Achievements/trophies guiding game play

If you have an xbox 360 or a ps3 then you will be familiar with the system of achievements/trophies. For those of you who don’t know these are like little rewards that you get for completing specific missions or challenges within the game. For example; I’m currently playing Fallout New Vegas and one of the achievements in the game is to inflict 10,000 points of dmg with melee weapons. Upon completing this challenge a little pop-up at the bottom of my screen will appear saying that I have completed the achievement and tell me how many achievement points I have earned in association with completing the challenge. These points/accomplishments can be seen by players from all around the world and it is a little way of showing off some of the hard things that you have done. An example of a more difficult achievement would be beating Fallout New Vegas on hardcore mode. This achievemnt is worth a good ton of points and rightfully so because this is a rather hard achievement to get.

This new achievement/trophy system is new and has only appeared in this current generation of systems. The problem with this is that the achievements seem to be guiding the way in how games should be played. For instance, you start a quest and find out that this quest will not lead you to getting an achievement, many will not do the quest at all! Good games, however, will have achievements that encompass all aspects of the game but at the same time this will deter “achievement hunters”. These achievement hunters are the people who just try to maximize the number of achievements that they have so they go for the games/quests/challenges that are worth the most points and take the least amount of time to complete. I have one such friend with over 70,0000+ gamer points. To give you an idea I have about 25,0000 and a play video games quite a bit. It is my opinion that with the rise of the achievement/trophy system some people have turned to going for the goals set by the game and not enjoying the game itself. It should be the case that people should just play the game to enjoy playing and not be stressed out about going for the goals set by the game. I feel that the achievement idea is a nice way of rewarding players for the accomplishments but at the same time is detracts from some people actually playing the game.

Another side note about achievements is that they seem to be getting easier. It used to be that games had a set amount of achievements that could only be gotten by skill or in some instances pure luck. A couple of examples of this would be from Halo 3; get 4 kills within 4 seconds of each other   in a free for all match or get 10 kills without dying in a free for all match. For those of you who don’t play Halo, those are really hard to do! especially since you are matched with people at or very close to your skill level, it takes a lot of practice and skill to be able to pull that off. Newer games, even newer versions of Halo have removed these difficult challenges and replaced them with easier but more grueling tasks such as find all the easter eggs in the game or reach level 20, where level 20 can be reached irregardless of skill. I miss the old achievements that took real skill to get because those are the achievements worth bragging about. Just my humble opinion

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. makarli
    Mar 10, 2011 @ 10:22:40

    The achievements are nice and do add a bit of a different dynamic to games. I happen to know an achievement-hunter, although not as extreme as others. I, for one, don’t really care at all for achievements! And it is irritating for me to play with an extreme hunter. For example, while playing Lego Batman with my boyfriend, the achievement hunter, I somehow managed to get Robin to dp backflips. Of course, I was second player, and of course, to get Robin to do forty backflips in a row was an achievement. So we had to stop whatever mission we were on, exit the game so my boyfriend could be Robin, and he tried for about ten minutes to get Robin to do backflips and couldn’t do it. Then he got frustrated because he couldn’t do it. I had no idea how I did it, I was just pressing buttons! So that put more frustration into it. Then of course I got mad because I just wanted to run around and beat people up.

    What I’m trying to show here is that some achievements are sort of unnecessary, although fun. For a little bit at least. But I think that achievements should stay focused on all possibilities on a game, and not just choosing your gameplay.


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