The Most Heinous Multiplayer Achievement Video Games
After writing an essay earlier this week on achievements, it only seems right to follow that up with a list about achievements. That said, achievements in general are fluff that are just sort of given to the player for being there, similar to consolation prizes. A relatively small percentage of these are actually based on skill or some extended length of devotion that can’t just be gained with minimal effort. An even smaller percentage of those achievements are hard to obtain due to their difficulty, but a recent trend in handing out achievements for multiplayer-based milestones is becoming more prominent, increase the difficulty of obtaining said achievements tenfold, simply because one has to rely on, generally speaking, strangers over the internet.
This is a list of those games that are the most heinous offenders in terms of difficult to obtain multiplayer achievements. It excludes games that have already gone past their prime and dropped off online servers altogether because that would just one long unending diatribe of disappointment. Somewhat amusingly, this list includes many of those that had previously been noted as better than the originals. Also, for continuity’s sake, we’re going to call the achievements “achievements,” rather than trophies or any other term used around the gaming world.
1. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Fellow editor James Plafke assures me that, out of all the games he has ever played, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves has the absolute worst multiplayer achievements. When you consider the number of games that have passed through his collection of systems over the years, then that alone should be mighty impressive.
The original vanilla game wasn’t anything too bad, however. The first two achievements were merely participatory in nature. Then the multiplayer DLC packs started dropping and with them came a slew of achievements that leave even the hardcore of the hardcore groaning. The Rock A Rhyme achievement requires you to achieve 100 kills from ledges while, from time to time, the other players are trying to do the exact same thing.
The multiplayer matchmaking is set up in such a way that a player cannot join a private match with a friend who is willing to let them boost, and the only way to actually boost is to get two separate groups of players, then join and leave matchmaking until you hit the other booster group. Even if both groups successfully find each other, most of the multiplayer achievements require a bunch of grind, luck, and most of all, a higher level of skill than the majority of your opponents. So, whereas other games’ multiplayer achievements require a simple cooperative playthrough, most of U2’s multiplayer requires that you obtain achievements from players who are specifically trying to make it so you don’t obtain them. This multiplayer achievements in this game should be pictured under the Google image search for “frustrating” if nothing else.
2. BioShock 2
BioShock 2 is arguably the worst multiplayer game on this list. Not ever, of course, as there’s some stiff competition there, but it’s regrettably not great. It’s attached to a game that stands so well on its own that the fact that there’s even multiplayer in this game will probably confuse folks who pick it up without reading about it first.
So, of course, there’s not really a whole lot of action going on in the servers. Not that there’s not any action at all, but that everyone who was going to bother has already done so and moved on or has become so deadly as to make your own entrance as a fresh face difficult in and of itself. Try grinding the 97,000 ADAM required for the top multiplayer achievement in that kind of environment. Good luck with that.
3. Red Dead Redemption
Of those listed, Red Dead Redemption is the one that comes closest to just being an absolute slog. The reason for this, almost singularly, is the fact that you need to reach the top rank in multiplayer experience in order to finish up the achievements. Now, this may sound like just something that might require boosting or grinding, but the level of grinding required sort of puts it in an entirely different stratosphere.
As an example, the writer of this achievement guide notes that they had around 30,000 experience points after doing the other trophies. To hit the top of the multiplayer ranks, they would need at least another 300,000. Granted, that could be gained by grinding the best of the best leveling spots, but it’s still ten times the amount of points they had after getting ALL of the other trophies. Pure grossness.
4. World of Warcraft
Arguably, World of Warcraft almost belongs in a league of its own. Its extensive list of achievements makes most other achievement lists pale in comparison. The sheer amount alone would probably land this one in hot water for any true completionists. Where it really becomes painful is when attempting to gather those raid and instance achievements that require some modicum of skill.
But even then, it’s not just a problem of the player being skilled. They have to rely on a minimum of four other people to be just as skilled — if not better — and most importantly, willing to actually play for the time required. Even with a skilled group, bringing down some of the high tier bosses requires tactics outside the ability of most. At that point, both skilled players and, typically, players that have played together for some time, are required. Granted, it’s awfully satisfying when it finally comes to fruition. But still.
5. Super Street Fighter IV
Fighting game achievements, in general, are not for the faint of heart. The genre requires a certain set of skills that not everyone has. But even with that skill, getting the multiplayer achievements requires perseverance and perhaps a bit of luck. Perhaps no game exemplifies this best than Super Street Fighter IV.
For the most part, the multiplayer achievements are participatory in nature or just a matter of skillfully beating an opponent once, but then the ranked match achievements rear their ugly head. In a perfect world, ranked matches put the player up against players of their own caliber. This means that, often as not, they’ll be losing. Trying to pick up ten ranked match wins in a row thus becomes controller-throwingly difficult.
6. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood doesn’t have a great many multiplayer achievements, but due to the nature of its multiplayer component and the few it does have, it’s sort of become the bane of completionists. Probably the best example of this is the Abstergo Employee of the Month achievement, as evidenced here.
But that’s not the only one. Role Model is also difficult and, in general, Strong Closer can be incredibly fluke-like. Chances are, if you get it, it will be by complete accident. Good luck boosting for that one. The two most difficult ones rely on getting the different types of bonuses in a single round. This is more difficult than it sounds.
The below games are listed as honorable mentions because, though the game’s overall achievement set is relatively easy to fill out, there is one extremely heinous multiplayer achievement hiding within the seemingly easy list.
1. Portal 2: Professor Portal
Though it might not sound hard, this achievement can be a pain. The player wanting the trophy needs to have finished the co-op portion of the game and then go back and help a second player that’s never played co-op (literally, has never even seen the opening cinematic for co-op) finish the tutorial. In theory, that’s not so bad. In practice, it can be hard to find someone that hasn’t played any of the co-op tutorial before they learn about the trophy’s existence. Technically, the well of people who have yet to begin co-op should dry up the longer the game has been released, making this trophy, in theory, nearly impossible a few years down the road.
2. Castlevania: Harmony of Despair: Boned
For this, the player has to defeat a boss with 5 players in skeleton form. That means that they’re pretty much on their own against a boss with a six-person difficulty curve. In addition, this is a timed game and when a skeleton dies, two minutes get shaved off the clock.
Not only does LittleBigPlanet have multiple co-op achievements, but the seemingly single player achievements sometimes have sneaky co-op requirements; specifically, the achievement that requires a player to gather all of the prize bubbles throughout the game’s storymode. A player will quickly realize he or she needs a group of four players to unlock multiplayer-only areas in order to grab the prize bubbles held within — areas that are difficult for one player to use multiple controllers to reach. If that weren’t enough, LBP is mainly about building levels and sharing them online, and a handful of the achievements reflect this. The achievement for having X number of people play your uploaded level seems pretty daunting at first (considering the online community sports literal millions of user-created levels), until you get to the achievement where X number of people needed to Heart (the game’s equivalent of a Facebook Like) your level, which in turn seems easy once you get to the achievement where X number of people need to Heart you, as an author and player.
So, game developers. Cut it out.