Gears of War 3: OCD and you

, | Game diaries

I have a mental disorder known as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Before I was diagnosed, I thought of OCD as the disease that makes you wash your hands constantly, but there’s so much more! Other than the “wake up in the middle of the night and check your door locks” kind of crazy, I also have a few others, though it’s not necessary to recite them here.

You may wonder what this has to do with Gears of War 3. I’m getting to it. Back off, man!

After the jump, I ch-ch-ch-choose you, Thrashball Cole!

The Xbox 360 has achievements. But some games have internal achievements as well. The Gears games have quite a few and they range from standard to “WHY GOD WHY.”* In the Beta, a few of the achievements carry over to the retail release of the game and, though not all of them are difficult, they are very time consuming. Combine this bit of info with the fact that Jason has “Gotta Catch ‘Em All!” syndrome and you’ve got a party. A murder party.

You may be asking “Jason, what carries over into retail?” I’m glad you asked! I have this handy list that we can go over.

Flaming Hammerburst, Flaming Lancer, Flaming Sawed-Off Shotgun and Flaming Gnasher Shotgun
These are pretty easy to achieve. Each of these weapon skins unlocks for playing a match in the designated week of the beta. For instance, I have the first three due to playing in the beta since week one and having played a match in each week. Next week I’ll unlock the Flaming Gnasher and my flaming weapon skin collection will be complete!

Of course, if you didn’t have Bulletstorm and play in week one or didn’t pre-order for access to week two, you will not be able to unlock those skins. This is a bummer for those who missed the chance, but all the sweeter for the rest of us.

Beta Tester Medal
Another easy one. You get this achievement and unlock in retail for playing one match in the beta.

Thrashball Cole
Here we go! A challenge! To unlock Thrashball Cole, you need to play 50 rounds in the Beta. Once you’ve unlocked the skin in Beta, you then have to play 10 rounds as Thrashball Cole and he’s unlocked in retail.
It doesn’t sound very difficult, but believe me, it’s kind of a daunting task. 50 matches, at around 10 minutes each, is 500 minutes. That’s 8 hours and 20 minutes. Then, you have to use the skin in matches, at least half of which you’ll be the Lokust. Add about another 20 matches — that’s 3 hours and 20 minutes — to the tally and you have a fancy Cole Train.

Gold-Plated Retro Lancer
Here’s the big daddy. The amazingly pointless Gold Retro Lancer. The “I played a lot of the beta and you didn’t” Gold Retro Lancer. Of course I have to have it. It’s my current goal in life. This one is a bit more of a challenge.

First, you have to play 90 matches. As of last night, I have completed this portion. I wasn’t sure whether to be elated or disappointed. I’m leaning towards the latter. Ninety matches. Being kind and saying that I only played Team Death Match (I didn’t) adds up to 900 minutes, or 15 hours. I’m going to go ahead and say it’s probably around 20 hours at this point, but what’s a bit of wasted time between friends.

Since there was a first, there’s got to be a second. The second part of this challenge is scoring 100 kills with the Gold Retro Lancer. The 100 sounds pretty daunting, but at this point, after 90 matches, if I can’t get a few kills per round with this gun then I should go ahead and just quit. I’m guessing, and being pretty pessimistic, that it’ll take me another 20 rounds of play to get the 100 kills. To find the minimum amount of time required for this achievement, though, we’ll assume I’m 1337 and that it only takes me 6 matches to get 100 kills. That brings us to 16 hours.

For those of us in the beta who are playing regularly, this isn’t a very big deal. 4 weeks is quite a bit of time and, if you played every day for 35 minutes, you could unlock this achievement. Being super obsessive, I planned out the path I’d take to get my unlocks and my progress is right on track. The people I feel sorry for are the ones joining the beta now, or after the 8th, in the final week. For the unemployed and younger, this won’t be too big of a deal either, if you can stop yourself from headbutting your television after being splattered by a sawed-off for the millionth time.

Those of us who are gainfully employed take the brunt of this smackdown, as it’s hard to find time for 4 hour marathon Gears sessions every night and still have the self-confidence to get up in the morning. Many of you will still try — I would too — but heed my warning, friends: after being gay-bashed by a 12-year-old as he curb stomps the Christ out of you, life is harder to face.

Good luck and Godspeed.

Next up: Shouldn’t you be in puberty before you question my sexuality?
Click here for the previous Gears of War 3 entry.

*Seriously 2.0