How Would You Like More Achievements?

By II The Beard II, 5 years ago
Achievement Unlocked: Blood on the Sand in Gears of War 2, 50G - finally! It was the second to last achievement I ever thought I'd get in Gears of War 2 (having already written off Veteran Gear and it's 6.8 million XP price tag), and the best part was - even after all the multiplayer miffing and map-juggling - I had actually enjoyed the journey! "Good job, nerd" said my brain, "Now lets see how many kills those 77 achievements have actually netted you towards the 100,000 needed for that "final" 50G in Seriously 2.0."

The answer: 15,000. The real kicker? That I subsequently thought, "Meh, that's not so bad - could be worse!" That's right, I had played the first Gears of War and experienced the pain and monotony that came with trying to unlock the first Seriously ... achievement. Grinding out 85,000 kills using the final chapter of the Gears 2 campaign was going to be a (gory) walk in the (testosterone-fuelled) park by comparison - it could be a lot worse.

So I had to stop and wonder last week, when the artist formerly known as Cliffy B went "on record" during an interview with Strategy Informer to say:

Microsoft only allows a maximum of roughly 50 achievements in 360 games. I will go on record to say that for a game, especially shooters where you're expected to put in hundreds of hours of gameplay, that is not enough short-terms goals for medium-to long term gameplay. You need more granularity than that, and that's why you're starting to see games offer ribbons and badges and XP bonuses with unlockable shoes and all that, and then occasionally you get an achievement, and then you go back into the grind of the meta-game, and you'll get another achievement, but it's too long a gap. Now the two can co-exist quite well, but gamers need deep, long games that have constant feedback and rewards.
Given the fact he's talking about franchises like Gears of War, Halo, and Call of Duty wherein gamers spend "hundreds of hours" with the multiplayer component, did Clifford Bleszinskington III just advocate more multiplayer achievements that would essentially externalize the "grind of the meta-game"? Is this really what gamers and/or achievement hunters are clamoring for? Seriously, I'm asking!

Clamoring or not, does it justify raising Microsoft's 50 achievement cap? Is lack of achievements even the problem? After all, Gears of War 2 did eventually end up with almost 80 achievements, and the large majority of them are easily classifiable as simple progression pointers already - and Clifton B. Esq. wants more? As much as the phrase "more achievements!" runs rabid through my abusive brain, I think a max of 50 (plus DLC) per game is actually a darn good fit - any more might just dilute the experience, especially if it's more of the same. I'll be the first to admit how elegantly Epic excels at excess, but I don't think quantity is the answer this time.

That's just the perspective of one achievement-centric psycho, of course, but am I that far removed from public opinion this time around? Should the achievement cap be raised, or is fifty a good limit? Does Cliffy have a valid point? Is there a cap on the amount of questions I can cram into an opinion piece? Yes?