So, as most of my friends are well aware, I have been spending a lot of my free time playing Skyrim. Now, needless to say, it’s a really fun game. I am a person who spent much of my childhood aspiring to be the female IRL version of Indiana Jones (until I became aware of the relative lack of adventuring in IRL archaeology). So there is great appeal to me in a game that has so much exploration involved (even if the guards in every darn town I adventure to have the same things to say to me about sweet rolls and arrows in the knee, which can kind of kill the suspension of disbelief.) Since the game came out, I have delighted in finding all manner of odd and intriguing locations
and scenarios. It’s a game that encourages delight in the new and unexpected. Two dragons fighting a giant? Sweet. Cannibals? Wowee!
So with this all in mind, I have one complaint. Well, I guess it’s really more of a polite yet untimely suggestion.
Players on the XBox 360 are of course all too familiar with the concept of “achievements”– points awarded in-game for completion of various tasks. Sometimes, achievements are accrued by simply completing standard benchmarks: reach a level 20. Complete a certain portion of the main story arch. Make like Scrooge McDuck and hoard a certain vast amount of in-game gold. Sometimes, however, achievements are for lack of a better term, delightful. I’ll never forget the moment when, pre-Skyrim, JP and I were playing co-operative Portal 2 and as I stood on a bridge waving my little robotic arm gleefully at him, he pushed a button and the bridge fell out from under me…and he got an achievement out of it, the jerk! He didn’t know he would, but the game rewarded him for being mischievous. The achievements in Portal 2, in general, to me represent the pinnacle of how the whole achievement process can work. They don’t just reward you for playing. They reward you for playing around–exploring, being silly and getting into trouble.
Now, Skyrim, for all its strengths, doesn’t have this particular one. Despite the fact that much of its fun comes directly from the wonder of exploration, the achievements do not seem to encourage playing around. They mostly center around completing portions of the main quest lines, joining various guilds and achieving progressively higher and higher levels. And this is all fine and dandy. Achievements for progressing through the story arch make sense. But what I would like to see is some more fun achievements.
Suggestions JP and I came up with:
- Sputnik — Get launched into orbit by a giant
- Mass Mur-do-rah — Fus 3 people at once off a bridge to their death
- Nordic Librarian — Collect 80 different books in your home
- Bender — Have a drink in every inn in Skyrim
- Sticky Fingers — Steal 10 sweet rolls
- Former Adventurer — Shoot an arrow in an enemy’s knee
Of course, I doubt all these particular things would even be trackable in the game. We were just brainstorming for fun.
Any other achievements people think it would be funny/interesting to see?