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So the trophy list for TLOU is different. It doesn’t have the usual checkpoint trophies (You finished chapter 3!) trophies. It doesn’t have the “trick” trophies (Make an enemy drop dynamite and kill two enemies, from TR, or half the AC ones). It doesn’t have “kill” trophies. It has very few trophies. Many are “find all of” trophies, and I think I’ve already not won them. It has FIVE finish the game trophies (each level of difficulty) and that’s the most of it.

It’s like it’s saying “Look, stop it, just play the damn game.” Which is cool. Especially considering it comes from a 1st party studio. And I haven’t WON any of them yet, which is equally cool. I mean, if this was Ubisoft, there probably would have been a “finish the prologue” trophy. So, somewhere in that emotionally devastating moment at the end of it and the credits, there would have been the little ping and the icon and it would have broken the moment. (Much like it did in TR. Right after Lara gets out of the cave at the beginning, and you see the sweeping vista for the first time, and the title comes across and the music swells, there’s a trophy and an “art gallery unlocked” and it ruins the moment.)


And yet it still feels the need to have them at all….


I also appreciated the lack of mood-breaking “participation” trophies. (Hey, we could do a whole side-discussion comparing trophies you get for finishing parts of the game to the medals you get for showing up on kids’ sports teams!)

I don’t really remember trophies at all from that game, which I think means I didn’t do a very good job of finding all the stuff there was to find, but also that the trophies they have are unobtrusive and you have to go looking for them. This is a definite stylistic choice that worked well with the mood of the game.

It’s like, if you want to go poking around obsessively in every corner, good for you! Here are some trophies to reward your thoroughness! If not, we’re not going to distract you by handing you a bunch of trophies just for playing. The game itself should be reward enough for you in that case.

Which I respect. I mean, honestly, I don’t object to trophies as a concept. They can be fun, and I can see that for people who churn through games, they can be a way to add another level of enjoyment to something that you’d otherwise just be done with and move on from.

But it’s OK to actually make me WORK for them, if I want them. Which I usually won’t bother to do, but that’s my choice, and the game doesn’t have to make me feel good about that choice by handing me pity awards because I bothered to actually keep playing it.


It’s funny cuz the other game I’m playing through is Trine 2, which is a good game and fun with D, and it has nothing but “You finished chapter 3!” and “stand on a plank that’s being supported by air for four seconds” (not making that one up) trophies. There’s no reason to stand on a plank supported by air whatsoever. None. It’s just a stunt. But that’s a puzzle platformer, so is it ok?

I certainly think I’m already out on the first two in TLOU (find every artifact, have every optional conversation). I MUST have missed one already. It’s like you look at the list, they lead with those two, and they’re pretty much saying “just give up. Go play.” Good for them.

I’m glad that Sony is nice enough to give us that ‘percentage of people who have them’ stat. Useful for blogging.

Which is something I appreciate with the chapter trophies, because it makes it very easy to see where people gave the hell up. Or got bored. Or something. I also think it’s cool to see how much the story grabbed the masses. For example, the average “finish” rate on games is about 32%. TR’s “finish the game” trophy was at about 43% when I finished. Which says something for the writing, no? Or maybe just the type of player that wanted to play it. Or both.

As for “working for it,” there’s the strange phenomenon of the ultimate work trophy: the platinum. The “win every trophy” trophy. This is something in most games. Indeed, Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes (the two hour “prequel” to MGS 5 that got flak for only being two hours and costing 30 bucks) didn’t have the option to win a platinum, as it was too short. People on the webs DIDN’T BUY IT solely for that reason.


Every PS4 game I own (granted, that isn’t very many yet) has a platinum rate of less than .5%. .5%! That’s pretty darn low. Which means that the vast majority of gamers (99.5% or so) either don’t want to get that, don’t care it exists, or give up before they get there. So why bother putting it there at all? Just to make some tiny percentage of internet dweebs (not counting the loyal readers of Play First, Talk Later, of course) happy? Or what?


I can’t really conceive of not buying a game because it didn’t have a specific trophy. But I guess if that’s what you’re into, way to know and own your preferences. Be in touch with what makes you you and makes games games you’ll play, people!

