THE LAST GUARDIAN
By Diana "DumeeGamer" Dumee on December 13, 2016
The first time I saw the trailer of The Last Guardian, I was ooh-ing and aah-ing without pause. I knew this would be a game which I wanted, no needed, to play. No question about that. I mean, did you see that cute big doglike creature?!
Almost the entire gaming world held their collective breaths while this game in development for the last ten years. Yes people, we waited for ten years! Crews left the project, new members were found, founder Fumito Ueda decided to coach the development from a distance as a freelancer. For a certain amount of time, it even looked like this game would never release. But we can put all that behind us. Finally, The Last Guardian made its way to our PS3.... Ehm... PS4.
The Last Guardian tells the tale of a young boy who becomes friends with a big dog/hippogriff creature called Trico. The bond between them and the way that this friendship develops is very touching en beautiful. You'll have to earn Trico's trust and you feel the awkwardness and uncertainty in the beginning. But very soon, you'll know that it is going to be okay between the boy and Trico. Personally I think the strongest asset of this game is Trico. He looks amazing and above all, very cute. If looking at Trico playing in the water doesn't melt your heart, I don't know what will.
Because Trico is a very big creature, you often have to create an opening so he can come with you. Puzzle solving time! Of course you will do most of the work, but you you'll discover that Trico can be very helpful. Soon after the start of the game, you'll find a shield and with that you are able to aim a light beam. Trico will respond to that with a lightning bolt, coming out of its tail. That way you can blow up a section of wall and make your way out of your current predicament!
Originally, The Last Guardian was meant to be released for PS3. And to be honest you, that's a fact that is somewhat hard to miss. The movement of the main character feels a little clumsy. The boy, for instance, will push or climb little objects automatically, but most of the time, this mechanic works against you. The developers also made, in my personal opinion, weird choices for the controls: You will jump by pushing the triangle button and to interact with objects, you'll have to push the circle button. And no, you can't change the control settings.
The Last Guardian is a sort of third and final part of a series that started with ICO and Shadow of Colossus as its first two games. I never had the chance to play those games, but from what I heard the earlier mentioned control scheme was also used for ICO and the Shadow of Colossus. So if you played those two games, maybe you find the control scheme not so awkward after all. Luckily you can change the speed of the camera movement. I normally don't change the settings of a game, but I almost became a little dizzy of the camera and the speed at which it moved around. And trust me, it moves around a lot!
I think a big reason of why the development took so long is Trico's behavior. Normally when you have an AI companion with you, he (or she) will stay close to you, copying your actions. Trico will follow you, but when I was in a room figuring out what to do, he kind of goes his own way. He walks around and sometimes points you in the direction of hidden objects or a way out. You're able to pet him and he will respond to that in different ways. Sometimes you'll need to calm him down when he is upset. Without getting annoying, Trico is your companion and if you fell in love with him, you certainly want to spend this time with him, without a doubt.
If you like a touching story that involves an adorable fantasy creature, you will love The Last Guardian, despite the lack of smooth controls. If you don't fall in love with Trico within an hour, I'm afraid the game might start to bug you after a while. It's a pity that its development took so long. If this game was released for PS3 five years ago, we wouldn't give a rat's ass about the things we now call flaws in the game. Because especially for the fans of this type of games, The Last Guardian is really a great game. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I'm going to say this out loud: We, gamers of the world, are spoiled!