Along with the rise of online gaming, one of the most notable changes to the gaming world in the 7th generation has been the introduction of achievements & trophies; little notifications that you have done something special within a game. My opinion on the system is split if nothing else; it’s nice to have some sort of tracker to identify your progress with games rather than having to tell everyone, but it has inspired a culture where a minority of gamers have become obsessed with getting a higher gamerscore/trophy collection than everyone else, and a unfortunate situation where some games that wouldn’t have been touched with a barge pole in the last generation (mainly crappy film tie-ins) are bought and played because they offer easy achievements. In any case it appears that the system is here to stay, and in the five years or so that achievements have been around, there have been a few truly worthy of testing a gamers skill with a specific title. It is my intention in this list to show off the hardest ones currently available to obtain, from my personal view of course. I have tried as best as I can to avoid including multiplayer achievements, because they can be easily boosted (the act of asking others online to play along with the specific intention of getting the achievement, for example losing matches on purpose) and therefore do not provide a suitable degree of challenge.
10 – Blue Dragon – Max All Classes – 250GS overall
The basics behind this is that the five characters you play with during the game can change classes at any point outside of battles to learn and use new skills, and you level up these classes by getting shadow points after winning a battle. There are seven classes to play with. And there are five achievements, worth 50G apiece, for levelling each class for each character up to Level 99. This is not hard in the strict sense of the word because you can set up a handy skill called Field Barrier 3 in an area with re-spawning enemies and farm SP, but my god it takes a long time to do it for every character. If you want the points, you are looking at over 100 hours of game time easily.
9 – Rock Band 2 – The Bladder Of Steel Award – Completed the Endless Setlist 2 without pausing or failing – 25GS
Rock Band 2 is a great game to play, and my favourite entry into the series thus far. The ultimate challenge in the game is undoubtedly the Endless Setlist, which features every song in the game (84 to be precise) and requires you to play them in a row. Now there is a achievement for completing this setlist under normal conditions on different difficulty levels, but in order to get the Steel Bladder Award you have to play non-stop for six hours, without pausing or taking a break or disconnecting a controller or anything (nothing works to stop time; Harmonix knew what they were doing), obviously passing every song. I can say personally that I have done this, and to record the feat my mate decided to set up a camera to take pictures of me doing it every 30 seconds. Through the power of montages and Youtube, there is a video that shows me undergoing the process of me getting this achievement.
8 – Call Of Duty 4 – Mile High Club – Sky dive to safety on Veteran Difficulty – 20GS
Ah, this one has featured in many people’s hardest achievement lists, probably because of the fact that it’s the hardest one to get in what is a very popular and widespread game. Unlocked after completing the main game, Mile High Club is a mission that requires you to storm a plane with terrorists on it and retrieve a VIP who has been taken hostage. What makes this one challenge so hard is that on Veteran, enemies can shoot you to pieces and take more damage from your bullets. And you can’t hang around because there is a time limit of about a minute to complete the mission in. You need skill and a lot of luck with this one.
7 – Gears Of War – Seriously… – Kill 10,000 people in versus ranked match total – 50GS
Gears Of War was a excellent multiplayer experience if you liked team warfare (I prefer individual deathmatches), and this achievement became infamous for its difficulty in this area. Let’s put it into perspective; if you are average at Gears, you may get a kill a round. Imagine doing this 10,000 times against human opponents. It’s hugely time consuming, and completely reliant on skill with a Lancer & shotgun. What makes this worse is that it hasn’t popped up at 10,000 for some people, they have had nearer 13,000 before they received their points, meaning that there is doubts about what actually counts as a kill. Epic Games wisely decided that Seriously 2.0 in Gears Of War 2 recorded kills from all game modes.
