What Games Make You Want to See Everything?


Today on Waypoint Radio, we talk about completionism—playing games so much, you plumb their secrets. Or find every single item or story bit. Or just generally... play a whole lot of a given game. Stick around as well for a quick promo for Science Solved It—Motherboard's podcast about wild science stories.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/8xejea/waypoint-radio-completionist-100-percent-bloodborne


If I go dig out my old Xbox all the save date on that thing and it’s going to be from Kotor 2 at different points in the game with different characters because that game ships incomplete that depending on what character you picked you could get items at another character could not get I remember buying the strategy guide in the back there was an item glossary and a bunch of items that are in that item list never showed up in any of my playthroughs to this day I’m still looking for the Jolee bindo robes

Also I beat the game three times before discovering the advanced classes


I am exactly the same way with Mass Effect, Austin. I always do all the sidequests, usually in a very particular order as well.


The only AAA game I have ever 100% was Assassins Creed 2.


Just Cause 3 is probably the only big open-world game that I’ve every successfully 100%'ed. I actually like JC2 a lot more than JC3, and I’ve spent literally hundreds more hours in JC2. But I think JC3 really did a great job of giving the player tools to help track down collectibles (marking objects on the map/radar and giving you an overall % for each region), and also making
The game also did a really great job of making most of the collectibles a unique experience or challenge. Many of the bases are laid-out almost like Rube Goldberg machines with gas tanks and vehicles as explosive dominos, so you can approach it as a puzzle to try and plant explosives. The driving and destroying missions show off different types of vehicles and weapons that you might not use very often. The tombs and shrines show-off nice landscapes and vistas that you might not visit if you stick to the roads and settlements, and I like that you just light a candle and say a prayer instead of looting/stealing/destroy like in literally any other open-world game (Far Cry, Assasin’s Creed, Tomb Raider, Elder Scrolls).
Also, having instant access to high-speed helicopters, jet bombers, and armed supercars makes it a lot faster and more fun to quickly grab a random audiolog on an island.

I definitely feel that compulsion to do and experience everything in a game, especially open-world games. I think part of it is definitely “gotta experience all that content”, especially for lore, side missions, anything with narrative content. Even when I don’t try to 100% a game, I still often try to play all of the missions in games like Assassin’s Creed, Watch Dogs, Skate, Steep, Forza Horizon, etc.

Also, there’s something deeply satisfying when a collectible feels like it was placed meaningfully. I like when you can find those little hidden corners of a game that feel like very personal expressions of the designer’s intent. In a game that literally 100s of people worked on, it’s cool to stand somewhere and think “oh, some person spotted this little part of the terrain that lets you do a sweet jump, and they put a collectible here so that I could find it”.


I’m going to preface this by say that I am autistic. Although only one relative saw it, I was daignosed. This is from my experience and may be different than your experience with autism. I replay games constantly. I always have two or three games on my mind at a time. One new, a multiplayer shooter, and then one old. Buuuttttt… I actually don’t really care about 100%ing a game. I don’t feel the need to see all of the content. In fallout 4, steam has me clocked at 1878 hours. I may have done the story quests all the way through 3 or 4 times. I can’t say how many times I’ve started that game, gotten to the castle quests, and then just leave the main story behind. Once I get to the castle and I’m supposed to find Virgil, I’m done. I’ve got better things to do. I’ve got to take Nick to Far Harbor. I need to run through the mechanist’s lair with Ada even though the entire dungeon for me is broken in a way that walls disappear and the framerate hits single digits. Even when I do go through with the story missions, I can’t side with the slavers of the insitute or the fascist brotherhood of steel. I’m the same way in New Vegas as well. I never help House or Caeser. I just can’t although I’m okay with the brotherhood in that game.
And then there are my experiences with multiplayer shooters. I’ve hit the level cap in modern warfare 2 and the first black ops. I didn’t hit those caps over cumulative years. I hit those caps before the sequel was out. And I’ve probably put hundreds more hours into the other sequels, battlefield games, and Halo. Last I remember MW2 had me clocked at 72ish days. I don’t care about seeing all of the content a game has. I just want to see the content I like over and over again. I love the familiar.


