Open-world games give players a lot of things to do in between the story quests and missions that move the game along. These often end up being side-quests or mini-games, but no open-world game would be truly complete without some kind of collectible - something to make people ignore the path laid out for them in favor of an object that's near useless until the rest of its kind are gathered together.
How well collectibles are handled varies from game to game, and it usually depends on a few things like quantity, time required, locations, etc. An interesting example of this is The Witcher 3's Gwent, which is an in-world card game consisting of 150 collectible cards. Collect more and better cards to defeat other Gwent players, and you will unlock an entirely separate quest line involving a Gwent tournament.
On the other hand, there are past games like Alan Wake and its thermoses hidden in ridiculous places (and ultimately amounted to nothing), or Batman: Arkham City, which had over 440 Riddler Trophies (including puzzles and challenges) split between Batman and Catwoman.
The act of navigating towards the trophy, or figuring out one of The Riddler's logic puzzles was fun within its own context, but over 400 of them was a bit much. And after #200, it'd be difficult to blame anyone for seeing them as little more than busy work.
Looking ahead to Batman: Arkham Knight, much of the game has been detailed or teased in the time leading up to its release next month - from other playable characters, to its voice cast. But the parts of the game that probably involve less punching - the puzzles - got little to no attention. Batman is often said to be "the world's greatest detective," so it'd be odd if Rocksteady's last outing with him was lacking in this area.
Anyone eager to play Arkham Knight should find today's news reassuring, though, because the Riddler Trophies are making a return in the next game, and best of all, there's fewer of them. Rocksteady co-founder and Arkham Knight director Sefton Hill revealed on Twitter that only 243 of the trophies will appear in the game, emphasizing "quality over quantity." As he put it, "These are [The Riddler's] most devious and cunning brain teasers ever."
Hill revealed the number as part of a contest in which people were invited to guess how many of the trophies would be in the game. The winner received a life sized replica of a Catwoman Riddler trophy.
243 is considerably lower than 440, but still a decent amount on its own. It'll be interesting to see just how these trophies differ from their predecessors, and if they will be harder to unlock, or simply frustrating. Both Arkham Asylum and Arkham City had several clever puzzles that required multiple tries and perfect execution.
Were the Batman Riddler Trophies interesting you or something you ended up ignoring? Anyone out there put in the effort to collect them all?
Batman: Arkham Knight finally releases on June 23, 2015 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One. Don't forget to buy the Season Pass if you're a fan of Batgirl.
Source: Sefton Hill on Twitter