Platinum Madness – 6 unhinged tales of unlocking PS3′s toughest trophies

The gamer is a competitive beast. Sure, occasionally we’ll buddy up for a relaxing bit of Journey or team up to batter folk at FIFA 13 online, but the desire to prove yourself better than the next guy or girl is as essential to gaming as Jodie Marsh’s front bumps are to her making a living. And nothing encapsulates this better than a trophy.

Are you tough enough to complete Uncharted on Crushing? Do you have the patience to go through MGS4 unseen? The metallic baubles attached to your PSN ID tell the full story of your gaming prowess, and leave you nowhere to hide. These untouchable and intangible rewards have become central to our gaming existences, with that pleasing ‘pling’ not just the by-product but often the sole motivator for our actions.

And so it is with this unhinged sextet. Men and women for whom the lust for trophies – in particular the shiniest trophy of all, the platinum – has driven them to behaviour extremes that even the most understanding therapist would raise an eyebrow at. Sleep loss, rage blackouts, property damage – all of these caused by a desire for glistening nothingness.

Assassin’s Creed II

Louise Blain

The road to becoming a Master Assassin requires an iPad and insane amounts of instant Nescafé espresso – it’s Italian, alright? I’m not entirely sure how Ezio managed it during the Renaissance. Assassin’s Creed II has 51 trophies. Completing sequences, exploring tombs, getting stealthy and stabby with the hidden blade: it’s all there in bronze, silver and gold. But it’s the ones like In Memory Of Petruccio that really get you… get right inside your head until you want to assassinate your own eyeballs, to be more specific.

100 feathers to collect? I’m sorry you got hanged by the Templars, little brother, I really am. It’s kind of why I’m doing this whole Assassin gig. But 100? The simplest way I could complete this particular challenge was to get cheaty online maps of each area, screenshot and upload them individually into a paint app on my iPad, and proceed to explore and cross off locations. The result looked like a Riddler visit to Florence as I smudged question marks all over the place, but I found them all in the end. Across five locations. At 3.30am. And yet, that wasn’t even the most frustrating step on my path to platinum. Oh no.

That accolade went to the No-hitter gong: ‘Kill ten enemies while remaining in conflict without being hit.’ Given that pre-Brotherhood Ezio’s countering is worse than mine, this wasn’t easy. Plus when you kill five guards in a row the rest run before they’re pierced like a microwave meal.

I ended up running laps around Piazza San Marco to attract hordes of guards. ‘NA NA NA NA NA’, I shouted to my empty flat as 20 of Italy’s finest followed. Stopping in the middle of the square, I dropped smoke bombs and skewered them two at a time as they coughed and spluttered.

I’m not ashamed. Not even of the howls of rage that made my flatmate come and check on me when I discovered the missable trophy (which can thankfully be collected in DLC). I watched the platinum pling through my camera lens as I proudly snapped a pic of the moment to be shown to future generations. I’m never going to forget the feeling of elation. Or tiredness.