The launch of the Xbox 360 console was memorable. Not just because it marked the debut of a new console generation and featured new and exciting games (well, it had Dead or Alive 4 for a bit until The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion was released), but it also unleashed achievements. Those damned, addicting achievements. We did dirty things for a quick fix. I played Rumble Roses XX. Others played Avatar: The Last Airbender. We wanted our easy Gamerpoints.
What a difference a console generation makes.
While Gamerpoints and achievements have evolved over the Xbox 360’s lifespan, becoming more and more difficult to obtain, they never quite reached the level they do on Xbox One. After completing Dead Rising 3, I had a whopping 300 or so Gamerpoints. This in itself is nothing new, but I had a fair amount of achievements; a few of them didn’t offer any Gamerpoints, just an achievement that recognized I did something. Times have changed. The launch of the Xbox One brings about more change.
Achievements are no longer just about improving our Gamerscore. They’re goals and targets to complete as we play through a game. Sure, the credits are rolling, but did we go through each and every achievement? What about those challenges, did we complete those?
There’s an interesting possibility that lies before developers. Consider the age of gaming we live in today. People are beating games and trading them in. The war for life on the shelf continues to rage. While DLC is an effective way to extend the life of a game, not everybody is willing to pay for it. Heck, some people flat out aren’t able to pay for it. Enter achievements, an (admittedly) backhanded way to extend the lives of games. New challenges offer new things to do. More pointless achievements create more objectives to complete.
Watching the evolution of achievements throughout the Xbox 360’s lifespan was interesting. They went from being an afterthought during development to something gamers have to work hard for. Now, they’ve once again expanded. It’s not just about earning points; it’s about completing more objectives. It could lead to wonderful possibilities in the future. That’s a future I’m excited about.