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

Burnout Paradise

Nathan Ditum

Having loved Burnout 3 on PS2, I didn’t initially get this open-world development, with its sprawling, bloody-hard-tomemorise city of billboards, smash gates and perpetual online. It wasn’t until the Big Surf Island DLC arrived that I caught up – the island with a colour-by-numbers tutorial explaining that it was no longer about going fast, but also going up, around and everywhere, exploring with nitroboosted cars like a chrome-plated platformer.

Suddenly I was in. And I wasn’t alone – CVG’s video producer James Jarvis was with me, and we decided to do everything on the island. None of it counted towards the original game’s platinum tally, but the four nights it took planted the seed that would flower into a 100-hour obsession.

At first we joked about taking this completist approach to the big city. “Ha! All 400 gates and 100 billboards!” But soon the jokes faded into a competitive realisation of what we’d accidentally decided to do. We raced each other to complete the offline game. I spent entire weekends on the sofa batting away the children to earn the Burnout licence, a total of 50 hours, texting James to see which one of us would finish first (it was me, by less than a week, a sign of how mad I’d gone).

But the hook of Paradise was online, and the hardest trophies reflected that. Charging my Bluetooth headset – and playing for so long it ran out again – became routine as James and I sought out the extra players we needed for multiplayer challenges, often resorting to begging on Twitter to find people good enough and online right now enough to help out.

In the end it was an excruciating endurance event – there was no defining moment, no obscene boss or high score target. I can’t even remember scoring the final trophy – but I do remember the text I sent to James: “I did it first.”