Achievements and trophies are still quite new to games and seem to be as natural and expected with games today just as much as multiplayer or even automatic save points. But how much have achievements and trophies changed this industry, I know that when it comes to games I am some what of a completionist especially when itís a game that I enjoy. I think that achievements are more than just a way to keep score of how good you are at gears of war compared to your friends list, I actually believe that Microsoft have created something that is genius from a business prospective but a nightmare at times from a gamers prospective.
Iím not going to lie about this topic I am without a doubt an achievement whore an my gamercard shows it, this is not to the extent that im going to buy Hannah Montana or avatar just to get a quick 1000 gamerscore but when I buy a game I aim to complete it but also to get as many achievements as possible at the same time. I love the sound of unlocking an achievement or trophy itís extremely satisfying to me for some reason. It did not use to be like this in the early days of the 360 however.
So what has changed over the last 4 years, I remember specifically saying to my friends when I first bought my 360 that I did not care at all about achievements an im not going to be hunting for them because I simply can not be bothered with them, "I just care about the games" I said as I plugged in my 360 and threw in the perfect dark disc. I was completely true to my word for awhile, until I took a look at my friends list about a year an half later. I was top of my friends list and a few people actually complemented me on my gamerscore. This only fed my ego as a gamer, I had always been slightly above average online at these games and all of a sudden I had an official score that I could wave in other gamers faces.
The addiction started then, any game I purchased I would install and look at the achievements while I was waiting, I was hunting these things down like a dog looking for the spot it has not urinated on yet to mark its territory. I still have the highest gamerscore on my list and I still try to maintain that score as itís probably the only time I will be the best at anything in life.
The reason I feel that the gamerscore is a genius addition to Microsoftís console is because the way its changed peoples look on games. Before I had a gamerscore I would only purchase the games that a general 7.5 or higher score across the review board of the internet, or games that I was personally interested regardless of the review score. Today things are a lot different, and from what I hear from others itís the same for them too. A few years ago I would have took one look at games like Danteís Inferno and Ninja Blade and say ďim sure itís cool but I donít think itís worth buying". Now days I look at games like those and say "looks ok, an if it sucks I can always just get the achievements and trade it in after". This is the problem now for a lot of the games I buy, achievements have now become a legit selling point for me when I look at a game. Iím completely addicted to them although itís just a number on my screen I do find pleasure in seeing my gamerscore hit the 44000 mark that it did a month ago. Dont get me wrong i still play games for the experience and the fun of it, but it has almost brought the competitiveness of online multiplayer to the single player. When xbox was first introduced i would play single player without even thinking about how my friends had done it, how quick they got it done or what difficulty they finished a game on. But i look at the single player experience a little differently, gamerscore has added replay value an all sorts of extra play time to my games as i hunt a 10G here and 25G there.
Maybe itís just me but achievements have become another reason for me to play games, just like people use to aim for the high score in arcades back in the day. I am slightly competitive as person in all aspects of life but it gets worse when it comes to gamerscore, and now that gamerscore and achievements have become so natural to the industry how will they transfer into the next generation, will I still have my 44000 or whatever it will be for the Xbox 720 or will it just disappear or reset to zero. I suppose the gamerscore has to carry on into the next generations as I feel a few gamers out there would kill themselves if they bought a new console and their score meant nothing as it no longer existed in the new generation. Achievements and trophies along with the ability to transfer gamer profile from consoles of today to future console easily have possibly changed the industry forever. Leaving everyone like me searching for the beautiful sound that you hear after getting 100000 kills on gears or completing halo 3 on legendary.