combat and turns it into an arcade-like action fest. And with some of the most punishing score targets of any game of its ilk.

Above: That grimace on Leon's face is more about the dropped score multiplier

Instead of%26hellip; Assassin's Creed

Which lets you go back into the game to finish collecting feathers and artifacts. Woo, and indeed, hoo.

Above: How much do you really care about feathers?


There are so many ways you can play Pokemon games after completing the standard quest, but let's pick one that offers the most reward. Breeding.

There's simply no other game that's as deep as Pokemon with the same mass appeal and it's all because of things like this. Noobs will find it cute when a Pokemon hatches from an egg. A master will choose the right parents, teach the offspring the right moves and even make sure it only fights certain types of enemy, all raising invisible stats and boosting key areas as much as possible with each new level.

Some will even create whole family trees until their Pokemon are champion thoroughbreds. That's just awesome. You can even keep hatching Pokemon in search of shinies. But, like I said, it's still cute when they hatch.

Above: Did you read ourTop 7 births in video games? Then you'll know why I made this many Piplups

Instead of%26hellip; Animal Crossing

Animal Crossing, which forces you to come back every day, to pay off your mortgage before giving you an even bigger room… so you can pay the mortgage off that. Oh, or there's turnip growing. Do you like turnip growing? There's a lot of that to do, complete with selling them for profit... which you can give to Tom Nook. Sigh.

Release amazing DLC like... Red Dead Redemption

Cool stuff, post-launch is going to keep people playing. Fact. Zombies seem to be the 'in' thing to put in, even into seemingly straight-laced games like Call of Duty: World at War and even Rockstar's cowboy epic, Red Dead Redemption.

Above: Hmm... those rainclouds won't let the sun through. More sunflowers! Oh wait, wrong game...

So why not go with it and add zombies to every game, new or old? Let's just go back to Animal Crossing for a sec -that game's drip-feed of new content virtually dries up completely as you get further into the routine. Something drastically different is needed to make the game longer. I stopped caring - my town is now overgrown with weeds (I knowhow long it takes to clear those)andI really can't be bothered to clean them all up when I know the 3DS version is on the horizon. But you know what would get me back into it? Zombies. Imagine zombie Tom Nook. Or zombie Celeste. Or zombie Brewster... OK, that last one's not so hard.

Above: "Brains..." "BRAINS!" "Brains" "Braaaaiiins" "BRAINS" "Brains" "Coffee?""BRAINS!"

But zombies aren't the only amazing feature you can release via DLC to add many new hours of fun to an old game. It can even be as simple as adding a celebrity, like Pain did with its David Hasselhoff DLC. Put it this way - would the following video be quite as funny if it was anyone else but The Hoff in it?

Instead of... Fallout 3

Fallout 3 is a great game and brilliantly entertaining for countless hours on its own. But something went wrong when it came to making DLC for it. Some of it was dull. Some of it was broken. None of it was as good as Oblivion's DLC before it (Horse Armour excepted, of course). Worse still, there was a lot of it. Operation Anchorage was awful, The Pitt was way too restricted and short-lived, Broken Steelrefused to installon PCs... andas for Mothership Zeta, I think our review header says it all:

Case closed.

04 Jan, 2011