The Last Guardian (PS4)



  • Just finished it myself. The frame rate is pathetic but gods be damned if that wasn't a fantastic fucking game. This alone was worth the PS4 entry price for me. 10 years in the making and it was worth the wait, without a shadow of a doubt.

    Loved every second of it.

    And I don't get why people had issues controlling Trico. It's an animal, I thought it worked fine. You call out to him to get his attention, wait for him to turn and look at you so he can see what you want, and then hold down R1 and give whatever command you want. Yeah sometimes he doesn't seem to get it, or the game wants you to point in a very specific direction, but 9/10 times he did what I wanted immediately. And he's also pretty good at figuring stuff out for himself.
    The only thing I really disliked about the controls was the lack of a middle ground between sneaking and running full speed. I would have liked more range there, get a good jog going.

    It's also impossible not to love the big bastard. He's such a great cat/dog/bird animal.
    I would always make sure to give him a reward-petting whenever he did something good.



  • @naltmank As a dog owner, I feel like I got a little something extra out of TLG. Trico can take a while to catch on to exactly what it is you want him to do in any given circumstance, but a lot of the time it reminded me of my dog. It was actually very heartwarming trying to get him to obey my commands, having Trico try something else for a minute or two before it seemed to "click".



  • Finished it after Xmas last year, took me about 11.5 hours in total.

    Wow, I have to say that, it absolutely flawed me. Just such a moving, harrowing and beautiful experience it all was. Was overcome with emotion in lots of places, particularly towards the end but the ending sequence just took things up another level and as the credits rolled I was just crying like a 10 year old in floods and floods of tears. It is a game I will truly never forget as long as I live and I keep replaying the ending sequence over and over again in my mind ever since it finished and welling up slightly, just such an incredible achievement in game design and narrative.

    SO glad I watched to the end of the credits too, as there's one more cut-scene which is just so awe-inspiring and just too perfect to put into words.

    It shows you as the boy, now an old man (the narrator) staring at the mirror which has been unearthed from the ground, and you're retelling this story to all your relatives and what that adventure was about. You put the mirror up into the air which sends out a bolt of light, the camera follows this bolt of light and leads you back to 'The Nest' down into the depths where you first meet Trico....you just see darkness for a few minutes then she appears through the cave light, with a little set of Trico eyes next to her.

    Just honestly too beautiful for words, the music, the emotion, the beauty all coming together, knowing that this thing that cared for you more than anything, and that you felt the same was, somehow, still alive despite all the odds, just absolutely incredible, it flawed me it honestly did, it really is too perfect to put into words.

    One of the most beautiful, moving and harrowing games I've ever played, it truly must be played, I cannot recommend it enough, it is a game I will never forget as long as I live.



  • FOR TRICO


  • Global Moderator

    I'm just trying to do make more general topic discussions. If you have spoilers in here, please could you put a spoiler tag around them.

    As someone who still needs to play this game, I can't check but I'd be grateful if you could hide them for others.



  • Bumping because I wanna talk about finally finishing this great game. It was already one of my top games last year without me finishing the final hours. I finally have, and I have to say that the last half is phenomenal and a lot better than the beginning. I place a lot of value in revisiting areas in games and TLG has a lot of that as a storytelling mechanism which I greatly enjoyed. I was curious if a lot of the early game padding and repetitive puzzle rooms were to lengthen the game to make the journey and emotional impact of the ending much more rewarding. Either way, I loved it, even with its flaws. Don't see myself playing again for a long time though.

    Just wanted to say how it is the little things in storytelling media that really set it aside when done correctly.

    I really really love how the game menu is the Boy's shield, something that I never noticed at first. That fade from the fresh shield into the dirt shield in the post-credit scene is something that you don't get in say a film. It's the fact that I look at it every time I start the game and think little of it, but when it becomes a crucial gameplay and storytelling device and reappears like that, you feel a little spring of joy.

    Don't have much to discuss. I just really enjoyed the game. Play it if you haven't!



  • I really liked this game. I was a little hesitant to pick it up initially. I hate a love/hate relationship with all of Team ICO's titles. I love the art style and their tendency to tell a gripping story almost entirely through visuals. But I have never liked their controls. They just seem very awkward and clunky to me. But, like Shadow of the Colossus, I'm very happy that I pushed through it to the end. It wasn't perfect, but definitely worth the wait.

    A little side story: My 4-year-old nephew is just getting into gaming. He mostly sticks to lego games on my sister's iPad but it's a start. My sister was never a gamer but wanted to get into it so she could connect with him better whenever he starts to show more interest in it. She did something very similar with comic books when he fell in love with superheroes. Anyway, this was the first game that we played together. I think it made the game more magical because of what it meant in my life.