I’m an obsessive completionist when it comes to content/sidequests (but not collectibles), which Mass Effect 2 exploited horrifically when I lost all my crew because of it, welp. I got every planet in ME:A and every territory in Mad Max to 100% before finishing those games. I poured dozens of hours into FO3 while barely touching the main quest. I think this is also why I’ve bounced off every Elder Scrolls game I’ve tried — there is just TOO MUCH to do so I get overwhelmed, and prefer a few more rails.

That said, my most ridiculous one was probably Drakengard’s 103% completion. Dangle a tantalising completion number like that in front of me and I will GO FOR IT, even if it took hours of tedious grinding…


This probably isn’t very original but I explored absolutely everywhere and did everything in:

Stalker (SoC, Clear Sky)
Far Cry 2


Just so we’re clear, Imperial Stoat is the best new character of 2018.


I’m not a completionist at all really, but if your game is good and allows you to make different builds/character classes, I am probably planning my second playthrough before I finish the first one.

I’ve replayed the hell out of the Soulsborne series, the Fallout series, Skyrim (Mage was the only fun one, Thief was OK, Warrior sucked) and Mass Effect. If we are talking a JRPG where you can really customize your party I am also very down and will play through your long-ass game with unskippable cutscenes multiple times. .


Definitely in this camp, I love making characters in games with different quirks and focuses, I find it especially compelling in the souls games, there’s something about those games that make it super fun to both experiment with different builds, and explore to find everything.

I’m currently working on getting all the achievements in Dark Souls for the first time with the remaster, I just never put my mind to it and upgraded all elemental weapons / collected every spell scroll / got all the boss weapons on one character etc. but besides some material and soul grinding it’s been a very doable and relaxing experience.

That said I’ve never been a 100% kind of player, I tend to get the experience I want out of a game and then move on to other things, and never pursue all achievements unless it is something like Dks where I feel like they’re fun to chase, or if I’ve already gotten above 70% and I feel like I can go for the rest, it all depends, but they’re very rare cases.


Imperial Stoat…
I haven’t read any Mouse Guard since The Black Axe, that was like 2013…


I can’t even remember the last time I completed the main story of a game, never mind 100% of everything. Maybe Grow Home a few months ago, then Opus Magnum before that? Once I have enough of an idea of the mechanics and the story beats I tend to just lose interest.

Story of my life really.


Story driven RPGs are usually the ones for me. In franchises like Mass Effect, Dragon Age and Deus Ex, I always search every nook and cranny, interact with everything and do my best to complete all the achievements. Sometimes to my detriment. I never finished Dragon Age: Inquisition because I got burned out by the all the side activities. I ended up watching the cutscenes for the end and for my chosen romance option on Youtube. It is also one of the reason I never got into the Witcher game - the size of the world and the density of things to do are too overwhelming.

For other type of games, I usually set my own completion goals. For example, my personal goal for Super Meat Boy was to finish all the light worlds with A+ ranking. When I finished Cotton Alley, I felt accomplished and happy. I had no desire to go through the dark worlds or go hunting for bandaids. Or despite absolutely adoring The Witness, I never spent time trying to complete the last trial or trying to finish all the obelisks - it just felt unnecessary (and I hate timed puzzles).


Just a wee tip on this one – Walker talks about his experience with Gone Home on this podcast when talking about narrative completionism, so I went and dug out the article he wrote about it from the archives. I had entirely overlooked this element of Gone Home’s story, so definitely appreciate it being raised. It didn’t seem to have gone into the show notes, so hopefully this suffices for people.

(P.S. I don’t want to see the AU Austin who is a game theory explainer tia)


Wow you lot really Went Places towards the end there huh

Lots of Banana bread in this house. Me and my Mum work at a primary school and the kids often get bananas at snack time, so we usually nab the spare bananas that won’t last the weekend and make a loaf. Pretty much always gets eaten before it even cools.

