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Achievements: One Guys Opinion

Achievements have been around for a while now, starting with the Xbox 360, the PS3 then followed suit, but in the form of Trophies. Some people love them, some people hate them, most people are pretty indifferent, but whichever camp you fall into, they don't seem to be going away, but what are they really worth?

There was a time when I really cared about my gamerscore; I'd try to fully complete every game I owned back when I didn't have such a huge catalogue to get through. This was also before a lot of games had ridiculously difficult achievements, tiresome rank based achievements for multiplayer that I was never interested in, or the endless DLC that would keep adding more points to a game I no longer played.

The first game I 1000 pointed was Burnout Paradise, still one of my favourite racing games to this day. Criterion really knocked it out of the park with this and I'm still upset that EA have them churning out endless and unimaginative Need for Speed games rather than give Paradise the sequel it deserves. Anyways, cut forward a few months and my perfect score was taken away from me when some DLC for a new local multiplayer mode came out. It added a couple of achievements to play with 8 people in the same room via passing the controller between players and I didn't want to pay for those extra modes as I mainly played online and none of my friends would want to play against me because I would always thrash them. I know that sounds like a petty thing to be bothered about, but at the time I was a little annoyed (I'm over it now).

Paradise is a floating car
The way I see things, achievements are just another optional collectable for you to gather as you progress through a game, you don't have to get them, but they're there if you want to put the time in and I'm the type of person who likes to collect a lot of things, I mean just look at my pile of Amiibo, I've got about 20 of those plastic figurines now, and don't even get me started on my box full of Skylanders!

It's not all bad though, I do sometimes feel like I've actually achieved something when I see that little icon pop up on the screen, it's like the game saying well done! Your skills are being recognised, even if it is a super easy achievement like 'Press the start button' or 'beat the tutorial'. My favourite types of achievements are those that don't really fit within the standard gameplay, 'Kuwabara, Kuwabara' from Peace Walker on the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection is one example I can think of off the top of my head. This achievement has you listen to your radio while standing near a ghost...yeah you read that right, it’s weird seeing as how the game is mainly about sneaking around in a cardboard box.

Whooooo! I'm a ghost!

The Xbox One has a couple of cool new features with achievements, every game now has its base score set at 1000g rather than what the 360 did with its differing totals depending on if it was a digital game or a disc based game. As well as that, every achievement now comes with some fancy screen filling, high def artwork rather than the dinky icon from the last gen. Most games seem to make the most of this by using different screen shots of the game you're playing, others just go for a generic picture, Guacamelee actually added in some concept artwork for the game in a special challenge which I thought was a great way of rewarding players who go that extra bit.

Speaking of challenges; these are timed achievements with no gamerscore attached to them. Most of them are pretty pointless, but some games have added benefits to them. Dead Rising 3's challenges were all set around calendar dates, one was set for Christmas, upon completing the challenge, you'd win a reindeer mask to wear in the game, if memory serves correctly I think there was a horse head you could unlock if you played the game on launch day. Killer Instinct also throws out new challenges all the time which rewards you with bonus points that you can spend in game to unlock more stuff.


Hang on a second, I've not even told you my gamerscore! It's currently sitting at 133,611G. It's not the most impressive of gamerscore seeing as how some dude broke 1 million gamerscore last year while playing Titanfall, but I like to think it's better than what your average Xbox player probably has. Turns out it is, Trueachievements.com recently announced that there's over 100,000 actual achievements that you can earn now. I won't repost all their well gathered stats here, you should head over to their site to see all the pretty graphics and absorb all those glorious details, just hit the jump here.

It was only really when I hit the hundred thousand mark that I stopped bothering with keeping an eye on the numbers, I guess when I'm coming up to another landmark point I might start going for it again. I still mean to go back and fill in some gaps, I've got around 6 or 7 games with only 1 achievement missing to get that completed game icon, I just wish there was some way to show those off, but I guess that's where PlayStation hit it perfectly with its Platinum trophies.

Just one last thing, for all those naysayers who say achievements don't really mean anything, one time during a rather intense Halo 3 session on Xbox Live, I was chasing one of the zero point VidMaster achievements. I met a bunch of people I'd never met in real life and after spending an hour or so trying to beat the last mission on the hardest difficulty, and making incredibly slow progress along the way, we took the wrong route and suffice to say, we failed the mission. I made some awesome friends that day, and we eventually went back and got the achievement, even went on to other co-op games like Borderlands, Gears of War and Far Cry 3 to name a few. I also met my girlfriend on Xbox live, so it's not all a terrible wasteland of trash mouthed 12 years olds and grown adults who behave like trash mouthed 12 year olds.

We got the achievement eventually!

So what's your gamerscore/trophy count at? Do you even both with collecting them? I'm on Twitter @chaosriotzero or you can follow me on the Xbox, my gamertag is Chaos Riot Zero.

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