It wasn’t all that long ago that people had never heard of trophies for gaming. We just played a game and that was that. If it had replayability then it got replayed, otherwise it just got shelved and became part of a dusty games collection on a shelf.
There aren’t many games that I played more than once back then. The most memorable being Thief 1 and 2, Resident Evil, Silent Hill 2 (a game I still replay to this day), Hitman and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. In fact, I enjoyed Vice City so much that I actually put in the time and effort to reach 100% completion. Not because of a trophy system (there wasn’t one); I did it because I loved the game and I laughed hard when I that saw that the prize for my efforts was an in-game T-Shirt with the slogan “I completed Vice City and all I got was this Lousy Shirt”.
Things have changed now and we’re seeing more and more games that don’t even have any worthwhile replayability but are still being replayed for the sole reason of trophies. In fact, many games that are considered to be absolutely dreadful are being played because they have very easy Platinum trophies. I’ve seen grown men playing Hannah Montana for this very reason. I enjoy getting 100% completion in some games but I wouldn’t put myself through the mental torture of playing Hannah Mon-freaking-tana. Gouging out an eye with the blu-ray disk would make for a more preferable trophy.
I caught the trophy bug when I bought myself a PS3. It didn’t bother me so much when I played games on my 360, I would just play them, finish the campaign and that was that, onto the next game. Something about Sony’s trophy system really grabbed me though and I started renting less than stellar titles that had a simple road to Platinum. Although they have all been games that interest me. The most recent one that I completed was Captain America: Super Soldier. Not my finest moment in gaming but at least it only took one play through. The Platinum that I had the most fun getting was Infamous 2.
Of course, we all have certain trophies that we absolutely hate completing. My personal hated trophies are collectibles. They add virtually nothing to the story and always end up with me finding a map to follow on the internet. Pointless.
Last week I was playing Deus Ex: Human revolution which was an okay game. However, I got to the end and saw that I had only achieved 91% of the trophies. The only way for me to get the platinum would have been another play through and I just didn’t want to play through it again. The story wasn’t that great and I was bored of hacking computers to read the emails of nobodies that I never even met so I decided to leave it.
There’s no denying that Trophies and Achievements have an addictive quality and can prolong the life of a game, but shouldn’t the game also be so good that it makes you excited to play through it again? We, as gamers deserve more for our money than just going through the motions for the sake of a gaming scorecard that only really means something to the player. Honestly, you’re the only one who cares what your score is.
With all this in mind I’ve decided to pick a (good) game and get the Platinum trophy for it and maybe write about that experience. The game I’ve chosen first is Red Dead Redemption and I’ll let you readers pick the next one. Just don’t pick something impossible!
Feel free to add me on PSN if you’re interested in my progress – my ID is Simiad
What’s your opinion about Trophies and Achievements? Have they made you replay games that you might not have given more time to after finishing the campaign once? What’s your favourite Platinum / 100%? What kind of Trophy do you hate going for?