The Last Guardian was released exclusively for the PS4 and PS4 Pro platforms in Australia on 7th December 2016 by Sony Interactive Entertainment Australia. The game was created by the same team that brought us breathtaking titles such as Ico and Shadow of the Colossus.
In the game you play the character of a boy who awakens to find himself beside Trico — an immense dog-cat-bird like animal. However, before you get to know Trico, you will be investigating the unusual remnants of a world that once was whilst solving puzzles as you go along.
When playing The Last Guardian, you find yourself immediately immersed in the uniquely designed world. From the tremendous territories of foliage to limited lit pathways, the game is visually amazing. The boy with his numerous tattoos, or Trico’s feathery appearance, are designed with an equivalent amount of care. Visually, the characters are animated well. You can see this especially when Trico leaps crosswise over platforms.
The Last Guardian is easy on the eyes. That said, the hazy visualization may not sit well with all users. Some users have reported frame rate issues but in our tests with the latest games patches and on a PS4 Pro, we did not experience this.
However, one game annoyance for us was the lack of clear guidance from objective to objective. That is not to say there isn’t any. Moving to the correct spots, the narrator will do his best to provide you with hints on what to do next. If you are used to this form of game play you will be fine. On the other hand, if you are like me and enjoy the hand holding, you may find it a little more challenging.
Overall, the world of The Last Guardian is asking to be explored. You’ll traipse around numerous stone structures, guide Trico through obstacles and endure the occasional battle.
A lot of the puzzle solving is organic and worked great with the exploration of the world. With some of the puzzles, Trico’s participation will be key to your progress. Trico will follow you around like a dutiful dog, pressing through tight spaces or leaping over walls to be next to you. You can call Trico to your location or pet it, both of which are useful in certain scenarios. There’s little hand holding needed, as it has a mind of its own.
Similarly, it’s Trico’s autonomy that leads you into some fascinating scenarios. Without spoiling too much, leverage Trico’s likes and dislikes to reach the end goal. For example, occasionally, you’ll run into items that need to be removed as Trico fears them.
The Last Guardian provided one of the better stories we’ve had the pleasure of playing this year. Touching on companionship and trust, The Last Guardian’s tale is both significant and powerful. That said, with a recommended retail price tag of AUD$99.95, it may not be the ideal game for everyone. If you love first player games that involve puzzle solving, this is definitely one to get. Otherwise, you may be better suited to hold off until a price drop.