Even with the alleged ban, there are so many ways for trophy hunters to waste money on the PlayStation Store. So many Platinums are given to games that are hardly more than interactive screensavers engineered to suck cash out of those who crave the endorphin rush of popping a digital reward. Platlov’s dogs see ZJ the Ball on the PlayStation Store and can’t help but salivate.
Not only does this shovelware crowd the marketplace, it also has highlighted how odd it is when “actual” games don’t get a Platinum. Somerville is one of those games, and despite being a relatively tight and memorable four-hour experience, it’s stuck without that shiny ultimate reward.
Somerville is filled with missable trophies, but unlike other recent titles like Oxenfree 2: Lost Signals and Immortals of Aveum, it’s got an amazing chapter select that’s broken down into individual checkpoints that makes jumping around supremely easy. Wrapping up those last few trophies is painless, and the game itself, despite a bizarre final act, is paced well with some incredible, awe-striking moments. It’s solid enough to warrant a Platinum as some sort of endcap.
A Platinum doesn’t make a game great, and the lack of one doesn’t make it bad. However, it points out how strange the trophy rules on PlayStation are that cause these kinds of disparities to exist. It’s hard to imagine how games that dole out a Platinum after a minute of mindless button mashing are deserving, whereas a title like Somerville that took around five years of development and has four highly curated hours of actual gameplay is banished to the lower trophy tier. There’s almost no consistency for games beneath the highest price echelon, and it’s still the Wild West for free-to-play games.
It doesn’t even look like Sony makes this easy, either. Kinda Funny’s Greg Miller has consistently claimed that developers can add a Platinum even after the slightest pushback from Sony by just asking. These rules don’t seem set in stone, which appears to have paved the way for notable games like Somerville to not have a Platinum. Xbox has done away with games with 200 Gamerscore, and that equity is much more appealing since there are no annoying surprises.
A Platinum wouldn’t fix Somerville’s weak finale, but it would complement the interesting journey it takes players on. There’s just an unmistakable authority that comes with a Platinum that pairs nicely with a well-made game. But there shouldn’t be a hierarchy at all because Platinums should be more of an expected thing that most games just have. Somerville is just the latest solid title to make that point.