Guide an ea­gle-like cat in The Last Guardian and then bat­tle samuarai, vik­ings and knights in For Honor.


Australian T3 - - CONTENTS -

It’s fair to say its been a long and trou­bled jour­ney for The Last

Guardian. Ini­tial de­vel­op­ment started at the be­gin­ning of the last gen­er­a­tion, way back in 2007. The de­lay re­sulted in the game be­com­ing as fa­bled and mys­te­ri­ous as the myth­i­cal beast fea­tured within it.

This spir­i­tual suc­ces­sor to the crit­i­cally-ac­claimed PS2 games

Ico, and Shadow Of The Colossus, was long thought can­celled, but last year Sony re­vealed the game would fi­nally see a re­lease this year, now up­dated to run on the PlayS­ta­tion 4 hard­ware.

As in his pre­vi­ous ti­tles, Fumito Ueda has once again pro­vided a unique en­vi­ron­ment, one that play­ers are thrust into with very lit­tle to go on. You play the role of a young boy who awakes, trapped within un­known ru­ins, the story drip-fed via a flash­back nar­ra­tion by a man speak­ing Ja­panese. Only heard in voice, he de­picts events from his child­hood dis­cov­ery of Trico, the half-bird-half-dog crea­ture. Un­known dan­gers await both of them, out in the wider world.

The en­tire game takes place in the Nest, Trico’s ravine sized cage of sorts, and es­cape is what drives both for­ward, and more im­por­tantly to­gether. Progress is con­stantly ham­pered by the de­cay­ing struc­tures and the ex­treme na­ture of the en­vi­ron­ments. Like its pre­de­ces­sors, the lo­ca­tions them­selves act as puz­zles, and only by util­is­ing and com­bin­ing the two pro­tag­o­nists’ abil­i­ties will you suc­ceed in your es­cape.

Trico is con­trolled via voice and ges­ture com­mands is­sued by the boy. They’re mapped to the D-pad and ac­ti­vated whilst hold­ing down R1. Like a real an­i­mal though, he doesn’t al­ways play ball. Even the beastie park­our an­tics of

SOTC, a game whose main em­pha­sis is to mount gi­gan­tic Colossi in or­der to de­feat them, will not pre­pare you for Trico as he takes a while to get used to, es­pe­cially in­doors.

Fans will no doubt feel at home, whilst new­com­ers will scratch their heads in be­wil­der­ment, as The Last

Guardian is a kind of amal­ga­ma­tion of the other ti­tles from this (non) se­ries, and a knowl­edge of them goes a long way to un­der­stand­ing what the game is try­ing to achieve.

Ex­plo­ration, com­pan­ion­ship and sac­ri­fice are all key themes again and while sea­soned play­ers may find the fa­mil­iar­ity nos­tal­gic, things aren’t all rosy. The game’s con­trols and cam­era an­gles ap­pear to have been trans­planted from SOTC, and as such will feel ar­cane when com­pared to more con­tem­po­rary

RIGHT Travers­ing the en­vi­ron­ment is key to es­cape, with each lo­ca­tion it­self pro­vid­ing a puz­zle to solve

TOP An un­likey bond forms the core ex­pe­ri­ence, with Trico’s per­son­al­ity and man­ner­isms used to con­vey a sense of em­pa­thetic con­nec­tion. Be­lieve us, you will care what be­comes of him

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