The Last Guardian: A Grueling Study of Counterintuitive Movement

This review was originally submitted as a response to a posting on the PlayStation Facebook page, touting The Last Guardian as “one of the year’s most talked-about games”.

The game was, to its credit, visually stunning. Especially with the scenery. Character models were still a bit rough, though.

As with the story, it’s not that it wasn’t there. It was just lacking. You find out what happened immediately prior to the game that puts the character in the situation he’s in, you see what happens in the end, but you’re left to wonder why things happened the way they did, and what meaning the end of the game has.

The two true downfalls of the game are the linear aspect, and the controls.

The game gives virtually no reward for exploring your environment. There’s no real secrets that you feel compelled to search for. Just more barrels of food, which can apparently, if you actually feel like playing through the game a second time, reward you with character costumes. Beyond that, no secrets, no collectibles, no reason to explore, other than to figure out the puzzle at hand, which usually isn’t that difficult to figure out. It’s just a matter of getting Trico, and at times, the boy, to do what you need them to do.

The controls and character responsiveness are the only thing that make this game hard. Many functions are performed with the same button, just depending on the context. It’s hard enough doing what you need to do as your own character, but then getting Trico to comply is a whole other trick. You’re often led to believe that you’re on the wrong track, because Trico won’t do what he’s supposed to do automatically, or by following your commands. There were some instances where I’d point in a direction, and he’d turn around and go the exact opposite way, often at a traveling point, so I have to wait for him to go from point B, back to point A, and then turn around to go to point B again, and try commanding him to move on to point C. There’s very little context for action sequences, and I died several times over and over again in one particular spot, whether there was nothing I could do but hope Trico would catch me like he’s supposed to, rather than just watch, curiously, as I plummeted to my death.

Overall, the puzzles can be fun to solve, the game is stunning, but it’s lacking in so so many ways. It may be “one of the year’s most talked about games”, but that’s because there were eleven months that passed where people were still waiting for the game, and drooling over the visuals and concept, vs the nine days that have passed since it’s been released. I hope this makes it easier for some who are on the fence to decide if the game is worth their time and money.

Have you played the game? Did it live up to your expectations? Let us know in the comments.

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