  • @Caleb_Aranda

    During my playthrough, I was watched by two female non-gamers who were glued to the screen with their full attention. Not only did they enjoy watching it, but they really enjoyed how everybody in the room was quite fixated on it, and how excited I got at times. They both showed interest in gaming that they had never previously shown. I think you picked a great first game to bond over considering my experience with these non-gamers enjoying themselves.


  • Global Moderator

    Oh man, what a journey. The first thing I did when I got home recently was have a PS4 Pro ready to go and grab a copy of TLG. Finally over the last few days I was able to really dig into it with no distractions and I loved it!

    I'll start off negative:

    • The camera is pretty bad - There's a lot of times where it gets caught in the geometry or against a wall and you can't see what direction you're going in. Generally this doesn't really affect the gameplay I'd say but it absolutely disorientates you.

    • It's a bit framey - Now I was playing on Pro so I didn't notice it too much but it's definitely apparent in the odd area. I'd love to hear more on the technical side of it because I was surprised that the end of the game and some of the set pieces generally seemed to be pretty consistent while other quieter areas would buckle a bit.

    • The prompts - Oh boy the prompts and then lack of too. Throughout the entire game I was being told how to hang or pull something or use the mirror. TLG stop it! I don't need this information at all. I hate it when games do this but the biggest issue I have with this is that it then doesn't teach you other controls very well. So I'm generally against prompts at all but since they went with it, I can't understand why they didn't do a better job specifying other commands like R1 & O etc. It was just really badly done I think.

    And the positive:

    • This game is gorgeous - It just looks so crisp and beautiful to me. Several times I genuinely just looked all around me at the incredible structures, the forests, the sun shining through and of course Trico. I dig it so much but that's no surprise as it's an extremely similar aesthetic to other Ueda games and they're all beautiful to this day.
    • The relationship - This will probably be the longest point as it's the core of the game. This for me is why games will always be that something more to other mediums. Both characters rely on each other and need each other to progress. Throughout the game you build up this bond with Trico but there are still clear mechanics in the game where one needs to do something for the other to progress. It's when these mechanics are broken where I think you really get that bond. That some things are just more important then fear and that's why I love the following part.

    There is a stage where you see two armoured suits holding the 'eye' glass so as usual I find my way over to get rid of them only when I get there I can't get both of them. I take down one before getting carried away. Now usually this would mean I'm screwed but for the first time Trico abandons whatever fear or obsession it has with the glass and jumps into the rescue. That could have been in a movie or a cutscene and it wouldn't have the same impact, being in the game made this game. It's what it's all about!
    ! That happens again later when you get to the final tower and Trico comes to save you again as everything crumbles around you.

    • Trico - Just everything about Trico is so good to me. It's animations are so good. I would spend so much time just watching as it wandered around an area, looked around, roared, scratched itself, jumped somewhere. Hearing it cry in pain, or look nervous, getting ready for a jump, whatever. You better believe I removed every spear and petted Trico all the time, especially when it would lower it's head to the ground. You don't pass up an opportunity like that.

    • Scale - Which goes to this next point. The sense of scale in this game is so epic. You're constantly reminded how small you are in this world. The verticality (Couldn't help myself). And I love how this progresses through the game. You're initially in this claustrophobic cave with this massive beast. As soon as you get outside and see the scale and journey you need to take, it's so cool to see and even better when you can see places you've been. On top of that, the first time Trico jumps somewhere while you're on it is incredible and it's even more amazing when Trico just grabs you, throws you on it's back and off Trico goes. I would smile so much every single time!

    • Puzzles - The thing that I liked so much about the puzzles was how much the boy and Trico were needed in them and just how standard they were. There was no real extremely gamey thing about them I felt. Everything was just a standard physics based problem. They generally were pretty easy but I still great satisfaction from completing them just due to the teamwork displayed. The water puzzle and seesaw being the highlights for me.

    • Story - Honestly, it's an extremely simple story that's very similar to previous games too, more so Ico but still all the theme's and evil forces and mystery are there for all the games. It's nothing on the scale of a SotC but it's really about the relationship between Trico and the boy. The game is clearly a lot more cinematic than his previous work. I don't think that's a good or bad thing really, as long as the core focus is on developing the story in the game. I do agree to an extent with @Delcast that there isn't exactly a lot left open to interpretation although I'd also say that interpretation is exaggerated a little in SotC and Ico where we do actually have a pretty good idea on what is going on. I suppose this is the best place to just mention that the last twenty minutes or so of the game is everything I'd want really. I don't really want to say anything else on that.

