Whether you love them, hate them, or forget they exist until they pop
on your screen and interrupt your game, achievements and trophies are (literally) a required feature of all PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Steam
games. I fall into the love camp, and these are some of my favorites
The achievements and trophies I find most interesting aren’t the ones
that mark your progress in a storyline or reward you for attaining a
certain number of headshots. I like the ones that force you to think
outside of the normal functions of the game or reward you for doing
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The Last Guardian
Fumito Ueda’s latest does little to embrace the charm of Trophies, as most are related to doing certain things a certain number of times. There is one, however, that caught me off-guard and it’s something I am glad was included.
The Call of Nature – Catch Trico… in the act.
Watch Dogs 2
One of these achievements is very nice and embraces the weird meme culture overlap between the game and dogs. The other is the epitome of an awful person, which makes it pretty funny.
Doggyland – Pet 10 dogs
Hold My Hair – Take a picture of someone vomiting
Dead Rising 4
I like this one because it plays into Frank’s characterization. I could see him doing this, saying the line, and then looking around expectedly for a laugh, only to be disappointed.
Stop Hitting Yourself – Kill a zombie with a hunk of meat
Hyper Light Drifter
Most of Hyper Light Drifters other achievements play into the game’s absurd difficulty. Playing the game without dying, for example, is a hilarious seemingly impossible joke. Natural Leader is a strange one, because you just stand next to snail found in town and take in the moment.
Natural Leader – Tame a certain wild creature…
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Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
Stage Fright, in particular, is one of my favorites of the year. It plays off one of the game’s stage demos where something went wrong. Right when the demo started Nate just stood there doing nothing for far too long. If you re-enact the demo, you get a Trophy. It shows Naught Dog has a sense of humor it is happy to embrace.
Marco Polo Returns! – Play in the ocean near the sunken ship
Stage Fright – Just prior to City Chase, stand perfectly still for 30 seconds (stage demo fail)
Glamour Shot – Take a photo of Sully
I’m a sucker for a subtle Ghostbusters reference. Also, the robot you take the Arc Tool from, M3rvin, changes his expression to a sad smiley instantly launching him into meme heaven.
Unlicensed Nuclear Accelerator – Found the Arc Tool
Gears of War 4
This achievement requires team work. You have to pull someone over a barrier, and then your co-op partner must quickly perform a melee execution. “Yanked and shanked” also just has a nice rhythm to it.
Whoomp, There It Is! – They Yanked, you Shanked
Redirecting a bullet back to the shooter is a rare skill, and one that is hugely rewarding to pull off. Most won’t grab this skill on their first playthrough of Dishonred 2, making it special.
Fatal Redirect – Kill an enemy with their own bullet
Two indie games this year had achievements related to finding and interacting with pets.
Love Turts – Adopted a turtle as a pet. The average lifespan of a box turtle is fifty years. It will outlive you.
This sequence is entirely skippable early in Quantum Break, but it’s a nice little character moment for both the game’s antagonist and protagonist. Plus, it means you get to hear more from Aidan Gillen, who is a highlight.
Marketing Spiel – You let Paul do his thing.
Far Cry Primal
I appreciate Ubisoft’s insistence on connecting Far Cry to Assassin’s Creed, even tangentially.
Kanda Of Faith – Climb to the peak of Pardaku Lookout and leap off.
Much like the Uncharted Trophy that called out one of its on-stage demos, an early Division demo took special care to point out that you can close car doors while in combat. It was a strange moment to highlight, and it was nice to see it called out as an achievement.
Shut That Door – Close a car door whilst in cover.
Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Lego Star Wars’ achievements are full of little nods to The Force Awakens as well as the larger Star Wars universe. These are a few off the beaten path that made me chuckle.
Anything Else? – Destroy all computer terminals in Starkiller Shield Room as Kylo Ren
Stormtrooper Syndrome – Miss your target 10 times in a blaster battle
Hey! That’s Miiiiiiine! – Play as Unkar Plutt on the Millennium Falcon