Cam977 (User)

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Are trophies/achievements ruining game experiences?

Cam977 | 1004d ago
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After entering the world of gaming during the PS1's reign, I was blown away by titles such as: Tomb Raider, Metal Gear Solid and Driver (being particular highlights). Why? They required imagination to play and let the player do whatever they want; whether it be the way in which they decide to execute a mission, their play-style or how they decided to explore an open-world - it all required imagination. This for me was gaming's golden age - a time of progression (the dawn of 3D gaming) in terms of content and how games are actually played.

At the start of this gaming's generation, I decided to go with Playstation - why? I knew what they had to offer from past experiences and in hindsight, I can say I do not regret that decision. This is where trophies and achievements began. What rose on Microsoft's XBOX 360, achievements eventually made the transition over to the PS3 however; they were given a different name and value; this is what we now know as trophies.

Now, with trophies/achievements in mind, how about we take look back at the progression of gaming from the generation I began in? Released in 1994, the PS1 introduced the world to Playstation, a brand created by Japanese company Sony of which was formed after the collapse of Japan during the second world war. Upon the PS1's arrival, people experienced franchises that had never been seen before with a particular highlight being the Metal Gear Solid series. In addition, the PS1 gave people the opportunity to play 3D games in the comfort of their own home - this eliminated the need for arcades.

Following the PS1 came the PS2, the PS1's successor (I don't say..). This beast boasted spruced-up graphics and an easier amount of play-ability for beginners. The PS2 gave birth to some of the best titles known to gaming; classic games such as GTA3 and Ico were children of the PS2.

Succeeding the PS2 came the PS3 (2006) and the generation we now find ourselves in. Upon the PS3's (late) arrival, the newest console from Sony has a better graphics chip to it's predecessor, more RAM, a Blu-ray drive and trophies. Yes, trophies. Rewarding gamers for tricky, silly or unique challenges, trophies were designed to add additional value to games which helps keep the gamer play the game a little bit longer thus; allowing them to get more value for money out of their game.

6 years later, trophies and achievements seem to be bigger than ever as gamers set themselves on personal-quests to either 'platinum' a game or get 1000 'gamer-score' from a game. This is where the issue comes in; do trophies/achievements detract from the game's experience? Rather than using their imagination to prolong a game's playtime, some have now resorted to keeping a game alive by collecting all of the trophies/achievements for a game and when they have them all, the game sometimes becomes worthless. This is where my issue comes in: by keeping gamers playing their games with the sound of success that accompanies a trophy's pop-up, have Sony/Microsoft gone too far this time?

This may be a larger problem than we initially expected. If someone has become motivated by trophies and begins collecting them to the point where their experience is focused on collecting trophies, what happens when trophies "just don't cut it anymore?" Could we see a depopulation in gaming when achievement/trophy collecting simply becomes worthless? Let me elaborate; in general, a midcore (I say midcore, but what I mean is someone who follows gaming by upgrading when the newest console comes out) gamer may upgrade their console to keep up with the latest games; if they've been gaming for a few years since the PS3 days (and the time I'm speaking of is in the PS5 days as an example) then their trophy level will be so high that they may have lost any motivation to collect any more. Add to this their ruined gaming experience by being so motivated on collecting trophies and we have ourselves a problem! What will they do? Simply stop gaming due to being bored by it?

Although trophies/achievements seem a good idea now (as they prolong a game's lifetime), in a few years time they may come back to kick Sony and Microsoft in the groin when gamers are no longer bothered about collecting the worthless prizes. Also, due to mindlessly gaming for no reason apart from trophies, their experience will be severely ruined which could detract from future games (they may begin to see gaming as nothing mroe than a trophy-hunt.

Linking this back to the starting-paragraph, it becomes evident that trophies take away what I liked so much about gaming in the first place; they take away the imagination required by the gamer and give them a list of tasks to fulfill before the game becomes completed. Do you see my point now?

In conclusion, if you're a trophy/achievement hunter - see this as a warning, don't focus your gaming on collecting trophies/achievements and focus it on enjoying games for what they are. By doing so, you will sustain your interest in gaming rather than have it butchered by the promise of a virtual-trophy which has no value whatsoever. Oh, by no means am I shunning trophy/achievement collecting (for I enjoy collecting them every now and then) but I really see a problem developing here.

Thankyou for reading, and please leave a comment on your feelings/thoughts. Do you support my idea?

Sephris  +   1004d ago
This is one wonderfully written blog! And I totally agree, some people take achievements way too far and lose the real value of the game. And in many cases, the achievements they get aren't for doing anything spectacular. And Xbox is the worst of them for it. They have a new site that gives you achievements for the total number of game achievements you have racked up. It would be like a teacher giving you a smiley face sticker for being able to sit in your chair.
This was a fun read. Thanks!
Cam977  +   1004d ago
Really? Thankyou for your kind feedback and you're welcome.
Sephris  +   1004d ago
Keep up the good work, Cam. I eagerly look forward to your next blog. :)
Cam977  +   1004d ago
Thankyou, I appreciate your feedback.
pixelsword  +   1004d ago
Nice read. :)

It only ruins the game experience if it's difficult to achieve. If the game is weak or then some ding while you play ain't gonna save it at all.

