Six years in the making, “The Last Guardian” is a game that many fans of “Shadow of the Colossus” and “Ico” were desperately waiting for. On Dec. 6 it was released for the PS4.
The game had a simple yet new approach to the story and design. Similar to the atmosphere as the other games made by developer Fumito Ueda, the game is a flashback as the narrator tells the story.
The two main characters are a young boy who remains unnamed and a huge creature named Trico who resembles a griffin.
Throughout the game, the boy leads Trico around the environment solving puzzles and fighting enemies to find their way back home and escape the castle they woke up in. If the player gets stuck, the narrator will give hints from his memories to drive the story forward.
The gameplay is overall smooth, but the camera angles can be annoying at times. The boy does not only have to use Trico to solve puzzles but the animal is his protection. Since Trico follows his own nature, the player will have to manipulate the environment and figure out how to harness these instincts.
While it can be frustrating to have to try over and over again to make Trico comply with simple tasks such as sitting still, the realistic aspect is admirable and adds a special difficulty to the game.
The character design in the game is beautifully executed. Trico acts and responds as a real animal, his mood being shown through his body movements and sometimes his eye color. For example, purple for rage, yellow for nervousness and blue for interested.
The boy is also an interesting character with the mysterious tattoos on his body, where he came from, and how he already has such an amazing way with animals.
Each and every character flows fluidly is beautiful and adds to the stunning art aspect of the game. For example, the boy will reach out to pet Trico when near him without the player needing to press anything. This adds a sense of realism that sticks in the player.
The game definitely met all of the expectations and more than what Ueda had promoted, pleasantly surprising critics and avid gamers. It is a heartwarming story of a bond between animals and humans that will keep someone glued to their seat all the way to the very end. It gets a well deserved A+ for enchanting art style and innovative controls that make it unique and a game that will go down in history.