The Last Guardian (spoiler-free topic)


#1

After almost ten years of development, The Last Guardian finally arrives in a week! I haven’t been this excited about a game in a while. Sure, other games have captured my interest, but those have often been indie games that are held back by the budget limitations. While I’ve enjoyed triple-A games, these days they usually feel like enhanced versions of previous titles.

I know I go on about The Last Guardian a lot, but there’s a reason for that: it represents a truly rare kind of video game, one that feels like it will offer an uncompromised artistic vision coupled with a large budget. It is also the successor to Shadow of the Colossus, one of the greatest, most timeless, games ever made.

So, now that it’s finally, finally coming out, who here will be getting The Last Guardian?


#2

I’m waiting in anticipation!! It’s been a loooong wait. Year after year, constantly discussing it’s whereabouts with friends, It almost doesn’t seem real! Can’t wait to unbox my collectors edition!

Also, The other day I almost spoiled the game for myself! From this point on I need to stay away from forums. Can’t risk accidentally having the game or ending spoiled for me.

On a side note: It seems SOTC has influenced a lot of games over the years. Even the new Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild has the entire game focused around climbing everything. SOTC was truly a unique experience.


#3

Funny story. I’ve been very excited about this game but wasn’t planning to get it on release. Last Thursday, I sat down with a friend and dedicated the entire day to legitimately play Shadow of the Colossus. We played bits of it before, but didn’t want to get into it without some serious time set aside. It was an absolutely spectacular experience. The day after, Black Friday was happening here and I realized a small shop around here was selling ONE PS4 for under $140USD. However, I showed up second in line after a guy who drove 300 miles to get it. I was miffed enough to buy some broken ones off ebay so I could do repairs to make up for the deal. I decided I might as well check if TLG got a release date since that was one of the only reasons I’d have bothered to go for the console (outside of spite). Turns out, it was happening NINE DAYS from that date.

So here I am, with two broken Playstations on the way(that I probably spent more on than if I just bought a new one), no idea if I could actually get them working, and a preorder for collector’s edition of The Last Guardian that I spent as much on as I did with each of the consoles. All this trouble has gotten me EXTRA hyped.


#4

It really is a special game. I played through it again last year (the remastered edition on PS3) and enjoyed it just as much the second time round. I can only begin to imagine the kinds of fresh experiences that The Last Guardian will offer. I hope you’re able to get one of those PS4’s fixed in time!


#5

Sigh. This makes me really want to play SotC. I’m hoping the remaster get a ported to PS4 at some point… It’s a console that is becoming more appealing.

I’ll definitely be waiting to see if they make any PS4 Pro exclusive games before picking up a new console though.


#6

You might be waiting a while; the regular PS4 hardware is sufficient now for running most games, but near the end of it’s lifecycle it might not be. I’m hoping that Sony will stay true to their original statements about the regular PS4 being able to play all Pro games. If not, it would confuse customers who are generally used to fixed generations of compatibility (PS2, PS3, PS4). If the Pro does have exclusives they would be better off calling it the PS5.

It might be a while before Shadow of the Colossus arrives on PS4, if it ever does. But with most PS3 games that are also on PS4, you can buy digital version once and can play it on both platforms. So if you can borrow a PS3 and play through the digital version, the game would likely appear in your PS4 library later (in the event that the remaster is ported to PS4).


#7

^______________________________________________________________________________________^

Like @legaiaflame, I’m going to hibernate from the Internet for a few days. See you soon!


#8

Had to get the big ol crate for it. No luck with the PS4 unfortunately, so yaaaaaaaay.


#9

I’m 5 hours in and let me say: Trico is melting my heart!


#10

Same here. Trico’s been melting my face though apparently.


#11

Just finished it. I’ve been worried sick throughout playing that the game would be amazing and they’d fumble the ending, but all that’s been put to rest. I loved everything about this and think it might be my game of the year. Glad I shelled out last minute for the fancy edition.


#12

The Last Guardian. One of the greatest games ever made. And also one of the most frustrating.

Yet, without spoiling anything, the genius of The Last Guardian is in its imperfection. If I could only use one word to describe The Last Guardian, I would choose ‘organic’, as opposed to the mechanical gameplay of most of modern games. The feeling I got from completing this journey was that I had to grow a solution, rather than simply find the right combination of button presses. It’s quite unlike anything I’ve played before, yet if you have the patience (a lot of it) you’ll feel richly rewarded by what has been experienced by the end of your journey with Trico. Not everyone will agree with this perspective, but I hope The Last Guardian sets the bar for how games can be presented as experiences that are lived, rather than merely solved.

It isn’t without its technical flaws; I was most disappointed with the frame rate drops on the original Playstation 4, sometimes dropping into the low 20s in outdoor areas, whereas on the PS4 Pro it apparently runs at a mostly consistent 30fps. If you can afford it, I would strongly recommend upgrading to the PS4 Pro before playing The Last Guardian. I hope this doesn’t become a trend with new PS4 releases. There are also camera issues and other graphical glitches, but nothing that makes the game unplayable.

The Last Guardian definitely gets my recommendation. Trico is probably the best AI character ever in a video game. The amount of detail in Trico’s behaviour is simply staggering. If you haven’t played the previous Team Ico games though, play the games in the order that they were released: Ico, then Shadow of the Colossus, and finally The Last Guardian; you’ll appreciate the evolution of the series better that way. The Last Guardian combines elements of the first two titles, but manages to bring its own unique gameplay to the mix. The thematic and artistic continuity with the older titles is very evident, as is the gameplay. I would also use the word ‘uncompromising’ to describe The Last Guardian. While Ueda-san broke new ground with Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, The Last Guardian is the game where he took the most risks, like an experimental indie game with the budget of a full priced game. It feels like a miracle that this game was even released.

