Gears of War 2 Introduces "Linked Achievements"

Gears of War 2 Introduces "Linked Achievements"

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Gears of War 2 will feature 'linked Achievements,' meaning that Achievements earned in the original Gears will help unlock bonuses in the sequel.

Epic's Cliff Bleszinski took the stage at Comic-Con to demonstrate to a live audience the E3 Sinkhole level and describe a new "linked achievements" feature for Gears 2 where achievements unlocked in the first Gears game would open features in the upcoming sequel.

He offered three examples of how the system would work:

  • Complete Act One in Gears Of War and receive a playable Anthony Carmine in Gears of War 2
  • Find 10 COG tags in Gears Of War and get Minh Young Kim in Gears of War 2
  • Kill Raam in Gears Of War and earn a playable Raam in Gears of War 2

Questions such as whether all Gears of Wars achievements will be linked to the sequel and what other goodies can be grabbed besides characters won't be answered until closer to the game's November 7 release.

Source: Kotaku

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I'm very torn on whether or not I like this concept. On one hand, I think it's a very cool way to reward loyalty, and tie the games together. On the other hand, Achievements are effectively content, and it seems annoying to tie access to game content into the ownership of another game.

As long as anything offered as an unlockable in GoW2 doesn't affect gameplay for multiplayer, then there isn't any harm done.

Offers some continuity, but the back of my head is screaming "We're going to force you to buy GoW 1 too!" further hardening my position that the unreal engine is in the hands of cretins.

And as long as the multiplayer achievements for the original don't have anything like this. Those aren't feats, those are grinds.

EDIT: This was meant to follow Logan Frederick's comment.

As one of the PC gaming elite, I feel obligated to raise my nose in the air and say, "Achievements. Feh."

I also think this is a greasy idea. There's a fine line between rewarding Player Group A and punishing Player Group B, and the way this is sounding so far it pretty clearly crosses it.

Malygris:
I also think this is a greasy idea. There's a fine line between rewarding Player Group A and punishing Player Group B, and the way this is sounding so far it pretty clearly crosses it.

I really don't see it that way. For the three unlocks described, in any case, only those who've played the first game will have any sentimental connection with the rewards; and since none of these have gameplay advantages, anybody griping about not having them is speaking more out of envy than genuinge aggrievement.

Frankly I'm eagerly awaiting Mass Effect 2's (rumoured?) linking with previous play that allows you to continue with the character and equipment from the first game. Is that greasy, too, or is it something nice for the fans who have played both games?

-- Steve

Anton P. Nym:

Malygris:
I also think this is a greasy idea. There's a fine line between rewarding Player Group A and punishing Player Group B, and the way this is sounding so far it pretty clearly crosses it.

I really don't see it that way. For the three unlocks described, in any case, only those who've played the first game will have any sentimental connection with the rewards; and since none of these have gameplay advantages, anybody griping about not having them is speaking more out of envy than genuinge aggrievement.

Frankly I'm eagerly awaiting Mass Effect 2's (rumoured?) linking with previous play that allows you to continue with the character and equipment from the first game. Is that greasy, too, or is it something nice for the fans who have played both games?

-- Steve

You have to ask yourself "Does it alienate new players, or force them to buy the first game" when you implement these features, if you answer yes you've made your game wrong. Storyline continuations are fine, as someone playing Half Life 2 has no tactical advantage if they played half life 1. However if say you needed half life 1 to use the gravity gun in half life 2, that's bad design similarly if you put achievements in half life 2 for weapon unlocks that require half life 1 achievements (speaking hypothetically, I know Half Life 1 doesn't have achievements) it alienates new players and forces them to buy the first game.

Agreed. Rewarding loyalty is great -- punishing newcomers is not. I think Epic is probably savvy enough to do the former and avoid the latter.

So long as the bonuses don't give the player an advantage, I think it's fair.

Johnn Johnston:
So long as the bonuses don't give the player an advantage, I think it's fair.

Yep. I believe this is the long and short of it.

Will be interesting to see how it plays out. Scary, cuz if one dev does give players advantage, that'll open the door for all of them to do it. But I don't think anyone really wants to get into that kind of a mess.

Skrapt:
However if say you needed half life 1 to use the gravity gun in half life 2, that's bad design similarly if you put achievements in half life 2 for weapon unlocks that require half life 1 achievements (speaking hypothetically, I know Half Life 1 doesn't have achievements) it alienates new players and forces them to buy the first game.

I agree with you, but don't see the relevance here. Nothing that Epic has spoken about would act in that manner; the unlocks they're talking about are all cosmetic, having zero impact on game play. Panic is premature at this stage; please lower the alert level to "A Nice Cup of Tea."

-- Steve

Seconded. So long as it is just new single-player skins (or unlockables to that general extent), a nice cup of tea we shall have.

Anton P. Nym:

Malygris:
I also think this is a greasy idea. There's a fine line between rewarding Player Group A and punishing Player Group B, and the way this is sounding so far it pretty clearly crosses it.

I really don't see it that way. For the three unlocks described, in any case, only those who've played the first game will have any sentimental connection with the rewards; and since none of these have gameplay advantages, anybody griping about not having them is speaking more out of envy than genuinge aggrievement.

Frankly I'm eagerly awaiting Mass Effect 2's (rumoured?) linking with previous play that allows you to continue with the character and equipment from the first game. Is that greasy, too, or is it something nice for the fans who have played both games?

-- Steve

I think it will work diffirently in Mass Effect, the idea is to let your choices in one affect game two and three, but you can probably choose in the begening of those games the general path you made so far if you are starting a new char.

Andraste:

Johnn Johnston:
So long as the bonuses don't give the player an advantage, I think it's fair.

