Tuesday, 9 February 2010

What Makes A Good Achievement?

I just finished reading x360a's Achievement Awards of 2009 (as I always do every year) and I must say I did enjoy reading it. The problem however is that I seem to disagree a lot with the views of Dan Webb and potentially many more gamers.

To me an achievement needs to be what's in the name, an actual achievement. There are of course lots of different types of achievements that have variety but ultimately I believe that the gamer needs to be achieving a feat that they are proud of when they hear their achievement pop. With this in mind I can pick out various points throughout the article that I have a problem with, mainly the choice of Fable 2 as best DLC achievements. So apparently you need to shoot some gamers in the groin, yay? Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't see a challenge there and instead an achievement that is easy to do and anyone can get. I got the original 1000 in Fable 2 and I remember that the getting villagers drunk achievement was not fun. It just didn't work and I found myself getting frustrating, asking myself "why am I actually doing this as there is pretty much no skill involved, just luck".

I also think the article is too critical on generic based achievements. I personally don't see the problem in Terminator Salvation giving you the full 1000 for just completing the game. I won't compliment the developers for the list as I do believe a few more types of achievements could have been added such as completing a mission without dying or only using one weapon throughout, this however doesn't mean the game needs to be ridiculed on. I haven't played the game yet but when I do I'm sure I'll enjoy earning the achievements by using my skill of FPS's to complete the game on Hard, much more of a worthy achievement in my books than punching a horse in the face which requires no skill but nets you 100G, get what I'm saying?

Ultimately I think people are getting too wound up in the easy gamerscore world, wanting all games to be nice and easy so that they can net their 1000 points and move on. A great example of this is in the Guitar Hero and Rock Band games. I personally love the Expert achievements as I am aware that people which can play the instrument on that difficulty will unlock the achievement whilst others don't, the people that did make the achievement pop will now get recognition they deserve instead of those that 1000 Guitar Hero 5 or Band Hero. There's a reason why I played Guitar Hero 2 and 3 the most on my 360, it's because their achievement lists pushed me the most to go and 5 star every song on every difficulty, a feat I one day dream of being able to do.

Don't get me wrong I'm not completely against having a few various random achievements, I just think they should be skill based and not based on awe factor all the time (that must be the reason why people enjoyed punching a horse in Darkest of Days, right?).

Let me know what you think by posting a comment. I hope I haven't sounded critical on Dan from x360a, he's just a good example for me to use right now in order to vent my feelings on this subject.


  1. Its not always possible to incorporate achievement that require a ton of skill into a game like Guitar Hero games do. Sometimes just beating a game on the hardest difficult is the toughest achievement a developer can include in their game. I'm pretty sure everyone that is an achievement whore understands that having a high gamerscore or even completion percentage is not indicative of how skilled they are at games.

  2. I agree with you, my point is why do people moan at these hard achievements and constantly compliment these apparently "imaginative" achievements.

  3. I kind of agree with you in some points and disagree with you on others. For instance alot of the skill based achievements were in the 'Hardest' section of the awards. Things like GH:Metallica, L4D2, and that achievement in Black College Football are all extremely skill based. I think the best list L4D2 has a great share of all different types and offers quite a challenge also.

    I agree with you that Fable 2 shouldn't have got the best DlC, i thought that should go to one of the Fallout expansions.

    Webb loves achievements that make you think outside the box and do things you normally wouldn't in a game. I think he has a far point, I mean I know I enjoyed every second of dressing up as a chicken to kick more chickens! :)

    Oh and you will hate yourself for every second you play Terminator......uggghhh, that was me cringing at the thought of it. Let me punch a horse anyday :P.

  4. Haha well thank you for your response, I respect you're opinions. Seems like I am slightly different from the crowd. :P