Pointless but cool


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.


Nuclear Nooby


Quantum Conundrum • Pick up the IDS device • 10G • 64.02% of gamers unlocked this

No luck with Sea of Thieves again tonight, and while the kids were still awake it didn’t feel right for a Tom Clancy, so I shopped around my game library instead. I assume this is a Game with Gold that just got dumped in my library, but I figured it was worth a shot.

This game seems to be a bit Portal-ish in that it has a variety of puzzles to solve using the environment. Admittedly, it’s still early days in the game, but you can already see how it will evolve throughout the various ‘wings’ of the property. I don’t quite understand the premise of the game (I skipped the opening scene – I thought it was just credits but I think there was some story there too), but it does a good job of easing you in … to the point of ‘use R to look’.

That’s my kind of game.

The IDS device in the achievement description seems to be the primary method for switching worlds, the mechanic for solving puzzles, so that should give you some idea about how early in the game I am – but hopefully I’ll chip away at it a bit more over the next few days. That, or I’ll finally get around to playing the shiny new copy of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered that I bought today … and is currently enjoying a nearly 100GB downloading patch. That’s definitely not a kid-friendly title, but I do plan on working through a few levels on the weekend for nostalgia’s sake!



Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands • Skydived 10 times • 15G • 35.33% of gamers unlocked this

It’s done. My last ‘in the bank’ achievement, or ‘low hanging fruit’ as I’ve liked to use on this blog, is done. The reason is a little bit sad actually, in that tonight was a training night and the Married at First Sight finale is on, and so after a late dinner and an episode of Shameless I needed something quick and easy to get through so I could get in position for the finale. Oh God … I’ve turned into one of those people.

To be honest, this mad rush could have gone a lot quicker if there was a more simple single player process to be followed in Sea of Thieves. I tried, I really, really tried to make some progress as a Pirate, but I think it is absolutely designed for group play. Que Sera Sera.

Anyway, time to get into the MAFS!

Begin with a BANG


Tom Clancy’s The Division • Access the Tactical Operations Center • 10G • 10.92% of gamers unlocked this

I’ll admit, it took me a while to work my way around the glut of DLC that I got with the season pass. After the ten minutes of downloading all the outfits, I then struggled through working out how and where to access the respective expansion packs.

After a quick Google, I found the necessary mission I needed to complete to trigger access to the new ‘Tactical Operations Center’. The mission itself wasn’t complicated as far as Division missions go, but there was some confusion around the Base of Operations itself. The AR guide that tells you where to go seemed to die a bit while I tried to find the TOC entrance, but I put on my big boy pants and worked it out.

Tomorrow, I’m making a commitment to try and master Sea of Thieves. It’s really not my cup of tea, but it’s the latest ‘next big thing’, and because it’s free with Game Pass, I figure ‘why not?’

Let’s sea(!) what happens …

Highway Bandit


Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands • Tagged 10 convoys • 15G • 28.96% of gamers unlocked this

I’m absolutely loving the variety of Ghost Recon Wildlands, but when I found out how many skills I could unlock following a good haul of resources, I was convinced that I needed to stop my push through the main campaign and start collecting a few widgets throughout the world to build up my character (and ultimately go after Predator).

This morning’s session really just required a few more convoys be intercepted, thanks to already having a few in the bank from earlier gameplay. If you’re not too concerned about getting involved in gunfights, it’s actually fairly easy to knock a vehicle off the road, tag it, and hightail it out of there without too many issues. I’m the kind of guy who plays on easy, so exchanging gunfire with the cartel or the military didn’t really appeal to me – so smash-and-grab it was.

I think, now that I’ve understood the basic mechanics, I’ll be about to line-up a few of the progress or story achievements. From what I can tell, there looks like achievements for dismantling the individual ‘arms’ of the cartel … and I’ve started (seemingly) making good progress through each of them, so I’m sure it’s only a matter of time. I don’t think it’s a today or tomorrow goal, but a ‘soon’ goal nonetheless.

Who knows? I might enjoy Wildlands so much that I end up 100%’ing it…!

What in Tar-Nation?


Super Lucky’s Tale • Fell into a tar pit • 5G • 6.38% of gamers unlocked this

I think I confused my kids by being happy about getting this achievement. I suppose stating that you need to fall off an edge and dive into tar to get an achievement is kind of confusing – the reward for doing normally complicated tasks being diluted with something as silly as this brings me great joy as an adult, but I empathise with the sideways glances and the twenty post-tar pit questions.

The tar pits themselves don’t unlock until about the final third of the third world, so I’ve actually been playing a whole lot of Lucky that didn’t yield an achievement this morning. For instance, I completed every one of the statue move challenges, one of the race challenges, a whole bunch of levels and just general coin collecting today, none of which yielded me an achievement. I mean, it’s all ‘progress’ I guess, but I had hoped for something a bit more substantial a bit earlier on.

