The original Oxenfree had a tedious Platinum, something that was symbolized by the trophy that required players to beat the game without saying anything. It was dull at best and buggy at worst. Oxenfree 2’s trophy list is surprisingly even more tedious. However, instead of pointing out a problem in just this franchise, it’s representative of a wider trend of annoying Platinums in narrative-heavy adventure games.
These Platinums mainly suffer because of how laborious it is to replay these types of titles, which often call for a few playthroughs. Running through games again to nab trophies isn’t a bad proposition — as shown by the Resident Evil 4 remake and the Dead Space remake — but it can be in this genre. Dialogue and cutscenes are often unskippable and walking speeds are usually incredibly slow. Having to crawl from story bit to story bit and listen to most of the same conversations again means trophy-related replays aren’t snappy. Even just going back to grab a single collectible can take far too much time.
Oxenfree 2 falls into this trap, too, since Riley’s movement speed is sluggish, and there’s no way to blaze past anything. Players have to hear about Jacob’s insecurities again and clamber up the same ropes with very little in the way of expediency. Trophy hunting would be significantly more tiresome if every game had these restrictions and forced players to hit credits at least a couple times.
Supermassive Games’ titles have had the same issue, not only contriving multiple trophies to encourage another run or two, but also getting players to sit through a lot of the same scenes. This approach doesn’t do this genre any favors since it points out how truly limited they often are. While The Dark Pictures Anthology and games like Oxenfree pride themselves on variability, second playthroughs often don’t differ too much.
Oxenfree 2 has a few splintering points, but many of the choices players are presented with are in regards to how they talk to Jacob. Some lines are different, but that doesn’t distract much from how similar the rest of it is. Few games are truly that unique each time, and the trophy list shouldn’t make that even more clear.
Oxenfree 2 is also full of highly specific and missable trophies. It’s easy to forget to ping Evelyn after every transmitter, not tune into Maria’s radio station, or even pick the specific dialogue choices in two scenarios in order to unlock the “3 AM Food Friends” and “Merry Scary Christmas” trophies. Supermassive’s titles are rotten with these types of trophies, and they’re not much better here. Having to deduce how to trigger certain events or closely adhering to a guide is also not the most ideal way to play these games, especially when ignorance or a slip up can force yet another run.
Detroit: Become Human also has a few scene-dependent trophies and 1979: The Revolution calls for players to not miss a single quick-time event, but those games, unlike Oxenfree 2, at least has a chapter select feature to mitigate frustration. It’s not possible to skip around and mop up collectibles or grab the aforementioned missable trophies in this sequel for some puzzling reason. Not even the game’s final autosave lets players pick the other endings; those who don’t back up their save right before that choice are completely out of luck.
There are some narrative adventure games with friendlier trophy lists, though. The Life is Strange series not only lets players skip around, but each entry also has a Collector Mode that strips out the story and makes collectibles easily accessible. Telltale Games, with a few exceptions, also takes the easy road and gives players the Platinum for reaching the end. Not every narrative-heavy title like this needs to be so simple, but they also show that a less prickly path is possible.
Games like Until Dawn, The Quarry, New Tales from the Borderlands, Heavy Rain, Last Stop, Beyond: Two Souls, and The Medium all suffer from many of the aforementioned issues, but Oxenfree 2 still is one of the most hostile to completionists when compared to many of its genre peers. Its glacial movement speed, inability to let players skip dialogue, nearly identical events, lack of chapter select, and very specific and highly missable trophies make it a true slog to complete. There’s even one completely bugged trophy on PS5 (which Night School Studio is aware of), but that’s not nearly its biggest problem. Its biggest problem is that it’s a multifaceted pain to complete that succinctly illustrates this genre’s trophy-related struggles.