The Escape

Xbox

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered • Complete ‘Hunted’ and ‘Death from Above’ on Veteran difficulty • 30G • 2.33% of gamers unlocked this

Some video games have truly iconic villains. Arkham Knight or the Joker in Batman … 006 in Goldeneye … but blow me down if a single aggressive helicopter in Modern Warfare didn’t give me more grief than any of these bad guys combined. As I said last night, this helicopter gave me enough grief that I had to abort and fire-up The Wolf Among Us just to grab an achievement – but once I’d hit the midnight changeover point, I went back to Modern Warfare determined to put this abomination to an end.

I have never felt more satisfaction in killing a bad guy than I had dropping that helicopter out of the sky.

The euphoria of killing that helicopter stayed with me for a while, so I followed-up with the AC-130 mission as well, which is fairly simple on any difficulty – just rain hellfire down on bad guys that aren’t flashing with a strobe and get your team out of there. As long as you keep an eye on everything around the scene, then it’s quite quick and achievable.

With that in mind, combining these two missions into one achievement makes a lot of sense – one insanely hard, one generally pretty easy. Together they make up a reasonably happy medium for what one would expect on ‘veteran’ difficulty.

The rest of my day has been consumed with some health and fitness stuff and a 5-year old’s birthday party, and I am pretty much ready for a bit of a snooze now. I might jump on and see if I can make a bit more progress on the PS4 version of Wildlands if the mood grabs me later, but I’d be equally happy having an afternoon and evening on the couch watching something mindless on Netflix.

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Save the Bacon

Xbox

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered • Protect ‘War Pig’, the Abrams tank • 15G • 23.16% of gamers unlocked this

Fun fact: For a very brief moment following the original launch of MW, I tried the handle of ‘War Pig’ online. It didn’t last very long, but it does remain forever attached to my Google Account thanks to a range of interactions I had with Google Help and Google Forums that somehow means it can never be deleted.

Databases and their web equivalent seem to be the bane of my existence (see also: PSN name changes).

Anyway, I headed back to MW tonight to see if I could make a bit more progress. Tonight’s mission was less about the tank itself, and more about the journey to get there, but I know from history that this isn’t the last we’ll see of War Pig.

Despite being at work all day and having a few hours tonight of personal training dig-into my gaming schedule, I’m still a bit surprised that I managed to smash out a Veteran-difficulty level without too much issue. Either my hands are getting used to it or the layout of this level lends itself to better cover and general protection …

… either way, it was enough to get the job done.

Pointless but cool

Xbox

SUPERHOT • Seen a gruesome sight of an exploding head more than 100 times • 25G • 18.56% of gamers unlocked this

It seems my library is getting a bit thin on quick and easy achievements. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as it encourages me to try new things, but it’s a bit of a stretch when I actually want to play a few things regardless of achievements and I’m looking to tick my challenge off for the day.

Good ol’ SUPERHOT saves the day again though – it’s unnecessary capitalisation and everything.

I can’t quite work out what the other achievement I got today was without doing a bit of a Google and investigating, so instead I’m going with this one, which is a nice simple collectable in the sense of headshots. ‘Exploding heads’ as the achievement description reads is a bit of humorous overexaggeration though, killing enemies really just causes them to disintegrate, so there’s a touch of hyperbole in the achievement description.

A bit more Sea of Thieves planned for tonight. It will likely be my last with a headset for a while, but I do think that my session last night with a couple of people who knew what they were doing has gone a long way to improving my single player experience.

The Package

Xbox

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered • Complete ‘Crew Expendable’ on Veteran difficulty • 4.49% of gamers unlocked this

Believe it or not, as I write this, I am in the middle of a game of Sea of Thieves with a bunch of online friends. What fresh hell is this? Of course, none of this tomfoolery has resulted in an achievement tonight, and so I’m left with my – still great fun – COD MW Remaster.

The game itself does feel a little more polished than the original MW. I’m fairly certain that they’ve re-done Captain Price’s voice as well – not necessarily for the better – but it’s just ‘different’. I spent a fair bit of time running the opening mission (the SAS HQ) to try and get my time under 19 seconds (for another achievement), but my wife got sick of Price shouting instructions at me, and I decided to push-on with the game. Given that I don’t need a ‘story’ fix from MW … after all, I spent most of last console generation with Soap and team … I’m planning on going through the game on Veteran, just to double-dip on achievements.