    So those are my muddled thoughts. I'd love to hear about any connections to the other games. I thought I noticed one in game but since I haven't seen any articles online about it, I'd imagine it's nothing. I'll spoiler anyway. But yes, I loved this game and someday I'll come back to play it again. For now I just need to digest it a bit more but considering the long wait, thinking we'd never get it, then being away for when it was released, I'm just so happy that it is still the type of games I want to see made!

    Forgot to put this in. I thought in the flashback that the person who basically said "I hope you're the chosen one" was the same person who goes to stop Wander in SotC.

    Edit: Oh one more thing. I absolutely loved the intro to the game and the load screens when you went back. Showing all the different forms of those animals was so cool!

    One of the greats.



  • This is generally a reply to @tokeeffe9, but acts as my personal critique of The Last Guardian, as I haven't taken the time to do that yet.
    I've been looking forward to your playthrough for a while. As you know, I'm fairly critical of The Last Guardian, so I'll try to keep myself in check in this response.
    My thoughts are messy and mixed, but I'll try to go from positive to negative:

    • Trico - Trico's design is such a brilliant combination of creatures we know and love, while sill managing to feel unique. Trico's behaviour, freaky expressive eyes, create empathy while also maintaining an element of fear and respect for how helpless you are to Trico's might. Trico's animations may be the best animations I've ever seen anywhere. Every time Trico gets hurt I felt so uncomfortable in the best way. I learnt to care for Trico almost immediately. Still, Trico's not perfect. I got their AI stuck in a couple of loops where the only way to proceed was restarting from the last checkpoint, and I've heard more than enough stories of Trico getting caught in geometry. Oh, and as you mentioned, that intro going from mundane beasts through to legendary creatures all the way to Trico really set the tone of awe.
    • The Relationship - Entirely agree with you and added what I wanted to to the Trico section. Your story in the spoiler flag is an excellent example and I felt similar things.
    • Sense of Scale - This is a wholly positive point for me, and I basically agree with you but wanted to add a couple of things. Throughout the game you can see where you've come from and see where you're going. It's brilliant.

    Reaching the white tower, seeing the unique architecture, and realising that's where you started the game is such a good moment too!

    • Story - Beyond the relationship formed between the boy and Trico, I didn't really find the story compelling. It just wasn't groundbreaking to me, but I'm willing to accept this as a personal thing. There were, however, some tools used for storytelling that I found excellent, which I will discuss in the section below.
    • Mystery - The way The Last Guardian keeps you questioning what is going on is thrilling. There is so much unknown and just as you start to feel like things are becoming normal the story throws you in a loop. Further, there are several mechanics I didn't even know about until reading the trophy list after my first play through. I love that there were solutions I hadn't even considered, and this makes me want to play the game again.

    Trico heals slow enough that you question whether you're just imagining it or not. Same goes for the markings on the boy after Trico eats him. Speaking of that, the lack of any response to Trico eating the boy the second time made me question what was real and what wasn't. The reveal that the mirror is the menu image was also very powerful for me.

    • Visuals - I agree that the art is beautiful. However I think you're lying to yourself to call it crisp. The textures are not great, but the art direction transcends that to create a truly beautiful game. It's framey in open areas on Pro, and is allegedly framey in other areas on standard PS4s. It's not awful, but I think it needs to be said. Also, the menus look like they received almost zero effort. This may be a somewhat petty critique, but menus that complement the world and style of the game do a lot for me.
    • Controls - Some good, some bad here. As you said, the camera is tough to handle. I've had it clip into walls and unrender the entire world which is not exactly pleasant. I love that the controls are kind of clunky and physics based, but it definitely caused some problems for me. Combined with the poor camera, I definitely ended up jumping way off-target several times. Also, please give me more movement speeds than sneaking and sprinting. It's such a pretty world, yet I can't move through it comfortably; it's awful. As you also mentioned, there are so many button prompts for the simplest actions, yet they never explain some of thee more complex moves which make certain puzzles so much easier.
    • "Puzzles" - I agree with you that the puzzles effectively display through gameplay the mutual reliance that Trico and the boy have for each other. However, that's basically where I stop agreeing with you, because I found the puzzles to be extremely disappointing. The vast majority of them boil down to simply finding where you can proceed. Not exactly thrilling, and those are the okay ones. Quite a few of the puzzles are a case of knowing what the solution is, but struggling to complete it because of the poor controls. I think back to throwing a barrel across a series of gaps onto sloped surfaces and having to rush each time to grab it before it fell into the crevice. This is not fun game design, nor is it clever. The water puzzle and the seesaw were the only two puzzles that gave me ah-ha moments. I can't believe that there were only two puzzles like that in a game where the primary gameplay mechanism is traversal through these "puzzles". The rest is just a boring slog.

