Community Review: The Last Guardian

Community Review: The Last Guardian

A decade after development first began for a wholly different platform, The Last Guardian has finally arrived with boy and griffin in tow.

One of the most fascinating things I’ve seen in the discussions about The Last Guardian since its release has been the defence of imprecise controls. When a button is pressed, a response is expected. That’s how this industry works. I move, you give me feedback.

Trico eschews an awful lot of that. It’s a cat in the true sense of the word, fickle and occasionally unresponsive, at other times perfectly lovable and seemingly amenable to your suggestions.

But playing with your house cat and watching it ignore you is a completely different beast to paying $70 or more for a video game, wherein your playthrough is artificially lengthened because Trico’s AI has flipped the “give zero fucks” switch.

Perhaps that’s the point. Perhaps it’s meant to be a journey you massage your way through, a journey of encouragement. That’s not the only other mechanical frustration: the game has a few performance issues, and the camera is certainly a hark back to a decade ago.

ICO and Shadow of the Colossus had a similar issue too: once you surpassed the infuriating quirks, the game became magical. It took time before they were considered absolute classics, though.

Will The Last Guardian be held up as high? What do you think?


  • Loving it so far. I’m working my way through it pretty slowly, partly because I’m pretty busy at the moment and partly because when I do sit down to play it I end up spending half my time just staring at Trico. That thing is just absolutely jaw dropping in the way it is animated and the way it behaves. It looks like something that someone spent 10 years creating.

    I really don’t understand the complaints about Trico not doing exactly what you want as soon as you want it. It’s not a vehicle, it’s an animal. The game would be substantially worse if it was reduced to some kind of servant.

    • While i do understand your point about Trico it doesn’t change the fact that its extremely painful. It is a video game after all, it doesn’t have to behave like a real life animal. Imagine a game with guns that actually shot like a real guns. It would totally suck!

      • I’ve not found it painful so far. I’ve had bigger issues trying to figure out where to go or what to do than I’ve had actually getting Trico to go there and do it once I’ve figured it out.

        I guess I’ll have to wait and see if it wears thin by the time I get to the end, but so far I’m finding the unpredictable nature of Trico to be my favourite part of the game, not a negative.

        • I agree 100% that Trico being unpredictable is the most enjoyable part of the game. Trico’s behaviour/animations are really impressive.

          One thing I did discover without the game specifically telling me was the various commands you can do holding R1. For example R1 and triangle Trico will jump, R1 and circle Trico will stomp etc.

          Also, holding down L1 will centre the camera on Trico if he/she is in your surrounding area. I have been holding down L1 a lot since discovering that, especially when I am on top of Trico and he/she is jumping from platform to platform. I’ve found holding L1 fixes a lot of the camera issues.

          Awesome game so far.

      • Sometimes I think that Trico is just peeved at people that keep on ordering it around. Sure, he doesn’t have to behave like a real life animal, but when he occasionally resists your commands, it does give him a personality that has never been present in a video game character before. It can be frustrating, but I also like to see it as challenging.

        Often, you don’t actually have to direct Trico. Jump on his back, and he’ll take care of heading to where you need to go. Just get him within the area, and let him make the decisions from there on. Now that’s a proper partnership!

  • I have the game installed and patched on my Pro and I’m yet to launch it. I can’t take myself away from FFXV. I might just marathon it over my Christmas break over a day or two 😉

  • The game looks to be another Team ICO classic. I’d say it borrows mostly from ICO, with obvious influences from SotC, and also has a unique style of its own. Trico is easily one of the most amazing animated video game animals. The puzzles are satisfying, though perhaps a few are more frustrating than they need to be. Graphics are what you’d expect from Team ICO, which is great, though with higher resolution. I really love their visual style. The sprawling environment is so captivating in its ancient, decaying state. The story is intriguing and quite emotive. The ending is certainly poignant, though perhaps not the way you think it will be.

    I’m a Team ICO fan, so besides being biased, I’m used to their control eccentricities. A less experienced gamer may get a little too annoyed with them, though once they get the hang of it, should become a minor quibble.

    The game easily ranks up there with ICO for me. I think, once again, Ueda has managed to create a quality game with personality and style, that may end up being a huge influence on future games. Especially ones with animal companions. Expect companion AIs to be a little less obedient from now on. 😉

  • I got stuck in a tree for 10 minutes, it was the most immersive experience I’ve ever had in a game. 10/10 best puzzle game of 2016.

  • Any complaints I have about the controls (weighty) and camera (clumsy) disappear when I realise how attached I have become to Trico. I spend minutes at a time just patting it on the head and watching it’s ears twitch. The stubbornness has caused some frustration at times but I wouldn’t call it a negative aspect of the game – if anything it makes the bond more meaningful. I haven’t finished the game yet but, if Ueda starts rolling with the emotional punches, I’m not gonna cope.

  • Long time lurker, first time contributor.
    In short, SotC is one of my favourites, and I liked this just as much.

    There’s not much to add in terms of the camera or controls.
    Environments are really nice to look at and explore, and the attention to detail in Trico’s animation would have to be the highlight. The fx and music are pretty great too.

    It’s very linear and not overly punishing, but that’s the type of game it is – favouring casual exploration over a challenge.
    As you play, you get more accustomed to telltale signs of where to go next. As mentioned by others, Trico itself will often help with this. When all else fails, hop aboard, point it in a direction and see what happens. Rinse, repeat.

    The typical mystique of a Ueda game is still there, and the story hit me in the feels a few times.

    I played on a standard PS4 and did notice it stagger a couple of times when there was lots happening, but it was so rare that it wasn’t a major concern.

    I recommend this game to current and prospective pet owners.

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