Long story short – the game itself holds up well, and I think they’ve done a good job on the remaster. For me, this is just a chance to play one of my favourite titles once more for a whole new set of achievements.

In other words – any excuse will do!

Access Denied

Xbox

SUPERHOT • Encountered a disconnection bug • 25G • 62.69% of gamers unlocked this

I actually started the day with a surprise achievement from both Skylanders Trap Team and Super Lucky’s Tale, but in the interests of variety, I decided to use one of the early achievements from the newly-minted Games with Gold title, SUPERHOT.

First of all, I have a long-standing issue with using ALL CAPITALS as a stylistic choice, and I have been known to change it for the purposes of this blog – but I’ve made an exception (for now), noting that I’m not entirely sure what the premise of SUPERHOT is. Am I supposed to use it as a descriptive? Is it a noun? Is it a proper noun, at that? Either way, these are the questions that keep me up at night, so if you’re thinking of twisting the knife into me as a result of your disagreement with my decision to allow the ALL CAPITALS … then don’t.

I’ve been interested in this game ever since I saw it reviewed a while back, and it plays exactly as it reads on the packet. Time moves when you move. What a brilliant, brilliant concept, made even more effective by the minimalist art style they have adopted. I love it, and I can see why it’s been well received by critics.

  • Passive-Aggressive Moment: at least those who I consider critics … other wannabes (cf. outlets) have just tried to adopt the Phil Daoust approach to writing, and tried to spend their whole time attempting wit rather than reviewing SUPERHOT – but that’s another discussion for another time.

Make no mistake about it, I’m keen to push through on SUPERHOT. I’ll be giving it a go later tonight before I head back to Bolivia in Ghost Recon, but this is a good game. The ‘free’ price accompanying my Xbox Gold membership makes it that much better.

They Live

PC

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Spec Ops: The Line • What’s lost is found

If I ever needed a case-study to demonstrate that ‘perhaps’ a cheap-and-cheerful GPU isn’t quite going to cut the mustard, this might be it. I suspect that some of my issues relate to personal ineptitude using a keyboard and mouse – and professional gaming ones at that – having grown up quite comfortably gaming on a Compaq Presario.

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I played Spec Ops: The Line many years ago when it first came out on PlayStation. It was considered to have ‘pretty good’ gameplay, but its compelling story was where it was at. Truth be told, I really enjoyed it. I’ve never completely understood ‘the twist’, even after completing the game and reading the plot summary on Wikipedia – my go-to confusion buster – but I, nonetheless, remember it with some fondness.

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Today’s achievement seems largely progress based. It’s a strangely-titled achievement, considering the point at which you earn it is when you find everyone dead, so without fully going back for a re-read, it’s hard to tell the context (I heartily skipped the cutscenes on this play through thinking I could brave it).

I think the game is still a bit too jaggy for me, even with the settings on rock-bottom – so I’m not expecting a whole lot of output from this game for the rest of this challenge, but it was nice to revisit it briefly today and to include it as part of my PC Achievement collection. It’s certainly staying on my PC pile of shame for a little bit longer anyway.

Two Birds With One Stone

PC

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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 • Kill 2 enemies with a single bullet in Single Player or Special Ops

Look, it’s very very late. Very late. It’s actually twenty minutes to midnight as I write this … giving you some indication as to how late I’m leaving my PC achievement tonight – which I probably could have justifiably missed, seen as my challenge (at the moment) is just for Xbox – but I said that I’d try and get an acheivement on each platform, so that’s what I’m going to do.

Nobody said it had to be a particularly difficult achievement.

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Truth be told, I gravitated towards MW2 because I knew that there was a guaranteed achievement in just completing the level, but when I earned this one I just saved and quit … it’s late, and I wanted to lock in something before the clock struck midnight. I think I earned this one through sheer luck, killing an enemy at close-quarters with a secondary enemy close behind him.

Still … luck is luck is luck is an achievement.

I miss playing Modern Warfare with some regularity. I played a lot, a lot, of MW2 at launch (on PlayStation) … so much so that I remember going prestige more than once. This was long before the days of the COD World Championships and other esport heavyweights … so I like to think of myself as a bit of a pioneer.

For now though, the clock is getting close to midnight. I’m going to post this entry and take advantage of that!