So here’s the thing. I don’t like wiping a game from my hard drive or starting another one until I’ve completed everything. I’m weird like that. It’s my completionist streak showing through.

I go out of my way to find every secret, pick up every collectable, experience every ending. I don’t like starting new things when I haven’t completed another. There is a noticeable impact on my hard drive capacity due to this fact, and it’s getting me down.

See, the easiest way to measure the level of completion is through looking at achievements.

Yes, those sometimes rewarding, sometimes incredibly banal and annoying popups you seem to get for not dying for two seconds. Seems we can’t find value in playing games without being given gold stars for doing what the game requires to progress these days.

But I digress.

I’m an achievement hunter. I almost compulsively need to unlock every achievement for a game before I can move on to my next project. That’s a bit annoying sometimes, since I have a whole lot of games I have to play, and not a lot of time.

I’m digressing again.

What I’m trying to say is I will play a game until I get that vaunted platinum trophy – you know, the one that says you’ve gotten all the others already. Or just have a 100% trophy/achievement completion figure staring at me from the dashboard.

Some games make this easy. Some games make this hard. And some games make this completely impossible for a dedicated single player gamer.

For example, I was (re)playing Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition for our Next-Gen Difference article a while back, and got stuck in this completionist rut. I just had to get all the achievements, because I had already 100% completed the game on PC and I just couldn’t stand to not do so on PS4. So I played and played and got all the artefacts and notes and collectables and everything available to find, bringing my game completion to 100%. I killed forty enemies with the shotgun, pulled five guys off ledges with the rope arrow, fully upgraded all my weapons. And yet, I still did not get that damn platinum trophy.

For one bloody reason – multiplayer.

See, Tomb Raider has a multiplayer mode, and that mode has trophies tied to its progress. To get them, I would have to go play with other people, and that’s not good for my health. Well, unless it’s Titanfall. I don’t want to revive my teammates, or reach level sixty, or survive ten explosions or whatever. That’s so tedious. I don’t even want to play the multiplayer mode in the first place. It’s tacked on (although supposedly decent) and extraneous to my enjoyment of the narrative of the game. It’s thematically dissonant to the story Tomb Raider is trying to tell. And I don’t have time for it.

What I’m saying is, Tomb Raider has achievements tied to multiplayer, and I can’t get them if I don’t play multiplayer.

I’m not going to pick on Tomb Raider here. Other games do it too. For example, I’ve had Modern Warfare 2 installed on my hard drive for nigh-on four years because I have three damn achievements left to get. To get them, I’d have to jump into a (now quiet) Spec-Ops mission playlist to complete those two multiplayer only missions to get one star on each, 69 stars total, and to kill four enemies while downed. Three achievements until I’ve perfectly cleared the game and can get it out of my active list, and yet I can’t get them because ugh multiplayer yuck.

I don’t like achievements tied to multiplayer. Especially stupid ones like “start one game as host” or “trade your first item with a friend” things. They’re dumb and hollow and why can’t I just already have them so I can move on with my life?

I like what later Call of Duty games did by separating single player and multiplayer achievements. That way I can get rid of Ghosts by completing its forty single player achievements, and leave its twenty one other multiplayer achievements completely alone. I can 100% my game – Call of Duty Ghosts single player – and ignore the additional extra – Call of Duty Ghosts multiplayer. Perfect solution.

That way, people who prefer to play only the single player portions of games can keep their e-peens suitably inflated and wavy with an impressive 100% game completion rate while ignoring tacked on and often tedious multiplayer.

I’m not saying multiplayer shouldn’t have achievements. I’m just saying they should be counted separately, or tallied differently, so I can keep my precious arbitrary number rewards.

Yes, I’m aware I’m shallow for caring about the arbitrary awarding of insignificant stickers that signify ultimately nothing. And I know it’s dumb to get stuck on games that you haven’t completed fully. But damn it, I like the symmetry of the 100% stat.

Stupid brain for being hardwired for reward systems.

And while I’m at it, Hardcore Risette Fan can go jump.

Lachlan Williams
Former Editor in Chief of OnlySP. A guy who writes things about stuff, apparently. Recovering linguist, blue pencil surgeon, and professional bishie sparkler. In between finding the latest news, reviewing PC games, and generally being a grumpy bossyboots, he likes to watch way too much Judge Judy. He perhaps has too much spare time on his hands. Based in Sydney, Australia. Follow him on twitter @lawksland.

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1 Comment

  1. Hahah I’m the same way, but not nearly as rigid about it. I would much rather have terrible completion ratio (you probably use sites like trueachievements and truetrophies too right?) than force myself to play something I hate. I try my hardest with games I love, but sometimes they have really annoying achievements, and I give up. I’m also not a fan of difficulty achievements. The Darkness 2 is the only game I remember where the highest difficulty was a lot of fun and the game is short enough that it’s not a huge feat of patience. It also had the option of getting multiplayer chievos offline by yourself.

    Multiplayer is why I have not completed any Assassin’s Creed games since AC2, and many other games. I just can’t bother. I love(d) the AC series so I can even get insanely annoying achievements, like 100% completion in all optional objectives, but the mp is such a disconnected grind.

    There is one instance where I thought mp should really have been KEPT OUT but was still more fun than the sp: Mass Effect 3. I’m much less turned off by co-op, but it still got old and repetitive fast. But I digress, back to achievements.

    I think of it as “my time is valuable too” and hopefully someone looking at my completion will see it. Yeah it’s showing an ugly incomplete number like 770 out of 1000, but hey there’s obviously a reason for that if you look at what achievements are missing :P

    What you say would be nice, as really, sp and mp are usually much like two different games. And it’s nice to see people write about it, but unfortunately don’t see achievement/trophy design changing… I suspect some are even done on purpose as a bad joke.

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