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10Q Reviews: The Last Guardian – A journey of a kid and his giant dog-bird-rat pet

Games reviewed in 10 straight-to-the-point questions, every Wednesday.

Game: The Last Guardian
Platform: PlayStation 4
Time to beat: 15-20 hours

Q1: Who’s this videogame for?

The Last Guardian (TLG) is an odd game. And I don’t mean that in a bad way it’s just very different. The game was almost a decade in development by Famito Ueda from Japan Studio who also did Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. I haven’t played Ico (it’s on my backlog though!) but I have played Shadow of the Colossus and that was also an odd game worth playing.

TLG is a slow paced platform – puzzle game with few bits of action here and there. If you played Shadow of the Colossus you will probably enjoy this game.

Q2: What’s the story like, and does it require any pre-existing knowledge?

The game takes places in a fantasy world that is (mostly) desolate, much like Shadow of the Colossus. You play as a nameless kid who wakes up in cave next to a wounded giant dog-bird-rat creature called Trico. You help Trico heal and you quickly become pals.

The game doesn’t really tell you want the hell is going on until way at the end, but you do get the sense early on that wherever you are is hostile and you need to escape. That’s basically what the game is about, Trico and the kid journey through a lair to escape it.

You do not require any pre-existing knowledge to play this game.

Q3: What’s the learning curve like?

The controls in this game are very basic, if you’ve played any other game in your life you will pick this up easily. And that’s also true if you haven’t.

Q4: What are the controls like?

As the kid you can jump, run and push objects, very straight forward stuff. But you can also give commands to Trico, like jump and “go over there”, but sometimes the dog-bird-rat doesn’t listen and does whatever the f*** it wants. I read somewhere that it’s done on purpose so that Trico has a bit of a personality and doesn’t feel like your puppet but it gets frustrating. More than once I wondered what a dog-bird-rat steak would taste like… Probably not so good.

Q5: Does it have split-screen?

No.

Q6: How’s the online component?

Non-existing. This is a 100% single player campaign game.

Q7: How’s the presentation?

TLG was originally meant to launch for PS3, but because the game’s development took almost 10 years, it ended up launching for PS4. Probably due to this, I feel that at times it looks a bit like a past gen console game. The graphics are overall very good, but are not that great when compared to other current games.

The world TLG is set in feels alive. At times it can be beautiful but there’s a sense of impending doom and you always feel like you need to get out of there. Trico’s animations are great and the sound effects and score really help build the atmosphere.

Q8: What are similar games / alternatives you’d recommend?

As I mentioned before, it’s a very different game. I can’t think of any other directly comparable game… Probably the closest is Shadow of the Colossus, and I’m guessing that ICO is another good alternative.

Q9: Anything you wish you knew before going in?

Not really.

Q10: Should I buy it?

I would recommend buying it if:

  • You’re cool with a slow paced game and you’re patient with the story.
  • You’ve played and enjoyed other Japan Studio games.
  • You love platform-puzzle games and want to try a new one with a different spin.

Final rating:

8 out of 10 dog-bird-rat steaks

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