It all started with a conversation one evening with Phil from Later Levels. “What is the appeal with trophy hunting?” I asked. The answers came thick and fast, but the one which sticks in my mind the most is “I would never have played these games as much I have if it weren’t for the trophies.”
I like to get my monies worth too, but killing a hundred virtual pigeons? Picking up 100 pieces of paper in an open world map? Hmm. Sounds like busywork.
Then the subject cropped up time and again, with Solarayo from Ace Asunder also showing us the light. Let’s just say, she’s got a few trophies of her own…
It was becoming such a hot topic, Later Levels dedicated a Save Point chat show topic to trophy and achievement hunting, which was a great stream if you missed it. Fair warning though, there was also lots of talk about roast potatoes haha.
What is a platinum trophy?
Trophies on PlayStation are awarded for doing stuff in a game, like completing a chapter, eliminating a certain number of enemies. It’s really up to the developer.
A platinum trophy is awarded when you’ve earned all of the other trophies in a game.
Many other platforms have similar systems by different names, such as Achievements on Xbox or Steam.
Finding the right game to test the waters
I wrote some of my thoughts about Marvel’s Spider-Man once I finished the main story, I’ve since completed the DLC too, such a great game folks.
A few things then happened, which were never my intention:
- I replayed the game immediately with the New Game+ mode,
the first platinum requirement;I usually wait months or even years before doing this, but I was still really enjoying the game
- All the talk of trophies led me to play Ultimate difficulty,
another requirement for the platinum trophy, I figured if I was replaying, I may as well attempt all the trophies
- Heck, I even streamed the whole thing too, which isn’t something I’ve really announced, but yes, nowisgames.com is now streaming, just like everyone else seems to be 🙂
There was one thing about Spider-Man that made me do all of these things above, going for that coveted first platinum trophy, despite a lifelong ignorance and disinterest in the pursuit; it seemed entirely possible.
Play the game and get rewarded
Studying the requirements and matching them against my experience of the game, I believed it was possible without much deviation from enjoying the game a second time around.
There’s no multiplayer, so no problem having to rely on randoms. No over-the-top requirement to collect 100 bits of paper or some other trinket, the numbers were sensible and the targets all easily reachable. The only real stumbling block, the ultimate difficulty. Would I be able to see that through to the end?
Don’t be so difficult!
I seldom play video games on the hardest difficulty available, I usually go mid-range or straight in for easy. There’s no shame as far as I’m concerned, there’s also a big reason for that, which is time.
I don’t have as much time available as I used to for playing video games, real-life and all that, it sort of gets in the way, so I consider my time valuable for this hobby. I can manage the harder difficulties, depending on the game, I just choose not to unless I really want to be challenged and have the time and patience for it.
So I practised Ultimate difficulty a little, without much bother, then set about my journey towards those final two trophies, believing it was all possible. That shiny platinum trophy would be mine.
Relying heavily on the gadgets available in the game, as well as the haphazard fighting style I’d developed throughout my first playthrough, I settled into a groove that served me well, until the last enemy faction was introduced.
Those guys are heavily armoured and shoot you, a lot, with rockets and snipers. They were quite challenging at times, but after a bit of practice again off-stream, I ploughed through the remainder of the game.
By the end, I was very much doing it for the trophies, I was ready to move on and replay the game some other time, likely shortly before Spider-Man 2 comes along.
How can I get into this too?
Marvel’s Spider-Man is an excellent choice for your first platinum trophy in my opinion, or “easy” platinum if you’re a seasoned professional like Phil and Solarayo.
Ultimate difficulty is not as difficult as the name suggests, by the time you reach New Game+, you’ve likely unlocked everything you’ll need to tackle the game on that difficulty, which is to say all of the suits and gadgets. You’ll need them, trust me!
I would suggest using PSN Profiles to look at your own profile and find something you’ll enjoy investing that time and effort into. Don’t bother trying to navigate the PlayStation user interface, it will take too long for this 😀
Does this make me a trophy/achievement hunter?
I’m not sure it does, in the traditional sense. I’ve never gone out of my way to get the platinum in any of the games I own, nor do I have any intention of doing that.
I was burned by Valve having achieved 100% completion of Left 4 Dead when they released DLC with multiplayer trophies, which I was just never going to get. Since then, I’ve never really bothered.
But there is a certain sense of satisfaction from seeing 100% against the game…
Which game is next then?
OK, you’ve got me despite what I said before, I’m already looking for my next platinum trophy. Research suggests I’m not a million miles away from the platinum in Horizon Zero Dawn, after one playthrough two years ago. I skipped the hunting lodge stuff and there’s a quest line I can replay without doing the whole game.
With the PS5 close and HZD2 probably on the way in the next couple of years, I think this is one I’m going to try and tick off the list.
I’ve also pumped so many hours into Borderlands 2 I feel like I should invest some more time and effort into getting all the achievements on that too if I can. We’ll see!
In summary, I wouldn’t call myself a trophy/achievement hunter, but I am definitely paying more attention to them now than I was previously.
How do you feel about trophies and achievements? Is there a platinum trophy or an achievement you’re especially proud of? Let me know in the comments.
Update: I screwed up when I was writing the post, NG+ and Ultimate difficulty aren’t requirements for the platinum trophy in Spider-Man. At the time, I was just trying to get all possible trophies available, which I managed to do by the end of the NG+Ult playthrough!