Weekly Discussion Wrap-Up: Unlockables

Oh I do like discussions that I know will split opinion. Looking at paid unlocks was always going to create more than a little debate, but it’s nice to see that the comments stayed friendly as is the usual for TSA. Anywho, let’s get to the important bit before I say something silly; time for your comments.

First let’s take a look at those unlocks that come through playing the game, rather than those you pay for. There seemed to be some support for games that use the unlocks to try and get you to try different areas of the game, in much the same way that achievements and trophies do. eye8have9you3 had this to say:

For me, unlockables are just extra targets, I played through all of AC brotherhood without doing any of the VR training missions, but on hearing I would unlock a Raiden costume it spurred me on and got me to try them. I assumed they’d be really boring but actually some of them were pretty fun, the costume on the other hand? disappointed

What did seem to annoy people somewhat was unlocks that are tricky to achieve. Although some people do want unlocks that provide some challenge, it seems many developers are taking the difficulty of unlocks to a level where it becomes frustrating. This seems to go doubly so when you’re trying to unlock something that you thought was automatically available, like clone555’s frustration with the Top Gear track in Gran Turismo 5.


I like unlockables. But some things should not be so difficult to unlock. The Top gear test track in GT5 for example is incredibly difficult (for average players) to unlock. But they made such a big deal about it being in the game. It was a big selling point. And then I realize (after many hours trying) I can’t unlock it… Grrr!!!

That’s a frustration that’s easy to understand, and I certainly understand that if a game has a particular feature advertised it shouldn’t be something you have to unlock via playing or paying for it.

Finally on playing to unlock content let’s turn to our very own nofi, before we move onto paying for unlocks. nofi’s beef is with online progression, something I completely agree with.

Unlocks as games progress? Not a fan of the online FPS stuff, which means the longer you play the more shit to get to make noobs like me look even worse, but I can see the point.

Moving swiftly onto paying for unlocks. As predicted there were those who were strongly against paying for content that’s already on the disk, even though they weren’t necessarily against paid unlocks in general. For example Grey_Ghost13 had this to say:

Paid for offline unlocks are ok, it’s your choice if you pay for them or not. I will definetly stump up cash for any GT5 add ons. But would be royally p**sed to be paying for stuff that is already on the disk.

On the other hand there were people who saw a more obvious upside than I ever did, such as TJ.

I agree that in many ways paid-for unlocking of content already on disc is fine. Its optional after all, you don’t *have* to buy it. In many ways, on-disc ‘DLC’ is better as its quicker to get and potentially saves you some bandwidth. I’m being picky here, but I really don’t understand why people have such a hang-up of this kind of stuff – if you don’t want to pay for something, then simply don’t.

The business case for paying for on disk content is obvious, but I’d never considered it from a simple perspective of being faster than downloading all the DLC.

Now, one final word goes to 3shirts with my favourite quote on the subject.

I’m with Dara O’Briain: “I already unlocked this, in a shop, with a credit card”



  1. I like these little summaries of the discussion, its like a higlights reel!

    • Me too, especially when you get a name check :) thanks halbpro. I think the whole new format of weekly discussions, pinning and the summary have been a great progression of the lunchtime discussion!

  2. Certainly a topic that causes a divide. I personally really like unlockables as they encourage you to play through a game thoroughly. However, I hate the fact that you can buy unlockables through the PSN store on day one and use them against others in online games. I pre-ordered the Helghast edition of KZ3 this weekend and, as much as I’m looking forward to getting my figurine, etc I am hoping that the 24 hour double XP and all unlocks, etc is optional, as I don’t like the idea of getting a head start over others.

    • I think the xp bonus will be through a PSN voucher that you enter into the PSN store to use. You don’t have to and could give it away or sell it to someone that does want it.

      • Mini TSA competition: Guess the name of my first pet and win the code ;)

  3. Good stuff, nice roundup to something clearly noone agrees on ;-)

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