We find achievements and trophies in virtually every game released today. Is there, however, any sound reason to waste time unlocking them?
There were times when we’ve been playing video games without pursuing achievements and trophies. It was Microsoft that in 2007 threw a snowball that later would turn into an avalanche. Games for Windows Live featured achievements, while Halo 2 was the first game that allowed players to unlock them. Nowadays, almost every video gaming platform supports some kind of achievement or trophy system. And thousands of players love to pursue them.
An extra layer of fun
Unlocking achievements and trophies usually adds a solid few hours to the time spent with a game. Therefore, it grants players an extra layer of fun. It can be precious, especially when we’ve finished the main quest and all the side missions, but we want to spend more time in the virtual universe we like. Trophy hunting gives us a reason to do there much more than just roaming around admiring the graphics.
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No valuable reward
On the flip side, there’s no other reward for unlocking every single achievement than our satisfaction. Although trophies are supported by most modern releases, they’re not an integral part of games. Consequently, there are no in-game rewards for unlocking even the near-impossible and time-consuming achievements.
Nonetheless, achievements can show you some new ways of playing or encourage you to try new tactics. For instance, Pillar of Eternity features a trophy that requires completing the game with a limited number of creatures and NPCs killed. Trying to achieve it may need to use a different character build and a more peaceful approach.
As you can see, achievements can be an essential factor motivating players to finish games more than once. Of course, you can see alternate endings and consequences of all possible choices on YouTube, but this way, you won’t unlock the precious trophy.
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Boredom and repetitiveness
On the other hand, achievements usually aren’t creative and require endlessly repeating the same action. For instance, you have to eliminate 100 enemies with a headshot, pick 500 flowers or walk 10000 miles backward. The last one is made-up, yet developers can be merciless. For example, the infamous My Kung Fu is Stronger Mortal Kombat achievement needs, among other things, playing for 24 hours with each of nearly 30 characters.
Moreover, achievements are not on the top of the developer’s to-do list. As a result, this is one of the most frequently bugged features at launch. This could be a significant problem since some trophies can be collected only at a particular point. If you get past it before the bug is fixed, you’ll have to start your journey from the beginning to unlock the achievement.