Let me start this article by saying: This is not a review, there will be no scores at the end of this article. Having played through the entirety of The Last Guardian, I cannot review or score this game effectively… but what I CAN do is give you my reasons why!
The Last Guardian is one of my favourite games of the past few years, the way in which you get to watch the relationship between Trico and The Boy blossom throughout the 10 hour experience is easily one of the most heartwarming experiences I have ever had with a modern media format, be that in Video games, movies or TV. Based entirely on this, I would 100% give The Last Guardian a 10/10… but I just can’t bring myself to do that.
No matter how much I love The Last Guardian, there is something that annoyed me throughout my whole playthrough that I just couldn’t put my finger on until I finished the whole thing.
We all know by now that the gameplay of The Last Guardian is clunky and The Boy will constantly take a run in whichever direction you flick the analogue stick (even off a cliff) but we knew this going in as we had the exact same issues with both ICO and Shadow Of The Collossus, so it doesn’t overly annoy me all that much and I wouldn’t (personally) mark it down based on these gameplay mechanics or issues.
If it isn’t the gameplay that niggles the back of my mind, then what is it? What could possibly be there in the back of my head stopping me from being able to give it that certified 10/10, what stops it from being a perfect game for me?
I realised shortly after finishing the game and I allowed myself some time to reflect on the experience as a whole and I realised it really quickly what it was that annoyed me so much: It was Trico. “BLASPHEMY!” I hear you cry “Trico is perfect! He is cute and programmed to behave exactly like a wild animal!” but that is exactly it, they did TOO good a job on Trico.
I know, I know. That whole statement sounds contradictory but just hear me out for a few more minutes, how many times did you die in The Last Guardian? How many times were your fault and how many times was it because of Trico?
Don’t get me wrong, I became incredibly attached to that cute catdogbirdgoat beast throughout my experience but after spending 20 minutes trying to force him to dive into a pool. The other standout moment was during an incredibly dramatic platforming section that would hit into slow motion for a really emotionally bonding couple of minutes where Trico would catch me in his mouth and save me from my imminent doom… except he didn’t; he was distracted by something too soon and completely missed me THREE TIMES.
Whilst none of this REALLY impacted by experience as a whole with The Last Guardian, it was enough to allow me not to fairly review the game.Now
NB – That ending did hit me right in the feels. Fucking Trico.