I also can see some achievements tied to coin collecting, but other than that – their purpose in the game remains confusing. That being said, I’ll never say ‘no’ to an achievement, so if it gets me a day off I’ll take it.

Last thing I want to mention today is that we’ve booked a weekend away in about a month’s time and I don’t think it’s going to be PC-appropriate … Xbox really need to step up their efforts to get me that iOS Halo port, or some Microsoft Solitaire achievements are going to be desperately needed. I’ll be spending some time in preparation for the weekend, so don’t be surprised to see my account spike with a few heavy sessions on Solitaire. Worse case scenario is that I downgrade an old phone or iPad for Halo, but we’re not quite at that crisis point yet (plus I really wanted to save those achievements for an Indonesian holiday later in the year) – so watch this space.

Access Denied


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.

Road Warrior


Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands • Drove a vehicle for 100km • 15G • 47.97% of gamers unlocked this

There are some things I can do in Wildlands to delay achievement gratification. One of these is sky diving, with only one jump needed to tick that achievement off – I’ve been sitting on it for a particularly time-poor day. One of the things I can’t ‘not’ get away with, however is driving. So when I saw the achievement was only a good 5-6km away, I figured I might as well double down and grab this one for good measure.

There’s something enormously satisfying about the narrative that Ubisoft have created in Wildlands. I haven’t really been that interested in it so far, but over the past 48 hours, I’ve been watching some of the in-game movies and discussions that are had, and I have to say, this is a story that would make Tom Clancy proud. It’s also one that I think would struggle in any other kind of medium. The Wildlands story is uniquely captured in the chunks relating to each part of the cartel’s hierarchy, and TV or movie lovers would tend to be sucked into an overarching narrative. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I like the ‘monster of the week’ style entertainment – best pioneered by The X-Files – of which I think Wildlands is the closest thing to it I’ve seen in a game.

There’s no real technique applied to earning this achievement. I just drove. My Xbox statistics are putting me in at 17 hours (incidentally, this achievement seems to only be for cars – I have a ‘Travelled Distance’ of 356.57 – and I certainly have not ran the balance!), and that’s playing – as far as I can tell – fairly normally, so it’s a fairly timely achievement I suspect.

Some more Wildlands before bed, and then in pursuit of another achievement tomorrow. I have a good Wildlands feeling about this weekend.

Spice of Life


Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands • Played each type of side mission • 30G • 31.83% of gamers unlocked this

Tonight’s session in Wildlands was all about the fun. Since taking the Quasi-Clancy sandbox as the playground it is supposed to be, I’ve been enjoying it much more than the more serious tactical military sim that I once had in my mind. No, my friends, this is much more Just Cause than Jack Ryan. And the series is that much better for it.

The progress achievements in Wildlands seem to be a bit hit-and-miss. I had ‘closed out’ what I thought were two ‘bosses’ tonight, but I think when they’re viewed in terms of the overall cartel organisational structure, they only form part of a part – that is, they’re too low down to earn themselves an achievement on their own. That’s fine – as I say, I’m having a great time, but in the interests of keeping game momentum up with my daily challenge, I speak purely out of self-interest.

This achievement unlocked at the same time as another – one for unlocking all the rebel skills, which you get for completing side missions, so it seems like this is a bit of a waste – or an easy earn – depending on how you look at it. I put it down as an interesting observation. Either way, I earned that one as well!

No Linux gaming tonight – I’ll save that for the weekend – so I hope that I can mix up my entries for the next couple of days!

With a Pistol!


Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands • Campaign: Took out a sniper with a pistol • 15G • 38.09% of gamers unlocked this

Predator has defeated me … for now. After an hour and a half trying to take him out last night, I decided it was time to move on and resume saving Bolivia from a drug cartel, rather than endlessly run around the same patch of jungle trying to shoot the walking mass of pain.

And so, the journey continues.

I’m kind of disappointed I didn’t give Wildlands a much greater run when it first launched. Now that I’ve kind of worked out it’s formula, I’m having a lot of fun. For instance, a mission that seemed like it would be overly complicated involved entering a base, stealing a prototype boat and extracting it to a CIA safehouse down-river. Instead of stealthily casing the base, and either run-and-gunning it in or creeping my way through the buildings to get to the boat, I found a helicopter, parachuted to the building the boat was in, jumped straight in and high-tailed it out of there while my squad rained fire down on my helicopter and boat pursuers …

… and I loved every minute of it.

This sort of sandbox play is everything that Wildlands promised, but my stubborn streak and lack of patience to experiment with how to play the game has robbed me of what could have been a great few months. Still … better late than never, and it also leaves me with a fairly expansive world to explore with fresh eyes.

Today’s achievement was fairly easy … most outposts have a sniper or two placed around the outskirts of the base, so switching to my pistol – some pirate-esque ornate single-shot beauty – and putting a bullet in the sniper in the tower was easy enough for a quick gameplay session this morning. With achievements out of the way for the day, I’m looking forward to some general tomfoolery in Bolivia when I get a chance later tonight.