I've never really considered myself an avid collector of PlayStation trophies, but my attitude to them has certainly shifted over the last few years. After a long time largely ignoring the supplementary awards, I earned my first Platinum trinket with the excellent Rocket League. I'm not quite sure what happened, but following this milestone, I've gathered myself another 15 more, seemingly through no real effort on my part. I've decided that I'm simply earning Platinums for games I truly enjoy -- either that, or they're just plain easy.
I was lucky enough to review Return of the Obra Dinn, a mystery adventure game about a 19th century ship that's returned to port after a disastrous voyage should've left it at the bottom of the sea. Long story short, it's spectacular. You're tasked with identifying and explaining the fate of all 60 people aboard the ship during its demise, and putting everything together makes you feel like a genius. I highly recommend it if you're after something fresh, intellectual, and truly one of a kind.
One tiny thing about the game does bother me, though. As I said, I never used to care about trophies, but this game seems to have proven I must care at least a little bit, because I'm writing an anecdotal piece about one specific achievement. You're reading it now, to be clear. A lone, bronze trophy is keeping the Obra Dinn Platinum off my shelf, and it's a real stinker.
If you don't want to know anything about it, or the game's content in general, here's your warning.
Filling the pages of a complete record on the ship is your main task, and it's wonderfully compelling. You'll only know if you're right about your deductions once you correctly solve three fates, and once you do, they'll be locked in. You can finish the game before filling out the book, which grants you an unsatisfactory ending, a silver trophy, and the overwhelming desire to leap back in and crack the case. Solve the fates of every soul aboard the Obra Dinn, and you'll gain access to a hidden chapter, a gold trophy, and the full ending. A great reward for a job well done.
But wait, the Platinum didn't ping.
Oh, there's a hidden trophy. I wonder what it is? I've finished the game 100 per cent, after all.
The trophy is called "Captain Did It", and after some googling, I discovered you have to blame every death in the game on the captain. In other words, to net that glistening Platinum gong, I need to go through the process of discovering every expired crew member again, and incorrectly frame the captain for all 60 deaths. After a thoroughly enjoyable 12 hours of meticulously deducing who everyone is and how they died, this is a bit of a bummer.
When you first board the vessel, only two or three corpses will be available to you for inspection. You pull out the Memento Mortem, a pocket watch that can transport you back to the final moments of a person's life. Doing so gives you a snapshot of the instant someone has died, and you're free to walk around the scene for a minute to look for clues. The way the game works, you need to witness every single one of these in order to firstly deduce the cause of death, and secondly the person's name. It's imperative when you're playing the game properly; in fact, you'll need to revisit these things lots of times as new developments later on may necessitate going back.
However, for this trophy, you need to get through all these again. Not only does it take a while to do this, it also ruins the context of the game. Moreover, it's just not something you'd ever think to do. Technically you can finish the game by blaming it all on the captain, but who's going to do that while playing normally? It's not something that would ever have crossed my mind if I hadn't checked the trophy's description. Plus, because your correct deductions are set in stone, you can't hop into your pristine save and change things for the sake of the achievement. The idea of "Captain Did It" is quite amusing on its own, but in practice, it's a real pain that goes against what Return of the Obra Dinn is all about.
I realise this is quite a small issue to get upset about. A non-issue, really. It's just a trophy -- you enjoyed the game, and you've finished it. Move on. What's to complain about, right? Well, it's not even that it's standing between me and the Platinum -- a Platinum I'd love to add to my modest collection, admittedly -- it's more that it's so out of sync with everything else in the game. Here's an experience all about carefully piecing together a wonderfully intricate puzzle. You have all the pieces in front of you, and when meticulously slotted into place, you end up with a beautiful picture, and you're satisfied in the knowledge you alone are responsible for working it all out. This trophy is the equivalent of starting the puzzle over again, but this time, awkwardly and hastily jamming all the pieces together, wrecking the intended finish.
I love Return of the Obra Dinn, but its biggest mystery of all is that damn hidden trophy. Yes, of course I'll be collecting it.
Do you hate unintuitive trophies like this? Can trophies make or break a game for you, or do you totally ignore them? Polish up your collection in the comments below.