Trophies, Achievements, Gamerscore, call them what you will but should people really care about them? Is games development even being hampered by the inclusion of such features?
I believe it is, achievements (as they will be referred to for the rest of this article) are just an easy way for the developer to make the game seem a bit longer as after you have completed it there is still seemingly more left to do to get “100%”. “It took me weeks to complete that game” you say? No, it took 4 hours to complete, it took you repeating those 4 hours over and over again for a few weeks to get the trophies.
Achievements mean that where a developer used to have to spend time to make extra content, be it dialogue for the plot or simply extra levels, now all they have to do is say, “they will play it twice if we put in an achievement to do it using only the pistol”. Nice, now they can save that extra level they were going to make for chargeable “DLC” . Who needs extra levels when there is the lure of achievements to make you play the same one over and over again until, like a crazy blind man with his Beanie babies, you have collected them all. Microsoft have made the situation even worse, not content with just making games seem longer than they really are, their Gamerscore system keeps track of the achievements you have collected across all of your games giving you a total score which is visible to anyone who looks at your friends profile. A total score across all of your games, hmm wouldn’t that mean… Yes that is right, the more Gamerscore supporting games you have the higher the score you can get, I have heard of people buying games because they know the achievements in that game are easy to get, thereby increasing their score, Microsoft are making money from peoples vanity rather than by entertaining them.
Even if we forget the fact that Microsoft are using achievements to sell people games they are still a lazy way for the developer to make a game seem longer. most achievement are for completing the game with a limitation, only pistols, don’t kill anyone, kill everyone. We used to make up our own achievements like that, it isn’t like it is hard, but the important thing is it was completely optional, when you got to the end normally there no compulsion to go back and do it again, if you chose to it was because you really enjoyed the game. These days however anyone who is the sort of person who must get 100% on a game is forced to play it over and over again.
Things get even worse when there is a reward for completing the tasks set in the achievements, rather rewarding those who play the game properly to the best of their ability, it rewards those who find a way to cheat. Within a day of Valve’s first class update for Team Fortress 2 there were achievement servers set up where people joined purely to get the achievements and none of the other class updates were any better, all it meant was the people who decided they wouldn’t cheat  were not able to play with the new weapons anywhere near as quickly as those who did. It also meant that there were people on regular servers who were being less then helpful to their team as they were trying to do some of the more stupid things Valve decided to put on the list, double jump 1000 times? Yeah, you are really helpful to your team when you are sitting in the spawn room jumping (yes I did see someone doing that after the scout update).
You don’t actually achieve anything by completing these tasks that the developers set, the only people who achieve anything are the developers themselves as they make their game seem a lot longer with the minimum of effort. Achievements are a bad thing for games, developers should be keeping us hooked with additional levels and more interesting dialogue rather than a list of arbitrary things to do like a glorified version of Simon says.
 Another pet hate of mine but I am not going to go into today.
 I admit I got fed up and went on one of these severs.