We’ve all worked our butt off for something that turned out to so not be worth it in the end. Shoveling the driveway, being nice to your parents, school, these are all things that have no tangible benefit in the long run. Nothing is more notorious for this than video games though. Whether you’re scampering across rooftops or desperately trying to get 100% on a game you don’t really like, gaming unlocks can be the biggest time-sink. Our list of the six worst offenders are below (Oh, and potential spoilers):
#1: Auditore Cape, Assassin’s Creed II
While the first Assassin’s Creed will go down in infamy for the multitude of useless collectible flags scattered across the Holy Land, Assassin’s Creed II deserves this spot for a different reason. The 100 feathers that you can collect along your Renaissance adventure seem like they’re actually leading somewhere, especially when you reach the half-way mark and you get the second best weapon in the game, the Condottiero hammer.
After hours of searching for the damnable leavings of the eagles, you return to your villa and deposit them in the box for the last time to receive…a hug. Then, your mother presents you with the cape and thanks you for not forgetting her. Ding, achievement unlocked, and we have a sweet piece of cloth to show for it. What does the cape do, though? Does it prevent fall damage, or something useful along those lines? No, it does the exact opposite of every other cape you earned for doing nothing. It makes you instantly notorious in every city in the game except for your villa. Thanks, Mom, so glad that all those archer’s families will wonder where their father went because he interfered with my search.
#2 Big Boss Face Camo, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
As far as Metal Gear 4 goes, you get some pretty sweet unlocks and you can make Old Snake cross-dress as one of the Beauty and Beast members, so that’s pretty cool. There is one that makes the rest of them seem for naught, however. The final unlock of the game, the Big Boss Face Camo, is obtained by beating the game on the hardest difficulty, no kills (not even bosses), no continues, no recovery items used and you have to do it all in fewer than five hours. Thank god we can skip the cut scenes.
If you’ve played Metal Gear 4, I think we can agree that it’s a good game, but not without its short-comings. Clunky controls and obtuse AI are some of those problems that make the Big Boss Face Camo such a chore. Besides, all it does is make soldiers run away or faint. Once you get to the stage where you considering getting the mask, you’ve probably beaten the game to death, so what’s the point?
#3 The Hats, Team Fortress 2
Team Fortress 2 originally started off as a fairly bare-bones, if really fun and tightly built, multiplayer team-based frag fest. In an effort to make the lesser played classes of the game (beginning with the Medic) more appealing to the user base, the game’s developer Valve decided to implement an unlock system where you earned gear by getting achievements and later through random drops. All well and good, but Valve went a bit crazy with this idea.
Introduced during the Sniper vs. Spy update, the Hats quickly became objects of great desire both because of their rarity and the avatar-altering properties they had. They became so popular, in fact, that those of us with less than perfect morals began finding ways to game the item drop system and obtain Hats. Valve, ever the group of OCD sticklers, decided that those who cheated should have their Hats removed, and the honest ones will get an exclusive Hat. Now there’s Hats for buying Left 4 Dead 2, getting scared on Halloween and medal and beards …it just goes on and on. Thanks Valve.
#4 Superintendent’s Cache, Halo 3: ODST
If you get the Audio Logs in Halo 3: ODST, then you gain access to a few supply drops scattered around the city which contain ammo, weapons and vehicles. Pretty useful for a lone guy trapped in a city full of murderous alien zealots, but chances are you’re not going to unlock these caches until later in the game, and with a play time of less than seven hours, you’re probably not going to use them.
Considering that you have to skulk around the night time city while snipers and giant apes hunt for you just so you can find a few terminals with some recordings of a girl with daddy issues, the Superintendent’s caches seem like they were put there to motivate you to find said terminals. While I don’t resent being made to search for item just to get achievements, the rewards need to be dealt out faster, especially in such a short game. Sorry, Bungie.
#5 Black Suit Spider-Man, Ultimate Spider-Man
There’s no denying that, after Spidey’s red and blue jammies, there’s only one of his multitude of costumes that will stand the test of time: the renowned black suit. Originally a symbiotic alien from Battle World that followed Spider-Man back to Earth and became Venom, the Ultimate incarnation of Venom is a protoplasmic suit that attaches to the wearer and cures them of diseases like cancer. It’s sort of like Vick’s vaporub on steroids.
Since the black suit is so famous, it stands to reason that any Spider-Man fan worth his salt would try his hardest to obtain this treasured piece of memorabilia, correct? Well, try playing Ultimate Spider-Man and hold that goal up. To get the Venom suit for use with Spider-Man (you can play as Eddie Brock Junior in the game, too) you have to complete the game 100%. OK, what the hell is with developers thinking that people will want to play their game after they’ve beaten it completely? You can’t even carry new costumes across different play-throughs, so the black suit stands as a giant tease even in the video game industry.
#6 Laser Sword, Dead Rising
This one’s kind of similar to the black suit Spider-Man debacle in that you have to finish Dead Rising fully before you can get the Laser Sword, but what you have to go through to get the luminescent blade is nothing short of pure torture.
Once you beat the main game, you can play through Infinity Mode where you have free reign over the mall and can slaughter zombies to your heart’s content. One problem though: you lose strength from hunger. Sure, no problem, you say. Eating food should solve this quandary, right? Well, sort of, you just have to fight other survivors for it while evading zombies and trying to keep yourself fit. The Laser Sword requires 13 hours of consecutive play (no saving, no turning off the 360) in order to get the 7-Day Survivor cheevo and beat Dead Rising. I’m sorry, but there are some things that man was not meant to accomplish, and this is one of them.
There we go, the top six unlocks that have caused me the most pain and frustration in my entire gaming career! What about you guys? Oh, I should give an honorable mention to the Gilded Sword and the Couple’s Mask from Majora’s Mask for the N64. If you didn’t get the Fierce Deity mask for all your heard work, that would be number one for sure. Chime in with your thoughts!