THE PCG Q&A
Sure, caring about videogame rewards that amount to tiny squares you can show off to other people who care about tiny squares is a bit embarrassing to begin with. But some are a little more embarrassing than others.
Yakuza 0 gives you an achievement for watching a sexy video, and Nier: Automata has one for looking up 2B’s combat skirt 10 times. Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate has an achievement for flipping five carriages, which you can only do by shooting the horses pulling them like some kind of monster. Prey gives you one for dying in the first scene—before the enemies have even shown up—which you can only do by being daft enough to wonder what happens if you press the jump button under helicopter blades. (What happens is you die. And get an achievement.)
What’s your most embarrassing achievement?
Here are our answers, plus a few from our forum.
Morgan Park: Looks like I have the rare achievements in Day of Defeat: Source for getting 150 knife kills (on the Allies) and the separate achievement for 150 shovel kills (on the Axis). I can explain: I used to play a lot of Day of Defeat on the same server every day, and every once in a while I’d get bored of guns and see how many melee kills I could get without dying. I’d rush straight into machinegun fire, serpentine through the streets, or sneak into enemy territory and wait in popular sniper nests. The embarrassing part is that this sometimes meant standing completely still for 10 to 15 minutes for the right opportunity. Wow, I had a lot of time back then.
Jody Macgregor: Divinity: Dragon Commander is not a great game—the bits where it’s an RTS and you’re a dragon with a jetpack sound more fun than they are—and I knew I was only going to finish it once. So I figured I’d see as much of it as I possibly could in one playthrough.
As a single dragon emperor in possession of a good fortune I was naturally in want of a wife. Or, as it turned out, several wives. I romanced each princess, followed her story through to the end and then (once I’d exhausted all her dialogue), orchestrated her death or downfall so I could marry the next one, collecting them all like Pokémon. Wow, did I earn a lot of questionable achievements. Including one called Henry II, with the description, “Oops, you’ve imprisoned your wife.”
Tim Clark: I guess most of what I would consider my gaming achievements are embarrassing in that few people would be impressed by them, but I’m weirdly proud of unlocking the Conqueror seal in Destiny 2 and for doing all the raids flawlessly (ie without dying). I also still feel warm inside remembering the first time I hit Legend in Hearthstone, bedridden with flu, jamming Zoo games in a fugue state. However, the one that haunts me—which in the absence of children shall be my legacy—will be my Don’t Starve base.
You can actually see a video of it, which I made for GamesRadar after breezing past the 270-in-game-day mark. At that point I had industrialised honey production, had frigidaires stocked with enough comestibles to outlast any winter, and a rigorous trap system and kill room for dealing with interlopers. As with all such human endeavour, I was eventually undone by hubris and overreach. I forget exactly what the cause of death was, but I vividly recall my resurrection meat effigy popping only for me to die again as the base burned around me. Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his brow?
Evan Lahti: Lately I’ve been reminiscing about LawBreakers after running into some old review screenshots in a folder (feel free to picture this like a sentimental scrapbook montage set to Sarah McLachlan music). It’s a game that got disproportionate negative attention back in 2017—I can’t remember a game that people seemed as excited about as this failing to find an audience. It had some genuine flaws. The art direction, in retrospect, wasn’t very coherent. There were too many modes. But it was absolutely “a complex, physical, and deep competitive shooter,” as I wrote in my review, “an uncompromising game that doesn’t make apologies for its high skill ceiling.”
Anyway, it turns out I’m in the top one percent of some pretty mundane-sounding achievements, which is sad—somehow of the modest thousands of players who jumped into LawBreakers, I was one of 0.4 percent to “Get 25 kills while using the Battle Medic’s Hoverpack,” and one of 1.4 percent to “Get 25 kills with the Hammerhead,” one of the normal weapons for the Titan class. None of the achievements are over 10 percent completion, which is absolutely nuts. It implies that a vast majority of folks who downloaded the game barely dipped a toe in. A shame.
Christopher Livingston: I’ll be honest, I stopped paying attention to achievements a long time ago. I can’t think of the last time I went to embarrassing lengths to get one, let alone even briefly making a small effort to tick an easy one off the list.
However, I still have something embarrassing to contribute! Sometimes we get to play games early, and sometimes those are multiplayer games with leaderboards. And as one of the few people with access to the game, it makes it very easy to get to the top of the global leaderboard. It’s a non-achievement, being the top player in the world in a game where the world consists of maybe a dozen other people, and yet I still like the feeling of being up there. So much so I will always screenshot my pointless, hollow victory. When I played Poker Club (the poker game with ray-tracing) the day before it was released, there were like 6 other human beings playing it. But I was the best. The best of them! Briefly! Looks, it’s all I’ve got. Let me have that.
JCgames: It doesn’t exist, But Battletech should have a achievement for having a drop ship land and kill your entire lance. Maybe there wouldn’t be so many rage posts for missing the markers on the ground saying “dropship landing zone” Beat the mission then die to your pick-up, Pure gold.
Sadly it does not exist.
OsaX Nymloth: From recent memory it’s probably the one from Hunt: Showdown.
Trinity Of Pain: Be on fire, poisoned, and bleeding at the same time.
Yup, it’s as bad as it sounds. Doesn’t help the fact that this probably meant I was running away, totally blinded into every possible trap, AI enemy and towards my certain death at this point. Surely every hunter seeing me couldn’t kill me only because they were trying really hard to not die from laughter.
mainer: It has to be the achievement: Memory Hotel, from Divinity Original Sin EE. Picking up & keeping a pair of Smelly Panties from a chest in Esmeralda’s house. Gods, I’ll just pick up anything.
Zloth: “Too Far” in South Park: Stick of Truth. I farted on an aborted **** Zombie fetus. When Trey & Mat are saying you’ve gone too far, it’s embarrassing.