Hello again. I’m back to moan and groan about Grand Theft Auto V, but this time it’s not about a glitch, rather an examination of my inept plane-flying skills and strange, faulty mission design stuff on Rockstar’s part. Also, the stupid tug of Trophies, the poor man’s Achievements, both of which I keep telling myself I really don’t care about any more, but find myself still interested in unlocking nonetheless. Le sigh.
I’ve made a big push to see GTA V‘s main storyline come to a close–something I want dead and done before we ring in the new year because I want to move on to at least one of the other two new PS3 games I’ve recently added to my collection, namely Sly Cooper 4–and I think I’m a few missions away from the big finale. That’s good. So long, that is, as I don’t get distracted with side stuff or simply driving around, blasting Eddie Murphy’s “Party All the Time” and zooming through red lights. Anyways, the other night I finished up “Bury the Hatchet,” a story-heavy mission with some graveyard shooting and flying that sees a major revelation brought to light and puts both Michael and Trevor in dangerous, but interesting places. I won’t spoil the exact details of the mission, but the final section has you controlling Trevor as he flies his plane back to Sandy Shores.
Let it be known: I hate flying planes in videogames. I was only ever okay at it in Saints Row: The Third, but mostly because no one designing that game cared a lick about treating vehicles right, putting fun first and realism last. However, that is not the case in GTA V, as one small tilt to the left can bring your plane nose-diving into Los Santos.
That said, I couldn’t finish the mission. I tried four times, but could not land Trevor’s plane. The first two times saw me overshoot the landing strip, crashing into whatever. I landed on the ground with the third attempt, but nowhere near the yellow targeted marker, and I thought I could just have Trevor hop out of the plane and run over to finish the job–nope, nope, nope. The fourth time, well…let me mention that the last checkpoint in “Bury the Hatchet” is pretty far back, and you have to fly straight for a few minutes, listening to mildly different dialogue between Trevor and [redacted] until you get near the airfield again. It’s frustrating and really harkens back to Grand Theft Auto IV‘s poor structure. So, for the fourth attempt, I simply crashed the plane into the ocean and opted to “skip mission,” just like I had a few times in L.A. Noire, an option presented to you after one too many failures. Not ideal, but I wasn’t interested in spending another 15 to 20 minutes attempting this touchdown. The “mission complete” screen came up with the general list of stats, I saved my game, and kept playing.
However, no Trophy unlocked. And I know from perusing some websites, that this is one of the few main storyline missions that rewards you with an Achievement/Trophy at the end, so you know your progress in all the main path stuff. Alas, I got nothing. I did 80% of the mission, failed four times at the end to land a plane, skipped it altogether, and got gipped on a supposedly unmissable digital reward. When selecting to skip, there was no indication that this would happen, no warning; if there had been, surely I’d have kept trying, scared to break the chain.
Evidently you can trigger this mission with either Trevor or Michael, but it really only affects the beginning part of the mission. If I’d gone with Michael, I’d have cut down 50% of the flying stuff, but it wouldn’t have matter because I’m definitely more of a pro at take-offs than landings, which I’d still have to do to properly complete “Bury the Hatchet.” Boo hoo and a bunch of Trevor’s curse words, too.
Unfortunately, I’ll have to “replay” the mission tonight because a part of my brain refuses to finish this game with mission-specific Trophies unlocked for everything but one mission. I guess Rockstar did this so Achievement-whores couldn’t just skip through everything and rack up those sick e-peen scores in their journey to have the largest, most meaningless number ever, but I’m not in it for that. I like seeing proof–however you want to call it–of my spent videogaming time. To this day, I’m still really annoyed with Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter for not giving me the “you beat the game” Achievement after I totally beat the game.
In short–what have I become?