Tag: Xbox 360
The achievement system is an interesting, and successful idea. I believe it helped the Xbox 360 get an early edge on the PS3 as it offered a then unique feature. But what do they mean for the experience? Achievements are simple rewards that are given for doing something, or a series of somethings, in-game. They are usually not related to a game’s story, but are rewards for doing things that are often difficult, time-consuming or both.
For Xbox Live, the rewards for these achievements are nothing more than a sense of completion and satisfaction. Microsoft never made efforts to regulate the system well enough to exploit the achievement system for competitions and real world rewards. As it is, the gamer score is just an arbitrary number, that gives people a rough sign of how serious you are at games, and how many games you’ve played.
Criticisms aside, the achievement system pushed many a gamer to greater heights, simply by acknowledging their efforts. I braved Dead Space THREE TIMES to secure the full collection of achievements. Far from making me sick of the game, I appreciated it even more and noticed something new every time I played.
Prior to achievements, I would often set my own special goals in games that I played, often because I am a hopelessly sentimental and can’t bear the idea of leaving anyone behind, or any stone unturned. One game that I remember this dedication to was Medal of Honor: Allied Assault.
One of the premier shooters of its day, Allied Assault combined realistic World War 2 weapons, with the fast pace of Quake and other older shooters. Several missions give you a few AI controlled soldiers who would work with you. The game made sharp distinctions between allies who were meant to survive and those who weren’t. Two airborne soldiers join you and your Captain in a mission behind enemy lines. These two ‘extras’ can only take a few hits (rather realistic) and there is no revival system to bring them back.
Not being able to bear one of these boys dying, I spent a tiring few afternoons making sure they got through to the next mission. It was very time-consuming and frustrating, but eventually I got my two airborne boys through the forest of Flak 88s, MG42 emplacements and many grenades.
I don’t think there was much fanfare for getting them through the mission, maybe one of them saying ‘We made it!’. In modern times, this would have been rewarded with a middle to high value achievement. Back in 2000 though, I just had my sense of self satisfaction. I still have it.
I was invited by a few esteemed colleagues to play Left 4 Dead system link on 360, I thought I’d give it a bash. I have played this game before on PC and was surprised and appalled at how difficult it was on the 360!
Rob, Ash and myself were attempting to finish the first campaign (No Mercy) on the hardest difficulty. But this was not to be.
Already it was a less than idea night, with Grant being unable to come (last time I was the one who couldn’t come), so there were only three of us. After about three hours of some of the cruelest twists of fate, we gave up much to Ash’s disappointment. Rob and I were convinced we’d not be getting anywhere soon… sadly.
It’s a rough game on any system, but it didn’t seem to pull any punches given that it was a console version. Controllers are not as precise as a mouse and keyboard set up. Expert difficulty it a huge leap from ‘Advanced’ and relies on player luck almost as much as skill. We were very unlucky but I’m confident that we can overcome this terrifying game!
“Expert mode is the toughest difficulty of the four. It is not at all recommended for the inexperienced or impatient, as it may take many tries for the player to complete a single chapter. In this mode, never fear death, and always be on the move. Standing still is an almost guaranteed way to be killed here. But then even moving has its downsides. The player must be ready for anything, anticipate everything. However, they must remember that in the end, it is very likely that they will die.”