When Microsoft launched the Xbox 360 in 2005, I didn't wait in line because I was going to be hooked on this new achievement trend, I waited in line for the next evolution in gaming. I had no idea what achievements were when I popped in Perfect Dark Zero on launch day, and I slowly started to understand after that game, and slowly built my gamerscore from there.
Now, everyone's got there thing. I personally take achievements pretty seriously, as I have a gamerscore of over 100,000, actually it is approaching almost 130,000 as I write this. I've played some good, and some bad games to get my gamerscore this high, believe me. I had no idea on launch day nearly seven years ago that this would become an addiction that could rival alcohol, or drugs, but it has. And when I approached the milestone of 100,000 last summer, I realized and made a conscious decision to not play anymore crap games simply for gamerscore. No more Terminator Salvation's or Backyard Football's, that's for sure. If it is a game that I want to play, and a foreseeable thousand, I'll pick up the game.
However, something happened this past fall that has angered not only myself, but many fellow gamers out there. That something was Gears of War 3. Well I can't fault Epic Games for making a bad game, because Gears of War 3 is not a bad game, I can fault them for being insanely hardcore on the achievement front of things, hard enough that they have breached the point of becoming insane bastards.
And you know what, when Gears 3 launched, I was ok and accepted the fact that I will never get Seriously 3.0. Legitimately, no one will. The man hours alone would be enough to drive anyone to brink of insanity, that's for sure. But the rest of Gears of War 3 should have been a cakewalk, like the previous installments. Then with the promised "season pass" offer, an offer I actually refused to pick up on, they promised out the gate four stellar dlc packs. None of the downloadable content packs for Gears of War 3 have been stellar, to say the least.
The Horde Command Pack added some great new functionality, maps, weapons, and skins to Horde mode, that's for sure, but was crushed be more seemingly unobtainable achievements. To level up the silverback and get the highest command center and turret, the man hours there are borderline insane. I enjoy horde mode, as does a lot of people, but not to that extreme. However after that dlc, I new the second one should bring things back, as it was the first promised "extensive single-player/co-op story" dlc. However, this only broke my soul even more on this game.
The nearly two hour shitfest that is "RAAM's Shadow" is filled with unimaginative characters, who bicker along like arrogant school children, and have absolutely nothing funny or interesting to say. Instead there inane chatter only made me groan during the entire experience. Then add up to that, yet two more unobtainable achievements (no one will play as the Asian dude in multiplayer, so yeah, that's ruined), and the fact that the only cool part of Raam's shadow, when you play as General Raam, lasts about five minutes, and you have another disappointing entry into the Gears package.
But nothing, absolutely nothing could prepare me for the onslaught of almost an entire unobtainable achievement list with the third dlc. Nearly all of the achievements border on unobtainable, with you requiring to level up to a "prestige" mode-like level, and then do it all over again. Look Epic, artificially trying to make people play your game isn't going to make people play your game, fixing it will. At this point, I'm probably just going to pass on the third dlc, and hope the fourth one adds something cool, but my hope has kind of run out for Gears of War. Nothing is ever going to top what the first one was to me, and Gears of War is a dead franchise at this point.
I know I spent a lot of time picking on Gears of War, because it is the most recent example of this treachery, but there are plenty of other games in the sea of "impossible", that's for sure. The bottom line is that developers should concentrate on making something challenging and fun to play, but obtainable. I would rather spend 100 hours trying to get a full 1000 in any RPG then spend nearly three years of my life playing match after match of Gears multiplayer, that's for sure.