Spec Ops dev 'regrets' having achievements on choices, says sales are low

While Yager's decision to take 2K's Spec Ops series into psychological territory was commendable, there's one feature that irked many gamers the wrong way: achievements.

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While Yager's decision to take 2K's Spec Ops series into psychological territory was commendable, there's one feature that irked many gamers the wrong way: achievements. After making a crucial decision in the game, the gravity of your actions was immediately negated by the all-too familiar bleep-bloop. An achievement would pop up, essentially rewarding you for some of the atrocities you might have committed.

It's a decision that lead designer Jorg Friedrich wishes he could take back. Speaking at GDC Europe, he admitted: "I really regret that we had achievements on moral choices."

The studio is currently working on a new "large project," according to Joystiq. However, it's unlikely to be another Spec Ops game, given that the sales figures don't "look too great" by Freidrich's admission. It's likely his team's next game will continue emphasizing emotional impact during gameplay--hopefully without the tasteless Gamerscore interruptions.

From The Chatty
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    August 13, 2012 4:30 PM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, Spec Ops dev 'regrets' having achievements on choices, says sales are low.

    While Yager's decision to take 2K's Spec Ops series into psychological territory was commendable, there's one feature that irked many gamers the wrong way: achievements.

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      August 13, 2012 5:41 PM

      This is one reason why I hate achievements in general, sure they are great in games are built for you to achieve everything (like SMB or something like that) but in games with choices and consequenses, achievements make some play the game for the wrong reason (doing certian actions just to get 10, 15 points or whatever it is) Or just plain takes away immersion by saying, "Hey, you shot the prim minister! Here's five points"
      At least its not quite as bad as fear 3 where something achievement wise flashed at you every 5 minutes.

      P.S. that was poorly worded, but I know what I meant, so...........there?

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        August 14, 2012 8:12 AM

        Achievements are becoming so common and pointless that we'll soon be back to giving points instead of single achievements. Then we'll compare our scores instead of achievements. And we'll go full circle back to the days of Atari and score comparison.

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          August 14, 2012 9:03 AM

          Some of my favorite games have scores. Bayonetta has a combo score and an end-of-verse and end-of-chapter medal system, which I love, because it adds to the experience (especially the four-note ping on getting a platinum medal, or Bayo saying, "You've been NAUGHTY!" after a pure platinun run). Doom and Quake had end-of-level kill stats and secret item stats.

          I love score systems that add to the fun and help the player improve, and provide motivation. If a leaderboard or achievement set is being thrown in merely to satisfy cert or to check off a marketing box, that's lazy game development. Make it mean something, and make it fun for novices and experts alike.

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      August 13, 2012 5:55 PM

      That sucks. Spec Ops was a really good game too. I was hoping the Steam sale would help it out.

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      August 13, 2012 7:50 PM

      You can turn achivement notifications off and just pretend they don't exist, sometimes good to do if you're playing a singleplayer game and don't want your immersion breaking by having an acievement just decided to pop up at the bottom of the screen.

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        August 13, 2012 8:44 PM

        Solves part of the problem I guess... so what's the big deal? Part of the problem from reading the story is being rewarded for atrocities, and for the fact your moral choices weredependent on getting a reward for it rather than just "making conscience decisions".

        My 2 cents. I really don't think it is THAT big of a deal, especially because of being able to turn off notifications if that bothers you. I actually think having the achievements encourages multiple play throughs, a good thing, much like Heavy Rain... of which I played right through "in immersive mode" making my original choices and witnessing how all my decisions altered the game and the ending.... THEN, to get all of the achievements, I put myself in to "fun mode" and went back and forth trying out all of the alternatives. I reckon I got more hours out of the game because of the achievements.

        No refunds.

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        August 13, 2012 9:06 PM

        achievement notifications all in-game notifications, like your friend saying "what's up". Which can also help with the immersion, but I'd really rather just be able to disable achievements entirely, in-game or out

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      August 13, 2012 7:54 PM

      How do you irk someone the right way? Is that what sadomasochism is about?

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      August 13, 2012 10:52 PM

      Surely it wasn't the generic gameplay...

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      August 14, 2012 12:37 AM

      [deleted]

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      August 14, 2012 6:26 AM

      It's a shame the sales were low for this game. I haven't bought it myself yet, because there are just too many games I'm throwing my money at, but I will definitely pick this up for a reasonable price sometime.

      As for achievements: I think it's okay to have achievements on moral choices, but I think it should be possible to turn the notification off (sound, pop-up). In all honesty though; I don't mind them, even if they do pop up. It's nothing that really hurts my personal immersion.

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      August 14, 2012 6:53 AM

      not having splitscreen co-op made me not buy it

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      August 14, 2012 8:20 AM

      I had high hopes for this title when I saw it a few years ago, sadly it just didn't deliver in many regards. It felt sloppy from a control perspective and ugly visually. The aesthetic was beautiful, but the technical execution wasn't as strong as needed to be. Nolan North's voice was also a bit distracting, but that's more of a personal issue for me.

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