Kenshi ended up being one hell of an interesting game to review. With the game clocking in hundreds upon hundreds of hours of gameplay at it’s most basic it was a tricky proposition to play the game long enough for a decent review.
It did however raise an interesting question. How much is too much when it comes to a games barrier to entry? In the case of Kenshi the game could really only have been better if it had manages to be even a tiny bit easier to get into.
How Much is Too Much?
There are many games out there that can give players 100s of hours of enjoyment. Games like Stardew Valley, Minecraft and Don’t Starve are easy to get into, but get so deep and involving that entire days can be lost in them.
Kenshi takes that level of gameplay to an extreme. 100’s of hours will only really scratch the surface of everything that the game has to offer. The main issue is that the game requires around 40 hours of minimum input before it really gives access to the good parts.
The worse part of this is the amount of outside research necessary to actually understand how things work. Endless tutorials, YouTube playlists and discussion threads. The amount of stuff you have to trudge through the learn the ropes in the game is ridiculous.
Does That Make it Bad?
The real question about Kenshi that this discussion raises is how this barrier to entry effects the enjoyment of the game. If you’re one of the many players who’ve already put a huge chunk of time into the game you’ll probably say that it doesn’t matter.
The people that haven’t yet managed to breach that impenetrable barrier might feel differently when considering taking the plunge. It’s one thing to have to sit through a dense tutorial, but the amount that the game leaves out when teaching the player makes the task even more daunting.
Of course that doesn’t mean that the game is bad. In fact Kenshi might actually be a great game. The issue is that being a great game doesn’t mean anything if the majority of people cannot enjoy it. Since Kenshi demands so much from its players, it would be much better for the game to meet the player half-way.
What’s the Point?
No matter how you feel about Kenshi as a game, it is difficult to ignore how much effort needs to go into getting the most out of the game. While it doesn’t necessarily make the content of the game any worse, the barrier to entry does worsen the overall experience.
As a whole Kensi is a stunning game which will give the right sort of person a huge amount of joy and entertainment. Despite all of its good points the game will not please the great majority of people who come across it. If you’re one of the few that can get along with the game then revel in it, because for everyone else it’s a very pretty time sink.