With the GTA IV Trophy patch now live I’ve been wondering if the addition of Trophies to some PS3 games has been a positive addition.
I know it’s early days but I would have to say yes, for the most part. I currently have 4 games that feature Trophies but so far, for the most part, Trophies have impacted positively on all four games.
I got bored of Burnout Paradise pretty quickly when I first played it. Too many events were the same and I got a little tired of the gameplay. They added Custom soundtracks, bikes and a day night cycle which made me play it again for about a day, then I got bored again.
Then for some reason I got into a groove for collecting Trophies and I found a new passion for Burnout Paradise. I wasn’t bothered about having to start from scratch due to trophies not being retroactive but starting over again was actually enjoyable. I started doing the Burning Routes which I had never done on my first playthrough and I played a bit more online with a friend, helping each other collect Trophies.
For me, Trophies made Burnout fun again. Custom soundtracks and adding Bikes obviously added to the enjoyment but it was the pursuit of trophies that made me give burnout a 2nd chance. That may be a bit shallow but it made me appreciate the game more.
I already loved SS: HD, so Trophies were never going to make me find a new passion for playing it, they did however give me the incentive to play the new different modes like Bomber and Endless more than I would have.
In turn, I got more enjoyment out of Arcade mode in general going through all the planets in one sitting and achieving a new high score as a result.
Trophies didn’t have as big of an impact on SS: HD as they did on Burnout Paradise but their inclusion gave me extra motivation to improve my skills. Late Boomer still eludes me though. I came so close last night too!
It’s hard to comment on WipEout HD because I’ve hardly played it and racing games as a rule, are my least favourite genre so it’s probably at a disadvantage already compared to the other games, but what I will say is that the Trophies in WipEout actually offer a real challenge compared to the majority of Trophies that can be earned in most other games.
Some Trophies are going to take hours upon hours of practice, perfecting your skills in order to beat a certain lap time or achieve all golds in Elite mode. Whether this is a good thing depends on whether you’re willing to put in the time to do that or whether WipEout is actually enjoyable enough to make you want to do that.
It is good that some devs are putting some thought into how you can achieve Trophies. Some games have taken a far too easy route but I’ll comment on this shortly.
For me, at this moment in time, I can’t be bothered to put in the time with WipEout HD. There are too many great games out now and over the next two months but because it’s a PSN game, I can come back to it in a few months time and put in the time needed. Having Trophies there to be completed will give me a reason to play it again down the line.
I’m loving BioShock so far. It’s a game that would be played again and again just because it is that good. The Trophies in it though are a mixed bag. Some are really easy like completing the opening level.
Others are supposed to offer a greater test of your gaming prowess such as completing the game on Survivor difficulty without using a Vita chamber, although if it still lets you save at anytime on Survivor mode then that sort of defeats the purpose.
As a whole the Trophies in BioShock are a mixed offering. Some are just giveaways for completing standard tasks within the game while others will make you explore Rapture more or play the game with set goals in mind.
We need far more of the latter and less of the former. Burnout Paradise gives you far too many Trophies for doing the most simplest things like driving through a garage or crashing through the yellow gates. They don’t give you a sense of achievement when they are handed to you on a plate.
Of course you have Bronze, Silver and Gold Trophies to collect, with the difficulty rising as you move towards the Silver and Gold Trophies but far too many Bronze and Silver Trophies are just handed to you without having done anything special to earn them.
Trophies should offer you a sense of achievement, so that when you get them, you’ve either played a game in a different way to what you normally would or you’ve achieved something significant and improved your skills as a result and been rewarded with a Trophy for the effort you’ve put in.
I use the word achievement quite a bit. I always get far greater pleasure from most things if I know I’ve earned something rather than being given something as a token gesture, just for the sake of it.
This is the problem I’ve found with Trophies so far. I know it is early days and that devs are probably trying to strike the right balance between how difficult some Trophies should be to get and they probably don’t want to make Trophies appear as a burden. However, I would be happier if they offered less trophies if it meant the ones available would give you a greater sense of achievement once you earned them.
It’s worth remembering that Trophies are optional and if someone isn’t willing to put the time in, like I’m not with WipEout HD but I am willing to with BioShock, then that’s the player’s choice. Devs shouldn’t have to put in a Trophy just to make up the numbers or just for the sake of it. Trophies should challenge the player to play games differently and to test their game playing ability in ways they would not normally do. If the game is good enough then I’m sure most people would put the effort in.
Overall, I like Trophies, they’ve made me appreciate certain games more and I’ve put more time in games that I would probably not bother with again and made me play them in a different way to what I normally would. I just hope devs start to show more imagination with the Trophies they implement rather than simply giving them away in future.
I’m interested to hear whether you guys agree or disagree with any of the points I’ve raised.
Written by: Gary
- News Contributor