But more on topic though, I’ve 100%ed a few games in my time. First one I ever did was Sonic Adventure DX when I was pretty young, which I recently did again after I very suddenly remembered that I kinda love Sonic and just powered through a whole bunch of Sonic games all at once. I’ll be honest, I did that one because of the reward for doing it is that you get to play as Metal Sonic and he’s My Boy. Love that robot lad. Mind when he hovers and makes that whoosh~ sound? Belting. I got all the acheivements on Sonic Adventure 2 as well just afterwards, which took significantly longer due to the whole Chao buisness being a whole lot bigger this time around. Again, though not as much, it was down to the reward at the end, a 3D recreation of Green Hill act 1 that’s really faithful to the original layout. A good reward can do a lot for me wanting to see it all.

When I think about 100%ing games though, I think about Sonic Generations, and how svelte it is with content on that front. I’ve done everything in Generations 4 times, and it wasn’t even a conceited effort to do so. It just happened. Because nothing feels perfunctory, all the extra missions are super snappy and always feel worth it. The red rings are placed as lures into cool setpeice moments and shortcuts, getting them feels rewarding because the act of getting them either teaches you something or makes you feel cool as shit, often both. Even the acheivements are good, the only one I wasn’t fond of was the one for doing the final boss without getting hit, because that thing is like, the mechanical version of unintelligable. I still don’t know how that fight works, or how I got that acheivement. But it’s a game that’s built to constantly make you WANT to see and do everything, because it never even gives off the idea that it MIGHT be a chore.

I’ve also done everything in Dark Souls 3, which was great fun. It took a lot longer than I probably COULD have done it it, because I mostly used the idea of getting all the acheivements as a guide for building characters. A character to get all miracles, a character for all sorceries, etc. Eventually though I had a character I just enjoyed playing so much that I came back to them for the two NG cycles needed to get all the +2 rings, who had a narrative that worked with maxing out all the covenants. I’m pretty close to 100% on both Dark Souls 2 and it’s Scholar of the First Sin version, and I’m working towards polishing off the latter now I’ve finished Dark Souls Remastered. 2 Has the extra motivation of giving you some new toys to play with in NG+ and beyond, from general new item drops to Wellager selling all the max rank covenant stuff that’s basically impossible otherwise. I just enjoy spending time in those games so much that seeing everything works more as an excuse to do that than a goal in itself.


The Yakuza games have so many fun substories and minigames with weird, interesting character details hidden in them! They also have really satisfying long checklists and percentage meters for both substories and for little menial tasks and created goals like walking a certain distance, or using moves a certain number of times, or eating every menu item at a restaurant and I’m soo weak to them.

I’m playing Kiwami rn and an extra part of it that I’ve been enjoying about it is how it makes a video game action (healing yourself before/after a fight) into an action that feels more human (getting a meal before/after going to do something big and important). I like running around Kamurocho and going “oh boy better eat, what’s nearby that I haven’t tried yet?” and having that feel like a thing that Kiryu’s also thinking about.

(Also wow, that Gone Home article was the first thing of Austin’s I ever read back when I was in high school! :-o I didn’t realize that was him!)


Kirby. Well, this is kinda a lie I have never 100% a Kirby game but I have always got real, real close. I just real like attempting to get ALL THE THINGS in Kirby games, they are real fun.

I have this problem that I try to 100% every game I play to get maximum enjoyment out of it but most of the time it just ends up frustrating me so by the endgame I have like 90-95% but practically never 100%. So now I tend to avoid attempting to 100% games since it just ends up making me not want to play the game anymore, unless getting 100% seems relatively easy/doable. Like with Minit for example, though I still have two achievements to get.


re: half A presses, someone did up this image which sums it up as if it were a part of the original game manual: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CZYQsYAUMAAO2XZ.png:large


The only game I ever 100% was Kingdom Hearts 2 (just the other day), and it wasn’t because I “wanted to see everything” but because I just wanted a reason to keep playing with the fantastic mechanics. I don’t really get the urge to see everything, I usually feel like whatever I explored in my play to the end was enough.