As I’m a person who enjoys self-inflicted pain and anguish, I have decided to clear my backlog of games the only way I know how: by getting a platinum trophy in them all. And, because people love a bit of schadenfreude, I have decided to document my attempts for everyone to read. For those who don’t know, the platinum trophy is awarded after you have collected every trophy or achievement in a game. Before this series, I had collected one in my whole life, so it isn’t going to be easy.
Assassin’s Creed Origins in the latest release in the Ubisoft series. It follows in much the same vein as its predecessors – you are an assassin, who must clear your small world of evil. Only, in Origins, your small world is the entirety of Ancient Egypt. And it sure as hell isn’t small. We have a full review that you can read here, but the game is incredibly detailed, to say the least. You follow Bayek, the original assassin, as he seeks revenge for his son’s death. Or, if you’re playing purely to collect trophies, Bayek is an assassin who gets distracted incredibly easily and steals from pyramids and the gods (something he clearly states in-game is not right). Assassin’s Creed has always pushed exploration, but has always just missed its mark. This is no longer true in Origins, as the world feels completely alive. With every step you take, there is something new to discover, and the NPCs carry on with their lives whether you’re there or not. The world no longer revolves around you.
All of which makes getting the platinum that much harder. Luckily, the game isn’t one of those annoying ones that forces you to do multiple playthroughs. On the other hand, it does require that you discover, and complete, everything worth discovering in Egypt. I started out with hope, knowing that I loved looking in every corner for something new, but that very quickly faded. There are a LOT of locations, and it’s incredibly tedious completing them all. I had a guide by my side and meticulously crossed each location off after I had completed it, so it wasn’t as bad as going in completely blind. I cannot imagine how horrible it must be to have traversed the land five times over, thinking you had found everything, only to not hear the ‘ping’ of the trophy because you missed one and don’t know where it is. Only I can. Because that absolutely happened.
Egypt is a beautiful country – at least Ubisoft’s interpretation of it is, as I certainly don’t have the finances to see the real thing. I’m going to assume it’s a direct copy and I can cross it off my bucket list. But when you have to spend 40 hours wandering around the desert, it becomes far less enticing. And by the end, you’ve seen everything. I thought the NPCs were fairly normal people – wake up, run their market stall, run from crocodiles, go to sleep under the stars – that kind of thing. They’re not. I came across one person who left a note saying that they were going to try a leap of faith like they’d seen the Medjay (Bayek) do. 30 metres below lay a body having just missed the pile of hay. But he wasn’t the craziest person I came across. On a small island in the Nile lay two skeletons, their blood covering the floor. Beside them was their last thoughts. They believed that a god had told them to sacrifice themselves to the crocodiles and they would come back as tiny baby crocs. I thought it was a little strange at first, as the majority of Ancient Egyptians believes that they went to an afterlife, rather than reincarnation. That was, until I turned around and saw a crocodile running towards me with a necklace on.
I laugh about these details, but they were great. They really broke up the monotony. What also broke the monotony was my decision to purchase a 4K TV halfway through my playthrough. Let me tell you, Egypt is even more beautiful in ultra HD. I spent ten minutes staring at the details in the leaves nearby before remembering the task at hand and setting off again. On foot. I did have an option to ride my unicorn over the land (yes, you read that right), but horses are real jerks in the game. You tell it to follow the path to your objective while you take a toilet break, only to come back to find it running in circles, confused because there’s a small rock in front of them that they can’t vault. So, my unicorn got left behind. I don’t know where it is now, but I hope it’s happy.
There are a number of annoying trophies to collect in the game, as you can imagine. It wouldn’t be any fun if they were easy to obtain. The most annoying of all would have to be ‘Ben-Hur’, which sees Bayek competing in the Hippodrome. You only have to win one competition made up of three races, but my God, is it a ball-ache. I am an assassin. I am made for exploration and combat. Why on earth am I being forced to drift my horses around corners?
Another trophy requires you to sell 100 trinkets in one go. You find these scattered around tombs and forts, and you can bet I didn’t see that particular trophy before starting. So again, I had to take another tour of the land, scrounging around in every possible basket and chest to scrape together 100 pieces of trash to sell on. While I was doing that, I came across a guard who was level 41. Which usually isn’t a problem, good for him for being so strong, but my level cap was 40. Being exhausted from my travels, I had a good long moan about this fact to my partner, who has since vowed to leave me for someone a little saner.
It was all worth it in the end though, when the platinum trophy popped up in the corner of my screen as Bayek overlooked a group of soldiers burning to death below. Egypt really is beautiful.
Was it worth it in the end? Yes, as long as you enjoy a good trek.