Given that, as you say, the platinum trophy completion percentage is so vanishingly small, one does wonder whether it’s aspirational thinking at work (“I always INTEND to get the platinum trophy, even if 99.5% of the time I don’t actually do it”), or if there’s a principle involved (“I never actually get it or even bother to try, but I want to know it’s there if I happened to want to try”) or if maybe there was really only one person who didn’t buy that game for that reason but they just posted the complaint in a lot of places…truly, a mystery to be pondered.

As for why bother to put it in if you know 99.5% of your players won’t get it?

I suppose it probably doesn’t cost that much to do in terms of programming and time (you’re already keeping track of which trophies an account has, so it’s probably not that difficult to add the condition that if someone has them all, they get X), so why not make the .5% happy? And potentially give the…let’s say probably quite a bit less than 99.5%, given that many of us will never even try, but maybe, I dunno, 10% of people who actually try to get it, give them something to strive for? if that keeps even one player playing your game for another few hours, you win!

Except you don’t really win anything because they’ve already bought the game once. Still, you win in terms of keeping your game at the forefront of the person’s mind, maybe keep them talking about it to their friends, keeping it part of the conversation, maybe delaying their purchase of some competing game and NOT talking about that to their friends…when I put it that way, every game should have, like, FIVE platinum trophies!


People are people, that’s for sure. I think it goes to some sort of insecurity. “I play games because I am good at them, so I want to prove to everyone and myself how good I am.”

I like that third reason, and it’s one we could go off about in another post: the loud complaining of the minority. Let’s face it: someone who platinums everything is going to go on the web and say what they think more than someone who just plays to play. So that voice is magnified. And that’s true all over the board, gameswise. Let’s do a “is the minority hijacking games?” thread when we’re bored.

Good point [re: why even have ‘Platinum’]. Small investment. And .5 % of, say, three million is still a lot of people. Couple lines of code to get them? Sounds like a lot of upside.

As I generally do not get DLC, I don’t know if the trophies that come with DLC (and there are) go to that platinum. Because that would certainly be a reason. Spend another 30 bucks on things you don’t want! Certainly, there are multiplayer trophies that go to that, so you get people invested in the multiplayer aspect that they probably wouldn’t go near but for the trophy (Look at TR. about .5% platinum, and all the multiplayer trophies were all about 1.5%, so really, the only people who cared were the platinum heads). And multiplayer means more DLC, more maps, etc. Mo’ money.


Good question about the DLC. If it counts, presumably it only counts for games you actually buy…? Or can it say “you know, you WERE almost at platinum, but then some DLC was released so even though you don’t have it, those trophies still EXIST, and you don’t have them, so buy the DLC or lose out on the ultimate trophy, sucker!”

I suppose it can, thanks to networked consoles. Now that’s clever and evil. Although it does suggest a way that my facetious remark about every game having five platinum trophies could work: one for getting every trophy in the main game, additional mini-platinums for also getting all the trophies in each DLC, and maybe a super-platinum for getting all the available DLC.

I am NEVER going to get into this aspect of games. Well, unless I’m stranded on a deserted island with a solar-powered PS4 and one game. I guess then I’d really play the hell out of it. I mean, what else are you going to do besides tend your fire, roast coconuts, and sing shanties while waiting for Edward to come rescue you?

But in general, I don’t have that kind of patience.


I’m not sure either. I do know back in my PC days, where they were “achievements,” and there were no platinums, that DID happen with Civ 5. There was an expansion pack, and all of a sudden there were fifty new achievements to get whether you had it or not. So maybe. I dunno. Never tried.

And I do know that the trophy list for “Freedom’s Cry,” the DLC I do not have for AC4, does show up. If you want to see your trophies, you hit AC4, then a sub menu of AC4, that and the blackbeard one shows up. With all the little zeroes.

I told Mrs. McP about trophies the other day, and she said “that’s why I can’t play. I’d HAVE to have them all.” OCD and gaming. Not a good combo.


If the trophies show up, I bet they count towards/against platinum status. Which means that someone could theoretically get that trophy, and then lose it when the DLC came out. I bet people LOVE that.

Meanwhile, I just hang out with my 8% trophy capture rate, heating irons for my rum flips and thinking about the next game. Life is good.