Guide an eagle-like cat in The Last Guardian and then battle samuarai, vikings and knights in For Honor.
ACCLAIMED DIRECTOR FUMITO UEDA’S SUCCESSOR TO SHADOW OF THE COLOSSUS FINALLY REARS ITS HEAD ON PS4
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