Sunday, March 27, 2011

Achievement Locked

I don’t think I care about achievements anymore. Many games feature some form of accolade for the completion of arbitrary tasks.  Xbox 360 has achievements; PlayStation 3 has trophies; even some PC games have achievements, like World of Warcraft. The Wii doesn’t have achievements—I’ve always been annoyed by that. Not anymore.

I’m not sure why. It may be from the lack of need; in that I don’t have many friends that have high gamerscores, so the “competition” factor isn’t there. Could be I don’t play that many games, or that I tend to choose games that have hard achievements to obtain.

I think I may have a simple answer; the more you enjoy a game the more likely you are to want to keep playing it, and complete every task that is offered. Mass Effect 1 and 2 come to mind. I have every achievement for both games, mainly because I just enjoy them so much. I wanted to complete everything and that included getting every achievement.

I think as this console generation has moved forward people care less about arbitrary score systems’ implemented into games. I’ve never bought a game for gamerscore, and I never will. But there is something satisfying about the little “blip” sound achievements make once they’ve been unlocked.

I don’t think I’m the minority. Many of my friends seem to have given up achievement/trophy hunting. Achievements are really just an extension of the game, and they’re made to add to the longevity of a playthrough. But if the game isn’t very enjoyable in the first place, then why try and get any achievements? It is just a meaningless number anyways.

Sure I will try to get all the achievements in Mass Effect 3 when the time comes. Yet that’s because I know I’m going to play the pants off that game regardless, so I think, “Might as well get all the achievements while I pour 100+ hours into this game.”

So the question may not be are achievements more meaningless now they they’ve been in the past, because that answer is probably, yes. What is really evident is that people, like myself, will lean towards getting achievements only in the games that they know they will spend an excessive amount of hours playing otherwise. 

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