Achievements: What do you look for?

Achievements: some people love them… and nobody hates them.

But for all the love that people have for achievements, sometimes I find them so… boring. Finish the levels for 10 points each. Finish the levels on a higher difficulty for another 10 points per level. Repeat on insane difficulty. Yawn.  And, yes, while sometimes I find them boring, sometimes they really add flavour to the game, and I love them all over again.

Good achievements should cover some practical considerations. I don’t mind achievements per level. They help me gauge which friends are ahead or behind me in the game. That lets me know who I can go to for help, or whom I should watch my conversation around, lest I spoil an ending. So these are useful… but don’t make ALL the achieves about the levels. The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion was guilty of this. Considering how big the world is, I would have thought there could have been a few more “off the beaten path” achievements. Something to add more flavour. An achievement for picking flowers would have been a welcome change over all of the steps up the guild ladder achievements we got.

After the level achievements, I like off the beaten path achievements.  These could be for various things, excellence in aspects of gameplay (getting great combos for instance) or for exploration. I view these as signposts. If I get all of these achievements, I will have developed my skill at the game, and I will have experienced everything that the developers wanted me to experience during the course of an (above) average game. These could be romance quests, side quests, alternate endings. Things like that.

Now get me the funny stuff, or the stuff that adds flavour. The Easter Eggs. Something where I am surprised to get them. Call of Duty franchise does an excellent job with this, you may have to save a fellow soldier, get around some dogs undetected or whatever,  but all of the sudden: PING! “Oh, I wasn’t expecting that!”  Viral achievements “caught” during on-line play are a new way of adding to the flavour of the game. Fable II did a good job of it with the doll trading mini game: it emphasized an aspect of the game that was clearly important to the developers, i.e. on-line trading and gifting of goods.

Finally there should be a few points allocated for the stupidly hard achievement. And don’t make it a “100% completion” achievement. That’s dull. Make it worth bragging about.  Make it so that people are proud to have that achievements, there is a buzz about it.

What are your favourite achievements? I am woeful at achievements, I get maybe 40% of the achievements  in any game. Sometimes I get more. But so far, I have never got 100% on any game (XBLA included!) What games do you have at 100%?

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  • TANK  On July 7, 2010 at 12:47 am

    I’m beginning to hate a lot of different achievements. Ones that require hours and hours or boring ass grinding like reaching a max level (red dead redemption) or mindlessly collecting a stupid amount of shit like Orbs in crackdown, seriously 500 orbs for an achievement, this is what devs think is fun? I also hate ones that require you to replay the game over and over like mass effect 1 needed 4 playthru’s.

    • yellingatpixels  On July 7, 2010 at 7:34 am

      Exactly, Tank. I think that they should be fun, and be signposts from the debs. Get most of the achieves and you have enjoyed most of what the game has to offer. Thanks for commenting.

  • Jedi_Kez  On July 7, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    I like games that have variety to their Achievement Points (APs). So far I think Crackdown 2’s are pretty good. There are some for game progression, some for collection quests, and a bunch of random fun ones. Like, jumping from the top of the Agency building into a smokestack, or pinning 5 enemies to the same vehicle with the harpoon gun.

    I hate when games have 80% or so of the APs revolve around complete chapter X on easy/normal/hard.

    I also hate when games put too many APs on the competitive multiplayer side. It just leads to way too many people griefing or boosting to get those, and normally interfering with the intended way to play. Yes I do try to boost, and game some APs, but I don’t do that when there are other people in the game who are not.

    Ideally, I like APs that force me to play the game in unique ways, not just harder ways, and to make me try things I never would have. Some multiplayer APs are fine, but not too many, as I generally hate playing against the random “Timmies” out there.

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