BENGALURU : Speedrunning is the videogame equivalent of walking through a grocery store when I’m hungry, only to grab that one pack of flour that I needed to buy. I’m doing just enough, when I am tempted to do so much more. The creators of videogames are smart. They know how to stop people from doing just speedruns. They provide achievements. Some trophies. Some medals. Some unlockable features. Sealing your exit from the game’s ecosystem. Now you’ve spent too much time here, and money. Maybe, just maybe, if you stick around for longer you can get some more achievements.
Anyway, Ghost of Tsushima is not exploitative in its achievement track. In the PlayStation a Platinum Trophy is the “ultimate achievement”; it means you’ve sort of received all the achievements that are worth achieving. I tried that last week, commemorating the anniversary of the game. Platinum-ing is a noble pursuit, but not an easy task. It requires dedicated effort (basically grinding), till you find the occasion that helps you complete it.
However, the achievable platinum trophy in Ghost of Tsushima extends beyond the campaign mission. Late last year, the game came out with “Legends”, an online co-op universe that follows mystic tales. The Story and Survival modes are easy to master with some help from your teammates. Additionally, they also have great replay value and benefits associated with replay. Once you have successfully finished all tiers of the modes and ranked up your preferred characters, you get to try “Raids”.
Raids are an hour-and-a-half-long missions. They have excellent story backing, and ruthless combat during play. You have disciples shooting burning crows into your face, and purple one is kicking you a mile high into the air — it’s painful and glorious simultaneously. Since this is purely Player vs Enemy, it requires support from your teammates.
The Raids are hard, and the costs of quitting midway is high. You lose your progress if you don’t stick with your team. If a teammate quits, it’s impossible to take the raid to completion, due to its sheer difficulty. Not only does it involve combat skill and some figuring out small puzzles, but it also requires a lot of coordination between the teammates. You’ll leave the game with a hatred for “Iyo”, but with a sense of deep fulfillment for your random teammates from the ends of the world. Only in Raids, have I ever found the journey to the Platinum trophy worth it, and not just checking the box of “another trophy”.
(This economics graduate spends her leisure time preparing for the zombie apocalypse)