Apparently Ueda wants to make a first person shooter at some point (next?). After playing through The Last Guardian, I look forward to seeing him completely turn the genre on it’s head.


#13

I’ve been waiting for someone to post a ‘review’ in this topic … I daren’t go to the other one. I’d glad you enjoyed it after all this time. It does sound like it was worth the wait. I’m excited to play it.

So, yes, PS4 Pro for me then it seems. And a new HDR 4k TV to appreciate it… but first I need to play Ico and SotC.


#14

At times Trico’s A.I. can be frustrating. But, most times it’s because people aren’t using the commands properly.

-R1 by itself will call Trico to wherever your location is

-R1 and a direction with the analog, will make the boy point to where you want Trico to go.

-R1+Triangle will make Trico jump

-R1+ X will scold Trico (important; if Trico isn’t listening use this and he will eventually stop and sit or listen to your other commands)

-R1+Square will make trico swipe at enemies or stomp on things

-R1+Circle (This will show praise towards Trico) Although I found no use for this command gameplay-wise…

-Circle will allow the boy to pet Trico; calming him down

Another bit of useful information is such.: If Trico isn’t listening to you or stuck in a corner, jump off of him and call him to the spot of interest you want him to interact with. It’s also a good idea to back him up a bit. This sort of resets his behavior.


#15

I think you’d be better off playing it at 1080p on a PS4 Pro. Check out this framerate comparison. As you can see, the PS4 Pro in 4K mode suffers from some of the same performance issues as the regular PS4. If you already have a 1080p monitor, I would stick with that.

But yes, in the meantime play the HD remastered versions of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus on PS3. They are well worth it. The games feel timeless in their originality, so it doesn’t matter so much that they are old now.

I understood the basic commands. The frustration comes when you give Trico a command but there isn’t a response straight away, so you’re not sure if you’ve given the wrong command or found the wrong solution to the puzzle. It’s similar behaviour to interacting with a real animal, so I wouldn’t call this a flaw of the game like some reviewers have. It is just not a game for the impatient.

This is one reason why I recommend that people play Ico first, which is closer to a traditional video game. It will ease you into Ueda’s less predictable gameplay style and controls. In a lot of ways, The Last Guardian is Ico 2 but I feel that with The Last Guardian they were able to be bolder in the communication-based gameplay that began in the 2001 game.


#16

I’ve been watching jacksepticeye’s play through of The Last Guardian on YouTube; it’s good to see another long time fan of the series appreciate the surprises of this game fresh. I don’t think I’m alone in thinking that The Last Guardian is a rare example of a game so long in development that actually lives up to the hype. It still feels somewhat unreal that the game is finally out and was everything we hoped for.

I’m torn between whether I prefer Shadow of the Colossus or The Last Guardian. They are both phenomenal, unique games where nothing else out there mirrors the experience of each game individually. For this reason, they will long remain timeless artworks. Yet despite this they both feel like part of the same series. This is what more game series’ should aim for, each game being an unreplicated experience while fitting seemlessly into the whole. In this sense, the games feel more like a well crafted novel or film series than a traditional game series (where each title usually feels like it’s trying to one up the last title’s feature set).

Hopefully Sony will release some sort of compilation of all three games on the PS4 so that the series is not forgotten.


#17

Even on a standard PS4, I wasn’t sure what the huge outcry about the framerate was. It felt like Shadow of the Colossus did on PS2. According to what I’ve seen in the linked framerate comparison video, the framerate seems to hover around the 20s to 30 on a standard machine. Even with this huge percentage, the gameplay doesn’t feel hindered. I play most games on a 144hz monitor so I’m usually sensitive about framerate, but TLG isn’t highly reflex or precision based. It never felt unplayable in the slightest. Some might be bothered with framerate inconsistency rather than if the performance is massively detrimental to the gameplay. Personally though, I don’t think it’s worth double the cost of the console to get 4-8 more frames drawn onscreen in hairier situations.


#18

The game is perfectly playable with the lower framerate, but it does jolt the player out of the experience, and those extra frames can make all the difference. The Last Guardian is a particularly immersive experience, so the framerate and occasional camera issues can remind the player that they’re playing a video game rather than being part of that world. I remember the PS2 version of Shadow of the Colossus had that painful reminder of the limitations of the PS2 in places, so I was pleased to see that the framerate had been fixed in the PS3 remaster and found that version to be a lot less distracting. At least with The Last Guardian we don’t need to wait years for the issue to be corrected; just buy a PS4 Pro instead of a regular PS4. I wish the framerate issues had been been communicated earlier, as I would have considered buying the Pro instead. I may replay the game on a PS4 Pro one day as the game’s quality certainly warrants a second playthrough.

By the way, I found out today that’s there’s a companion book coming out called The Last Guardian: An Extraordinary Story. It will be an art book/walkthough/development story combo discussing the ideas and inspirations behind The Last Guardian. Could be a good read for fans of the game.


#19

That sounds great! Might have to get this.


#20

This is a good summary of opinions on The Last Guardian from various game developers. The story isn’t spoiled here, but some opinions could be considered gameplay spoilers.

There’s quite a diverse range of views, but it seems that the majority agree that The Last Guardian is a powerful experience, often because in spite as well as because its of it’s flaws. I like the contradiction here, because so much of what we considered flawed is relative to what we’ve been conditioned to considered as normal in gaming.