Freeplay Frenchie Reviews The Last Guardian
The Last Guardian, one of the games we had all been waiting for, from the creators of The Shadow of the Colossus, has finally been released to us. Despite Shadow of the Colossus being widely known as an incredible game fans were anxious that Sony, Team Ico and SIE Japan Studio, kicked it up a notch this year. The Last Guardian has been almost unanimously anticipated with bated breath and although this review is a little late, here’s what I thought.
The Last Guardian is undoubtedly a unique game and I don’t think I’ve ever played anything quite like it. Working with Trico to solve puzzles and navigate your way around the ruins can at first be a little irksome because there is little assistance given. I know many gamers will think this is a very good thing, and for the most part I agree. The way forward is not always clear, and more often than not I had to give it a little while before figuring it out. Sometimes you will also just need to climb onto Trico and he will take you somewhere. However, with this also comes a certain degree of a lack of direction. The Last Guardian is not exactly an open world game so you will usually find a way forward with relative ease. But being the impatient gamer most of you know I am, caused me frustration on more than one occasion.
Interactions with Trico are another unique feature of this game and one that really must be experienced. Trico in a lot of ways responds exactly as an untrained dog would, although for the most part I took to calling him my cat, because of his confused faces and tendency to ignore my commands. The commands system means that after a little while of getting to know Trico he will obey your commands; jump, stand, sit etc, but what they don’t tell you is that Trico will make a variety of howls, moans and whimpers depending on the situation. For example, you could be desperately trying to make Trico go one way without realising he’s making all that noise because there’s not enough room, or you could be running about on ground level looking for the next clue as to which direction to go and Trico will be making noises because he can take you somewhere. It’s all a learning curve and the gamer really has to pay attention to his companion to learn his signals that he gives you. By about half way through the game you should understand Trico pretty well.
What I found most disappointing about the game was actually the poor controls. The boy can either tiptoe or run at full speed, there is no walk, which although may not sound like a big deal is surprisingly annoying and for such a small detail I’m confused as to why that was omitted. His reactions can be slow and laggy, and for the most part it felt like an older game. I feel as though the teams spent so much time on story and graphics and making the game everything fans wanted it to be they forgot to polish the basics.
I also found that personally, the story seemed lacking. I realise the narrative is told through the gameplay and there are very few cinematic scenes which is good because then the player never really loses that disconnection. However for me I felt there wasn’t enough story. This adds to the mystery, yes, and The Shadow of the Colossus was done in much the same way, it felt a little slow in parts. As a writer I wanted to know more. This can be a charming quality of some games and open endings are sometimes exciting, but for the long periods where me and Trico were doing nothing but moving through room after room I was thinking what’s the point in all this? To get the boy back to the village yes but why? What’s at the village? Who cares?
Those criticisms being made you cannot fault the epic graphics and touching relationship you build with Trico, he is one of kind and I respect the creators for making a game so memorable that I’m sure will always be a favourite.
What did you think of The Last Guardian? Let us know in the comments below!