|Developer||Team ICO, SIE Japan Studio|
|Publisher||Sony Interactive Entertainment|
|Release Date||December 9, 2016|
The Last Guardian will probably go down as a fairly divisive game. After being in development for ten years, the game certainly has some hangovers from the PS2/PS3 era it was born in. Fiddly controls and a misbehaving camera are as frequent a companion as Trico, the giant rat/bird/dog who accompanies your every step through the strange and wonderful world of The Last Guardian.
It’s even more of a wonder, then, that The Last Guardian is an absolute joy to play from start to finish. There were frustrations throughout, owing to the dodgy controls that would aggravate me from time to time. But these frustrations were washed away in one of the most beautiful, breathtaking games of 2016. The Last Guardian’s biggest strength is its core mechanic – the incredibly natural relationship that builds between boy and beast.
When the game starts, you’re barely able to get close to Trico without the wary creature attacking you. By the game’s end a deeply meaningful relationship has formed. Throughout The Last Guardian you’ll see it developing. Brilliantly, it’s not measured by any gameplay gimmicks or mechanics, it simply is. It’s obvious only in the way Trico’s behaviour shifts as time goes on – the way he cries out when you leave him to solve a puzzle or how hard he fights to keep you safe from danger.
There’s a simple joy to the interactions between the boy and Trico that drives The Last Guardian. He can be unhelpful, disobedient and downright unresponsive at times. Somehow that only serves to make the game better. Trico is a living, breathing creature where he could so easily have been a mere puppet, a tool to help you progress through puzzles and environments.
It’s an epic journey the pair embark on in The Last Guardian, filled with awe-inspiring views of a fortress you can never quite seem to reach the summit of. Excellently designed levels and environments mean that the handful of ways at your disposal to solve puzzles never feel repetitive. After almost ten years, The Last Guardian was certainly worth the wait.
Check out Gary’s review of The Last Guardian here.
The List So Far:
6) The Last Guardian
7) Stardew Valley
11) Quantum Break
12) Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
13) Watch Dogs 2
14) The Flame in the Flood
15) Forza Horizon 3
16) The Banner Saga 2
17) Planet Coaster
18) Gears of War 4
19) Until Dawn: Rush of Blood
20) Batman: The Telltale Series