Available on PlayStation 4
After years and years of being stuck in development purgatory, The Last Guardian has finally hit the PS4s of everyone who is still willing to give it a chance. And as many expected, Fumita Ueda’s latest creation will be a big point of contention for the gaming industry.It’s filled with gorgeous moments between Trico and the nameless boy as well as stunning environments filled with color, but major issues with controls, camera movement, and AI put a real damper on all the fun.
Everything in The Last Guardian revolves around the relationship between a nameless boy and a giant griffin-like creature named Trico. It’s amazing to see that bond grow throughout the course of the adventure, and the last stretch of the game is one of my favorite experiences in gaming this year.
Much like Ueda’s other games, Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, the overall story has a lot that is left to interpretation. Whether or not you’ll like what that sort of experience depends on what kind of narrative structure you typically enjoy, but I’d recommend the game based off the bond between the two characters alone.
What stands out is the particularly cinematic moments that leave flashes of brilliance throughout the game.Trico saving you a split second before a bridge collapses beneath your feet is just one of many moments that keeps The Last Guardian exciting.
Puzzles and platforming take center stage as you navigate various temples and lush environments. You’ll need to do things like guide Trico toward a wall with stain glass windows so that he can destroy them. And that’s one of the most promising and frustrating parts of the experience. All throughout the game, you’re powerless.
You need Trico for almost everything, and it feels really good to develop a partnership with this giant beast. Getting past a rather challenging puzzle by instructing Trico or leading the various enemies you encounter to Trico leaves you with a sense of accomplishment. But Trico is also the reason why some of those puzzles are challenging, the commands you have don’t always register with Trico. Sometimes he’ll be facing the wrong way or unwilling to go to the exact spot you need him in. It creates some rather frustrating moments that really hurt the game’s flow.
The ESRB slapped a Teen rating on this cooperative expedition due to some fantasy violence and blood, but there isn’t much to be wary of for younger players. I’d recommend playing this game with your kid if they’re even if they’re on the younger side.
In the end, I really enjoyed The Last Guardian. It placed itself among other strong narrative focused games that came out this year. But if you’re on a budget, Ueda’s latest creation isn’t the first game I’d recommend you spend your money on, especially if you’re a stickler for tight controls and intelligent AI.