Red Dead Redemption 2

Any time I start a new game on PS4, I say to myself, “I’m sticking to my guns this time. I’m going to tough this one out until I see a Platinum Trophy pop.”

Occasionally, I do see it through to the end. In fact, in 2020, I earned Platinum Trophies in eight games, including Final Fantasy VII Remake, A Hero and a Garden, and 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim. Two of the three I’ve mentioned here were pretty easy, but Final Fantasy VII Remake was a pretty brutal grind.

In previous years, I’ve managed some pretty tough Plats, such as Dark Souls: Remastered and Shadow of the Colossus (the PS4 version). I’m starting to see a trend here. It seems that, when it comes to especially difficult Plats, I’m more likely to earn the Platinum Trophy in remakes than new games.

I have two big Platinum Trophy regrets, though. I never earned the Platinum Trophy in Star Wars Battlefront (2015) or Red Dead Redemption 2. But it’s the latter I want to focus on for now (I might write up something on Battlefront later on).

When the COVID-19 lockdowns started, I retreated to my one-bedroom apartment and fired up Red Dead Redemption 2 (after having not played it in over a year), and it very quickly became a huge part of my non-sleeping life. I was streaming Red Dead Online every weekday for weeks, oftentimes putting in 14-hour shifts (I was trying to do 12-14 hours of streaming every Monday for a while). Over the course of March, April, and May, my overall Red Dead Redemption 2 playtime surpassed 700 hours. No, that’s no exaggeration. The Rockstar Social Club website will verify that I have more than 550 hours in Red Dead Online alone.

Red Dead Online

At one point, I was streaming my attempt at getting the Platinum Trophy, having returned to the single-player campaign to tidy up my unfinished business. And let me tell you, there was a lot of unfinished business.

Red Dead Redemption 2 is an enormous game, and it has some brutal Trophies in its collection. It’s Art requires you to “Find a permanent home for the squirrel statue.” This sounds easy, but it’s one of the longest and most tedious quest chains in the entire game. I would have given up had it not been tied to a Trophy. On PS4, this Trophy currently has a completion rate of 0.4%. Best in the West requires you to reach 100% in the game’s tracker (which isn’t actually a true 100%, as it gives you some wiggle room; you don’t have to collect every rare weapon in the game, for example). This also has a completion rate of 0.4%.

Neither of those was a roadblock for me. In fact, I managed to get 97% of Red Dead Redemption 2‘s Trophies. I’m only missing a single one: Gold Rush. Gold Rush is a Silver Trophy (go figure) that requires you to earn 70 Gold Medals in story missions. That’s actually not super difficult (there are over 100 missions in the game, so you don’t have to Gold Medal every single one, and there’s an in-game menu where you can check your progress on any of them). But it’s tedious. If you didn’t earn Gold Medals your first time through, you’re going to end up replaying more than half the game’s missions over again. And if you complete a mission without earning the Gold Medal, you’re going to do it again. And again. And again.

Red Dead Redemption 2

Gold Rush is a completionist’s nightmare. It requires you to be comfortable enough with the game’s many systems to accomplish feats like surviving shootouts without taking a single hit in a limited amount of time. It’s honestly kind of fun to replay a mission over and over, shaving off seconds each time and memorizing enemy patterns. In fact, that’s how I used to play games as a kid, so there’s even a bit of nostalgia to it.

However, you have to do this not once, not twice, but 70 freaking times. Gold Rush is designed to weed out those who aren’t willing to commit to Red Dead perfection. And, despite my 700 hours of playtime, I haven’t attained that level of prestige yet myself.

At the time of this writing, I have 29 Gold Medals in Red Dead Redemption 2. That’s less than half of what I need, and I fought hard for the ones I have. Will I ever go back and earn the 41 more I need to secure one of the most gruelling Platinum Trophies in the PS4’s lineup? I can’t say. I’ve already moved onto other games, and I only login to Red Dead Online to keep my daily challenge streak alive at this point (and to check out the updates every Tuesday). The likelihood that I’ll go back for it at this point decreases by the day.

Yet there’s a nagging in the back of my mind that tells me I should. Red Dead Redemption 2 was my refuge during a pandemic. I owe it to the game to see it to the end. Arthur Morgan wouldn’t have given up this close to the end, and neither should I.

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1 year ago

I’m just going for the best in the west trophy. Although I would consider myself to be a platinum grinder, I only get them on games I like. Not that I don’t like rdr, it’s just that it’ll take forever to get the online trophies and honestly that’s where I’m drawing the line. Boring=no fun=no platinum trophy

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