    I'll admit that the sequence near the end of climbing those two towers was fun, even though there wasn't much puzzle solving, but I attribute that to the feeling of climax - Trico and the boy finally feeling strong enough to take on the world - that was going on in the story at the time. A puzzle there would have ground all of that momentum they'd been building to a halt.
    Also, how to fight the master was clever. That was the third good puzzle.

    I like this game. I'm glad that you finally got to play it and I hope it was everything you wanted it to be, but I also want you to understand why it disappointed me - especially after seeing it receive such a glowing review and win EZA's GOTY (we can talk about the implications of praise inciting more impassioned criticism later). I would love to continue this conversation with any of you; I think this is an interesting, divisive game. Love & Respect


  • Global Moderator

    @DeweyDecibel said in The Last Guardian (PS4):

    • Trico - Still, Trico's not perfect. I got their AI stuck in a couple of loops where the only way to proceed was restarting from the last checkpoint, and I've heard more than enough stories of Trico getting caught in geometry.

    I think this shows the game can be so different for everyone and why it's so divisive. I didn't have any real issue where Trico was stuck or had to restart. There were 1-2 times where it would go back when I wanted Trico to move to the next platform but I didn't mind that.

    • Sense of Scale -

    Reaching the white tower, seeing the unique architecture, and realising that's where you started the game is such a good moment too!

    Just yes!

    • Story - Beyond the relationship formed between the boy and Trico, I didn't really find the story compelling.

    Sure, I didn't really add anything to my bit on story. Realistically the story is just super basic, we must escape. That's all it is so really you are left to focus on the relationship/bond.

    • Visuals - However I think you're lying to yourself to call it crisp. The textures are not great, but the art direction transcends that to create a truly beautiful game. Also, the menus look like they received almost zero effort. This may be a somewhat petty critique, but menus that complement the world and style of the game do a lot for me.

    Maybe this is just because I've been away for a bit but I guess I mean the resolution more so. The architecture seemed really definied to me.

    The menus are pretty drab. The whole thing feels very bare.

    • Controls - Also, please give me more movement speeds than sneaking and sprinting. It's such a pretty world, yet I can't move through it comfortably; it's awful.

    Interesting, I didn't really have any issue with movement speed. I guess an inbetween could have been added to the analog but I prefer what we got over holding a sprint button.

    On the controls, I feel like this is a game where you didn't even need that many buttons anyway. It made no sense to me why you had to use O to grab onto a ladder but the kid automatically grabs onto ledges when you jump. I guess it was something they picked up from testing but I feel like it was unnecessary.

    • "Puzzles" - I agree with you that the puzzles effectively display through gameplay the mutual reliance that Trico and the boy have for each other. However, that's basically where I stop agreeing with you, because I found the puzzles to be extremely disappointing. The vast majority of them boil down to simply finding where you can proceed. Not exactly thrilling, and those are the okay ones. Quite a few of the puzzles are a case of knowing what the solution is, but struggling to complete it because of the poor controls. I think back to throwing a barrel across a series of gaps onto sloped surfaces and having to rush each time to grab it before it fell into the crevice. This is not fun game design, nor is it clever. The water puzzle and the seesaw were the only two puzzles that gave me ah-ha moments. I can't believe that there were only two puzzles like that in a game where the primary gameplay mechanism is traversal through these "puzzles". The rest is just a boring slog.

    I think this is probably the most interesting point as it makes me question the purpose of the game. The question here is are the puzzles fun? Is this even a fun game? And pretty quickly you can see the answer to both of these is no.

    For me, the puzzles serve the core focus of the game. Building the relationship between the boy and Trico. I think them being repetitive and mundane is actually very intentional in the same way someone will do mundane tasks to train their pet to go sit, go outside or whatever. I never had the sense of I'm looking forward to the next puzzle. It was always I want to get out of here with Trico. It's totally different to let's say The Witness (since we both love it) where I can't wait to solve that next puzzle or wrap my head around the logic, my focus is solely on Trico. Maybe that's a cop out and justifying 'bad design' but I really feel like it was very intentional. Whether people were going to like it or be okay with it is the other thing.

    So I could see someone looking at TLG as a puzzle game but it's a weird one to categorise. I look at Ico & SotC and both of those games feel more like what I'd expect out of a game, I don't think gamey is the right word but I feel more involved. I actually think of TLG as a bit more interactive, as close to the 'walking sim' category that it can get without actually being that.



  • I feel that people who play this game and have never had a loyal pet are missing an extra layer.
    Trico reminds me so much of my dog. There were definitely some extra feels included because of that.

    When you are trying to lower the bridge for Trico while he is stuck on the broken pillar and being shot at with arrows I legitimately panicked a bit.