I think we all remember Fumito Ueda’s last masterpiece. It was called Shadow of the Colossus. You were on a horse wandering an empty land in search for legendary monsters. Sixteen years and several delays later, the new game from Fumito Ueda, the highly anticipated The Last Guardian is about to be released.
Your character is a young boy who meets a bizarre dog-like creature named Trico. You two must combine powers and abilities in order to progress through the strange but beautiful environment. Trico is a trusted companion but like any other pet, he must be trained and sometimes it can be hard to control him. His behavior is unexpected. But this is a game in which you can build a beautiful and lasting relationship. You can also (and you must) solve puzzles in order to progress.
The 45-minute demo of the game had been prepared for this week’s Tokyo Game Show. The demo puts you and your companion in an abandoned construction. What you must do is figure out how can you go outside. In order for this to happen, you’ll have to solve some rather difficult puzzles.
Trico is an amazing companion. He is also brilliantly executed. Animation, colors, sound design… they all help you understand him better while trying to discover his feelings. He can be happy or sad. Frustrated or satisfied. Angry or calm. He wants to help you and he’ll be there no matter what. There are moments when your life is in each other’s hands and you are left with no choice but to trust him. And he will trust you.
The controls are not necessarily badly executed, but they are not brilliant either. The camera is a bit too independent and some actions are awkward to execute. There are also some performance problems with the game. All in all, it is greatly reminiscent of its predecessor, Shadow of the Colossus.
There are some issues visible in the demo. For example, at one point, Trico wasn’t behaving like he was supposed to in order to help solve the puzzle. It turned out that the solution didn’t have much to do with the puzzle itself. And it can get frustrating when you finally figure out exactly what to do and your trusted companion doesn’t want to help you. Or you cannot execute what you’re supposed to in order for the puzzle to be completed.
The Last Guardian, a worthy heir?
All in all, The Last Guardian might turn out to be a worthy heir for the Shadow of the Colossus. Yes, it has problems but we can only hope that the company will solve them until the game’s December worldwide release. It is beautiful, elegant, delicate, everything its predecessor also was. It moves you and you become part of it. We surely hope that the final product is going to be even better.
The Last Guardian is a game developed by SIE Japan Studio and genDESIGN, and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment for the PlayStation 4.
Image source: here