Why Achievements Are Awesome!
Mummy Will Be So Proud!
Aaah… Achievements. Something my good friend and fellow blogger OwningXylophone knows a lot about, as he recently got more of them than anyone else in a competition he was taking part in, and ended up winning an assload of stuff. Achievements can be good because they can win you prizes, you see.
But they have the Xbox 360 community divided. Some are classed as “achievement whores”, social outcasts who spend every waking moment grinding away on the most ridiculous of tasks, only to be rewarded with an achievement and a slight gamerscore increase for their trouble. Others shun this way of life, playing as many games as possible from beginning to end while their “completion percentage” whittles away to nothing.
I’m firmly in the middle, although I have to admit that just lately I’ve been swaying more towards the “whore” way of life. Here’s why.
You see, all modern games have a story of some sort. You progress through it, passing various milestones along the way, until you reach the end. It is at this point when, on other systems without the achievement scheme, you put the box back on the shelf and move on to the next game. But not on the 360, oh no. Not if you’re a big dirty whore.
There are so many “ancilliary” things to do in modern games that the vast majority of people miss out on all the fun that could be had because they’re too busy concentrating on the story. Whether it be driving at 88mph in a thunderstorm in a DeLorean (PGR4), completing a level in a stupidly short amount of time (Sonic The Hedgehog, Zuma), or even launching a garden gnome into space (The Orange Box), game developers are now using achievements to encourage gamers to notice all the silly little things that kept them sane throughtout their game’s development cycle.
So, why did I bother completing Half-Life 2: Episode 2 with garden gnome in hand? Why am I taking part in some of the more ridiculously long rallies in DiRT even though I finished the career long ago? And why, oh why did I set up a race with my aforementioned fellow blogger in PGR4 just to do synchronised endos on motorbikes? Because the people who made the games thought that these things would be fun for me to do. And if they want me to keep playing my games long after I traditionally would have given up, squeezing every last drop value out of them, then I’ll keep on achievement whoring until I can whore no more!
Hello Kotaku readers!