Almost 10 years have passed since it had first been announced for the Playstation 3 and we have finally gotten The Last Guardian as a Playstation 4 exclusive. Has the game been worth the wait? Let’s find out in this review.
First off, this game is a rollercoaster of emotions. The story for The Last Guardian is a beautiful tale between a young boy and his newly found dogbird. Yes, that’s right Trico is a combination of dog, bird, and some people have said his tail looks like that of a cat. Let me just start by saying this creature is one of the most cute and unique things that I have ever seen.
Without spoiling too much of the story, the narrator (the boy when he is older) finds himself in a situation where he finds Trico. He helps Trico by pulling spears out of his body and feeding him. The boy essentially is nursing him back to health. The two of them take off on a journey that takes across the land to… the end of the game (no spoilers). The game is very difficult to beat under 5 hours (like one of the trophies insists that you do). I ended up getting the under 15 hours and 30 hours trophies.
The relationship between the young boy and Trico has a rocky start, but it is solidified as they travel through puzzles and treacherous situations. No matter how good a story is, the gameplay must be used to supplement it. The young boy must direct Trico to help him in his journey. This would be great and all if it actually worked perfectly. In some circumstances where it should take like 5 or 10 minutes, it ends up taking hours to complete the simplest of tasks.
Trico will quickly frustrate players as he will be stubborn and not do what you want. For example, I wanted to climb a tower and instead, he climbed back down. I had my character pointing and dancing towards the direction of the jumping point of the tower too. Through a couple of updates, I have seen a noticeable change in the gameplay. It seems to work better now than at launch, but it still can be irritating at many times.
Platforming is another issue that is frustrating as a whole. While climbing and trying to jump off, the game seems stiff and doesn’t allow me to jump off of a rope or a chain. This happened more than once and was unsatisfying. The climbing and jumping mechanics can seem irritating at times too. One last complaint about the gameplay is the running mechanics. My character seemed very capable of running at times, but instead would run in place and get tripped up really easily.
The graphics in The Last Guardian are fantastic, especially if you stick around to the end of the game. They seemed to bump up how good it looks in the final scenes. The framerate will drop noticeably throughout the game. It does not run at a silky smooth 30 FPS framerate. Trico and the environments will usually look gorgeous and unique. We have seen similar looking characters like our young boy protagonist before in Gravity Rush’s style and in other games. He looks fine, but not nearly as unique as Team Ico might have thought he would.
Overall, The Last Guardian is not for the impatient. If you cannot take your time to get through the frustrating controls and gameplay, then don’t pick up the game. You will quickly get irritated and won’t be able to play it. However, if you do have patience, then the ending of the game will make the whole frustratingly annoying controls all worth it. The ending definitely bumps up the score of this game by a couple of points.
7/10 – Horrendous controls, but a beautifully executed story. One of the most heart-wrenchingly amazing endings of all time.