Editor’s note: Christopher experienced an epiphany about achievements: They’re not about bragging rights but adapting the way you play. I’ve never been a big fan of achievements, but Christopher’s realization has had an effect on me as well. How do you view achievements? -Jason
My mates and I were in the pub when the debate over which game would be the best to purchase early next year shifted to the value of trophies and achievements. My stance was that I always perceived this aspect of gaming as bragging rights. My friends begged to differ.
I’ve never been a true trophy/achievement hunter, and the first time I came across this concept, I really didn’t understand the appeal.
I do enjoy earning a trophy for achieving a stunt/special move/kill streak in a game, but I wouldn’t be hell-bent on acquiring all of a game’s achievements.
By the end of the night, I found myself agreeing to embark on a journey to gain my first Platinum Trophy as proof that trophies and achievements don’t represent any value at all to the gamer or the game.
As I opened the Trophy list on my system and actually spent time looking at what you needed to do to earn these achievements, I came to a dawning realization that I may have interpreted the trophy/achievement concept incorrectly.
I thought it was a feat that would be easily achieved — how hard could it be? Reach the goals and you get the trophy.
For some trophies it’s as simple as that. But for others, it’s about investing time to discover everything the game has to offer (Grand Theft Auto 4) or attempting to play the game with a different approach (Fallout 3).
I’m currently attempting to earn all of the trophies in Fallout 3.
I haven’t even finished Fallout 3. I felt, however, that there was enough scope to bring me back for more, to try things in differently. I was keen to try this in GTA4 as well, but the online trophies put me off.
Is anyone even playing GTA4 online anymore?
What I’ve discovered is that to earn all of the achievements, you need to invest a lot of time and keep your eye out for little details or opportunities.
I discovered that by attempting to gain all of the trophies, the process itself has given me a new perspective on the games I own.
It’s often enough for me to finish a game and move on — but to have an extra challenge (or “dare,” as some might choose to describe them) adds a level of challenge and replay value. It’s also bloody difficult to earn them all.
By looking into the purpose of achievements/trophies, I realized that it’s not about having the stamina to play the same game over and over until you’re awesome at it, but rather, it’s about adapting the way you would normally play. In some ways, achievements and trophies help the player try things they would not normally think of and therefore possibly taking their gaming experience to a different level.
So it seems that it isn’t about bragging rights alone — it’s about asking yourself how many ways can you skin a cat? And from what I’ve discovered, the answer is “loads of ways.”
To those who have achieved the “impossible” and explored all that a game has to offer, I salute you!