It seems like any game from any genre that comes out currently, must have a fucking fetch quest. I am referring to a mission where there is absolutely no challenge, other than finding an absurd amount of whatever, be it statues, shards, cars, film reels, musical notes, coins, etc. I am totally sick of these missions. There is absolutely no fun in finishing them. They are basically just a chore for us achievement grinders out there. The achievement isn’t a test of skill, but of patience. Honestly, some of these fetch missions are getting ridiculous.
I think fetch missions didn’t really start becoming a real blip on the radar until Mario 64. At least, from what I can remember. This was the game where you were actually felt rewarded for finding all the coins, or all the stars. That’s the thing though, YOU WERE ACTUALLY REWARDED. By getting more coins, you’d get more stars. By getting all the stars, you could at least be rewarded with seeing Yoshi on top of the castle. It wasn’t just about that though. When Mario 64 came out, none of us had seen such an amazing 3D world. I will never forget when I first saw that game. I was blown away. I WANTED to walk around every world exploring every nook and cranny.
The stars and coins of each world were expertly placed throughout. They were challenging to find but not totally impossible.(most fetch quests now require you to cheat in order to save time and sanity) Most importantly, finding all the coins and stars did not hinder the pacing of the game. I didn’t feel totally sidetracked trying to get every star and every coin. Hard to find coins and stars actually required skill in order to get them. You’d see a group of coins and think, “alright how am I going to get up there?”, AND YOU’D HAVE FUN FIGURING IT OUT DAMN IT. Most fetch quests now just require dumb luck. I don’t care how good a gamer you are, you ain’t finding all the stupid movie reels in L.A. Noire based off of your skill.
Modern games totally don’t follow this formula of skillful fetching. Fetching has become so tedious and has unfortunately proliferated itself throughout all genres of games. Games are worse off because of it. I’ll give you and example. There is an insanely fast, and difficult game out there for PS3 called Vanquish. You are this futuristic soldier battling hoards of enemies on a space base orbiting Earth. What makes this third person shooter so fun though, is the suit you are wearing. You have this bad-ass suit with jets on it that allows you to slide around really fast and do amazing melee attacks. Playing this game is exhausting because of how much action is going on.(The story is kinda ho-hum but the dialogue is kitchy and hilarious) So, basically while you are playing this game, you are under constant attack, and constantly zooming around fighting. Why then, did the developers of this game decided to hide over 100 fucking tiny statues throughout this game, is beyond me. You are looking for these golden statues that you have to shoot. There are 4 in each level, and you must really scour and scrutinize every corner to find all of them. So while all the bullets are flying, and your friends are being mowed down, you are off in some corner looking through a scope, way off in the distance, trying to find these bullshit statues. There is absolutely no hints to tell you were they are and they can literally be anywhere. Sometimes you are moving platforms and only have seconds to shoot these things and they might not even be in the direction of the firefight you are most certainly in. This is fetching at its worst. It totally takes away from the experience of the game. Part of gaming isn’t just the skill factor of being good at the game. You are supposed to be whisked away to another world and feel as if you are a hero. How can you feel that way when you are running around like a jackass searching for tiny golden statues to shoot that provide you with absolutely nothing? (other than a PS3 Trophy?) True, you don’t need to find these statues in order to win the game. You could just ignore them all if you really want. Then why put them in the game? Why have them actually add to your final score of each stage? Is the opportunity to look for these things supposed to be some sort of gift to the fans? Is it supposed to add replay? I just don’t know why its there.
A game that KIND OF did it right was Batman: Arkham city. The Riddler trophies were basically a fetch quest. At least though, it led to you catching the Riddler and at least some of them were fun to try and discover (and easy to find since they are marked on your map). But, did they really need 400 of these fucking things? I mean, after a while enough is enough. I think penny-arcade put it best with this comic.I am the fucking Batman. I am not Mario, or Crash Bandicoot or some other jackass cartoon game character, I’M THE BAT! Annnnnnd, I just spent 10 hours as Batman, ignoring criminals while trying to find over 400 stupid statues. A PS3 trophy wasn’t even presented to me when I got all of them. I probably should have checked for that…
So you game developers out there, think first before adding a fetch quest to your games. You aren’t adding more replay value or fun, you are most likely adding a chore to schmucks like me that can’t stand seeing that locked sign on my damn trophy page.