Yep. I believe this is the long and short of it.

Will be interesting to see how it plays out. Scary, cuz if one dev does give players advantage, that'll open the door for all of them to do it. But I don't think anyone really wants to get into that kind of a mess.

True!
I remember when Rare attempted to do this with Banjo-Kazooie/Banjo-tooie But in reverse, you'd need the sequel (Banjo-tooie) to unlock certain areas in the original Banjo-Kazooie that were actually THERE in the original game but blocked off from your access in a cheeky//teasing way.
I think they scrapped the idea cos of certain factors (the cost and time of developing and implementing a cartridge-docking system and ethical concerns of forcing people to buy both their games etc.)

I love it. Mostly because I have all of them, so I get to be Carmine again. Sweet.

Anton P. Nym:

Skrapt:
However if say you needed half life 1 to use the gravity gun in half life 2, that's bad design similarly if you put achievements in half life 2 for weapon unlocks that require half life 1 achievements (speaking hypothetically, I know Half Life 1 doesn't have achievements) it alienates new players and forces them to buy the first game.

I agree with you, but don't see the relevance here. Nothing that Epic has spoken about would act in that manner; the unlocks they're talking about are all cosmetic, having zero impact on game play. Panic is premature at this stage; please lower the alert level to "A Nice Cup of Tea."

-- Steve

I would, but I'm feeling particularly nasty towards Epic atm, because it seems to me like they're just becoming a new EA, releasing crap ports/games and blaming bad sales on everything but themselves.

I've just spoken to someone at Epic and he said the new characters are cosmetic only, no special attributes. I think this falls safely within the area of easter eggs rewarding loyalty.

Skrapt:

I would, but I'm feeling particularly nasty towards Epic atm, because it seems to me like they're just becoming a new EA, releasing crap ports/games and blaming bad sales on everything but themselves.

I don't see where you get that idea, could you explain please?

No seriously, I'm not too fond of Epic.

If it's purely cosmetic, fine, go ahead. It's no different to Psycho Mantis announcing "Yoooou've been playing Super Mario Sunshine!" in Twin Snakes, or unlocking Rosalina via Super Mario Galaxy in Mario Kart Wii. Or getting the Olimar trophy from a Pikmin save in SSBM.

This stuff has been done before, just not using an existing Achievements/Trophies platform.

Eldritch Warlord:

Skrapt:

I would, but I'm feeling particularly nasty towards Epic atm, because it seems to me like they're just becoming a new EA, releasing crap ports/games and blaming bad sales on everything but themselves.

I don't see where you get that idea, could you explain please?

No seriously, I'm not too fond of Epic.

They blamed bad UT3 PC sales on piracy, when they released a game that didn't work, performed badly and took most of the fun stuff out of Unreal tournament. Instead of admitting they had done a terrible job, and attempting to fix it, they blamed piracy, threw a hissy fit and moved all their energy onto consoles. Seems just like EA to me to be honest, just take Crysis it sold far better then it should have done yet the producers said they expected more and piracy was to blame when they had built a game designed for less then 1% of hardcore PC users with a very powerful computer. Piracy is a problem, but it's turning into the industry scapegoat for releasing an unfinished game/bad game, and not wanting to fix it.

Andraste:
I've just spoken to someone at Epic and he said the new characters are cosmetic only, no special attributes. I think this falls safely within the area of easter eggs rewarding loyalty.

Cool cool. North Carolina a small place I hear. ^^

So what's the deal then, these characters are just bonus skins for multiplayer use? If that's the case, fine, I don't particularly care about that - the fine line between punishment and reward has (apparently) been stepped away from.

That is a really cool idea but I'd hate to get a new game and then try and fill up my achievements list, only to realize "Achievement locked, buy Gears of War to unlock" - then I'd get pissed off.

ElArabDeMagnifico:
That is a really cool idea but I'd hate to get a new game and then try and fill up my achievements list, only to realize "Achievement locked, buy Gears of War to unlock" - then I'd get pissed off.

Well, I highly doubt anyone would be stupid enough to do that. If they did, they'd probably get yelled at and pull a Turok by changing the achievement post release.

As long as its previously unlocked Achievements unlocking features, I think that's fine.

If they start doing it so that you can't earn an achievement in the new game without having earned some particular achievement in the previous game, then I call foul.

That's the next logical step and they have to be aware that it's over the line.

Ahh but the thing here is that the Achievments only unlock old (and very dead characters) so the only people who will want to play as them will be the people who know who they are... which are the people that played the first Gears of War and have these achievments.

I don't think many of the people who plan on getting number two have gone without number one. Its not as if the content is that great anyway, you're just missing out on the two most annoying characters and the biggest.

Rainbow Six Vegas Two did this to a greater scale.

Yeh, I'm alright with this move. It's a nice way for people who liked Carmine and Kim to play as them in the game. As long as it doesn't stop others from getting achievements, or makes the playing field uneven, then I'm cool with it.

These arn't so much as achievments as they are unlockables. Sure they probably come with a couple of gamer points, but it's like what R+C do with their games, if you have a save file of the previous games you get all the weapons you had in the game before it. It's not required, but it's a nice extra.

If these do come with gamerpoints (hence, the "achievment") then I don't think it's entirly fair for people just getting into the franchise who are also achievment whores.

I think I stopped caring along with alot of people above the age of 13 about GeOW 2 the second they mentioned "meat shield"

Daxter-Jak X combat racing

I like this idea a lot and I wish more game companies would do things like this. I don't think anybody is going to run out and buy Gears 1 just to play as Raam, or buy City of Villains just to build superbases, but the little nods like that show a lot of fidelity for your loyal fans.

 

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