There are ways around the problems you're talking about as well, I have several solutions myself; but in the end the gameplay is king, with or without achievements.

Hey, maybe I'll write them in a blog and you can tell me how good (or bad) they are. :D
banjadude  +   1004d ago
As a perfectionist, trophies (and Steam achievements) have ruined some of my experiences. I try my best not to care (at least concerning the FIRST run through of a game), but it's just so difficult to ignore them.
Captain Tuttle  +   1003d ago
I disagree with your basic premise. I think that the people who play games for only the Achievements/Trophies are in the minority; to most people I think they are just a nice bonus or incentive. I certainly don't think they're "ruining gaming experiences", at least for the VAST majority of players.

Nice blog though, I enjoyed reading it.
Garysgamerpodcast  +   1003d ago
I agree with you in some aspects but I think that trophies and achievements are what make some games fun and sometimes sellable! some of the games I have bought over the year have been purely because of the easy trophies that I can get out of it.
Alos88  +   1003d ago
I'm something of a completionist, so I love collecting trophies. In my opinion they will only ruin your gaming experience if you let them, and ultimately are worth only as much as you think they are.
darkpower  +   1003d ago
I'd answer it this way: would you try that hardest mode of a particular game if there wasn't a way to brag to people that you actually completed the balls to the wall difficulty? Would you try a no-whatever playthrough if there wasn't an added incentive to show people that you survived everything?

Thing is, I think the additions actually ADD to the experience because it intices you to try different things in the games you enjoy, and you get rewarded for doing so, and no one can take that accomplishment away from you. Thing is, you still have to do the work to get the shiny, so it's not like you're getting something for doing nothing.

Of course, if you were going to try those modes and different situations anyway, then you wouldn't need that incentive, but for those that wouldn't if it didn't have some shiny reward at the end of the rainbow, then the added physical reward is right there daring you to try to obtain it.

And in the beginning when Sony didn't make the trophies mandatory to add, it made us discover some games that we would've otherwise overlooked. I know I wouldn't have discovered Uncharted, Burnout Paradise, or Dead Space in the beginning if they didn't include trophies.
admiralvic  +   1003d ago
Such an awful article. While I do agree with your point, you miss the point of trophies / achievements by a wide margin.

The point of trophies isn't to have the pokemon dynamic of "gotta catch them all", then quit, but to have proof you did such a task. Plenty of games no matter the age are filled with losers claiming to do this and that. You can't tell me you haven't met a gamer that claimed the ending of ____ sucked, such and such was "too easy" or seemed to have no shaqing clue what the game was about, though they thought it was amazing. Now that we have proof in the form of trophies / achievements, I can freely call out ANYONE who is making a bold statement by looking at their record. This is what makes the system great and the logic behind it.

Furthermore, your main point is a bit off. Plenty of games have simple trophies, but allow you the chance to explore them. Borderlands 2 had plenty of cool stuff independent of trophies. These include the minecraft room, legendary weapons and plenty more things. Sure some games give you a checklist, but thats not always a bad thing. I wouldn't have unlocked the challenge stages in Catherine without trophies, nor would I have gotten the secret ending without them either. In the end, this is more of a personal problem, than a problem with trophies. Some people will see them as pointless, some people will see them as extremely important and others will feel it ruins the experience. Ultimately, if you make the choice to ignore them, than how can they cause you problems?
mushroomwig  +   1003d ago
Ctrl+F Steam, not a single mention, how come?
Treian  +   1002d ago
I ignore most achevs. They are pointless unless they give you cool rewards like WoW does.
-GametimeUK-  +   1002d ago
I disagree completely. Achievements / Trophies are optional. The only way trophies can become a problem is if they take away something from the experience. Right now as it stands they are optional and don't give too many benefits for completing. However, I see it becoming a problem if in the future if they decide to take the idea to the next level. You want to know an example? Check this...

Imagine if every game you bought was standard next generation... Imagine if you had to pay additional money for achievement / trophy DLC. So you can either buy and play your game and not unlock any trophies or buy your game AND the trophy DLC that will enable you to earn trophies. Worst thing about this idea is that I think if someone high up thinks about it then it could become a reality.
admiralvic  +   1001d ago
Won't happen. Companies gain too much by having trophies remain free.

We talk about the games more.
People play longer, so you see ____ person on that game longer.
It motivates people to play online / with others.
DLC has more "value", since some people gotta get 100%.

Wouldn't make sense for anyone to charge for it.
-GametimeUK-  +   1000d ago
They could charge for trophys on pre owned games. Heck, they do online passes so I don't see why they wouldn't do it for trophy support. I think you will be surprised what these companies will make you pay for. People pay to play games online via x-box live. Its like people enjoy being exploited.
thawind  +   1001d ago
It adds to the experience in my opinion.
ufo8mycat  +   1000d ago
Trophies/Achievements are optional. Don't like them, don't do them - Simple.

And they DO add replay value to the game.

I only do platinums/1000G if the game is awesome.

1st playthrough - Play the game how I want to and finish it
2nd/3rd playthrough - Obtain the trophies/achievements

So no they do not ruin gaming experience since they are optional. But they do add to it.
jzsefroly   1000d ago | Spam

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