The Last Guardian

Format Played: PS4
Publisher(s): Sony Interactive Entertainment
Developer(s): SIE Japan Studio
Release Date: 9 December 2016
Score: 8.1/10

the_last_guardian_cover_artFrom time to time a game gets released that is so breathtakingly different from any other out there and it just takes your breath away.

The Last Guardian has been in development hell for just under 10 years when it was announced way back in 2007 followed by it’s first trailer shown at E3 2009.  Team ICO have released two of the most beautiful original games I have played to date and when I witnessed the original trailer it quickly became top of my must have list.  7 Years since watching that trailer I finally have the pleasure to get to play one of the most beautiful and charming games I have ever played.  However having said this the game doesn’t come without its faults and there is quite a few of them.

Poor frame rate and poor looking areas.
Unfortunately you can tell that this game started out on the PS3 however having had 9 years to iron out any kinks like frame rate drops and area’s where the graphics look dull and blocky is no excuse when 90% of the rest of the game looks beautiful and impressive.  These little moments hinder what could have been a stunning title.

Camera controls
I posted a video on you-tube showing myself on Trico’s back however as Trico moved around my screen went pitch black and then came back  and then black again and back etc etc I couldn’t see my character was climbing or where he was.

You can’t help but love this character and when everything is going well it can make you forget that ordering commends it him gets about as much response as telling a new born puppy not to do something.  I have wasted so many moments having Trico look everywhere apart from the direction I want him to go or he jumps up a few platforms than decided to turn around and go back down again.  Jumping up wrong areas, progressing with the story route and not going back to a secret area when I ask him too, chucking me off his back for no reason, not coming when called and just not following any sort of orders given which quickly become frustrating.

There is a trophy list but don’t expect to get many of them on your first play through.  I wouldn’t hold out any sort of hope for completing the game without seeing the Game Over screen either.  Due to areas that look climbable, jumps that look jump-able and the one cut scene that had Trico chuck me to my death which was out of my control and completely unforgivable especially as there is a trophy for not dying.

I make this game sound terrible and it really really isn’t, it just has a lot of frustrating issues.  This being said all is forgotten about every time Trico helps you out or something actually does work and when it does there are plenty of surprises and trico can at times be lovable and totally adorable.
There isn’t much of a story but you quickly feel a bond between you and beast very early on which just grows as you progress.  That bond is like no other I have ever experienced in a video game with an animal.  The closest I would compare it to would be Joel and Ellie from the Last of Us.

There isn’t many difficult puzzles and the combat never proved to be an issue either but you will get lost from time to time and finding the right way to go can also be an issue especially when Trico proves no help when turning around looking every direction but the correct one.

I would love to give this game full marks, it certainly has the potential to be one of the greats but there are too many issues that hinder the game throughout forces my score down.