6 – Guitar Hero 3 – The Inhuman Achievement – Complete ‘Through The Fire And The Flames’ on Expert – 15GS
Another quite infamous achievement. Guitar Hero 3 is pretty solid anyway and has a damn tough achievement list (you have to 5* all songs on expert in Co-Op for gods sake), but this one has risen to notoriety. You have to play the song by Dragonforce, the hardest and one of the longest in the game, on Expert difficulty, meaning you are faced with a simply ridiculous note chart that has thousands of notes to play and moves at lightning speed. Some people have risen to the challenge and have gained widespread fame for completing the song 100%, but people with normal levels of skill will have bleeding fingers long before this pops up on the screen.
5 – Far Cry 2 – Warlord – Achieve Rank 30 (Ranked Matches) – 40GS
Online shooters are often a haven for boosters, looking to rank up as quickly as possible. I think Ubisoft may have realised this and delivered a massive ‘f**k you’ to all of them with Far Cry 2. In order to get to Rank 30, you need 125,000,000 XP. The average game grants about 500 if you are good. If you do not boost, this will take you well over 300 hours, and that doesn’t even factor in the waiting time for games, which takes an age because of the poor lobby system. But don’t worry, if you don’t fancy the multiplayer, you could always waste several hours collecting the diamonds in single player for a measly 10GS .
4 – The Last Remnant – The Last Remnant – Defeat the Absolute Conqueror – 200GS
The second RPG entry onto this list beating out the likes of Star Ocean and Infinite Undiscovery, is this little bastard. All you have to do is defeat the Absolute Conqueror. Sounds fine doesn’t it? But then you realise that in order to do this, you first have to complete EVERY SIDEQUEST IN THE GAME, of which there are 27 (which take an age to complete and are as boring as hell or tough as nails), and then fight the boss. Who has 1,000,000 HP. And can slaughter your teams without hesitation if you aren’t levelled up. And considering the poor levelling up mechanic, you will be under levelled. It’s a horrible vicious cycle, and although I’m pleased that I beat him in the end, looking back I wish I hadn’t bothered to be honest.
3 – Trials HD – Marathon– The player has completed the Ultimate Endurance tournament without any faults – 30GS
The first of two arcade titles to make this list, Trials HD has become synonymous with the phrase ‘trial and error’. That doesn’t apply with Marathon though, which is legendary on Xbox Live for its difficulty. In the early days following its release, you had to pass 24 tracks (the hardest ones, naturally) with no faults at all. You can take 30 minutes on each stage, but no faults allowed. It’s a ‘hurl your controller at the screen’ experience, as the slightest mistake leads to you having to restart the entire thing. The achievement did get patched however to become…slightly less impossible; you now only have to beat 20 tracks, but they are still fiendishly tricky to beat.
2 – Hexic HD – Grand Pearl Pooh-Bah – Surround one piece with six black pearls – 25GS
Hexic HD is a charming little game, and I got it free on my hard-drive when I bought my Xbox. Under the attractive sheen however, lies one hell of a difficult and mind bending game. Getting one black pearl (a combination of six white stars, which are themselves formed by surrounding one piece with six similarly coloured pieces) is hard enough for most players, getting six of the damn things and then manoeuvring them into place is a nightmare. I am pretty bad at Hexic, and the thought of going after this achievement terrifies me. A genuine test of skill, patience and luck, but nothing compared to the winner…
1 – Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter – World Champion (Multiplayer) – Climb to the top of the universal leaderboard – 40GS
Here it is; undoubtedly the most ridiculous and ball-breaking achievement to ever grace an Xbox 360 game disk. You have to literally become the best player of Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter in the world by getting to the top of the universal leaderboard. I simply do not think that this can be done any more; the game has been out for five years, so in order to get to the top by starting now you would have to be not only playing but winning convincingly non-stop…forever. I would hazard a guess that apart from the lucky few who participated in the first few games of Ghost Recon and thereby automatically got near the top of the leaderboards, only about 5 people have ever done this. And that makes it more than worthy of being declared the hardest achievement ever.
There is a lot of scope for discussion on this topic, as there are many games I haven’t experienced and therefore I do not know the pain of getting certain achievements in those games. What do you make of this list? Comment below with your opinions, and I’ll be back with more features, news and reviews in the future.