Was The Last Guardian Worth the Wait?

The Last Guardian

We take a look at what critics are saying about the PS4’s big release this month.

The Last Guardian is one of the most anticipated games of the year, but while it has the alluring factor of Fumito Ueda’s (Shadow of the Colossus, ICO) name on it, it has been through development hell that has spanned an entire console generation. So, does The Last Guardian live up to the hype? Here’s what the critics are saying:

GamesRadar – 9/10

“A moving adventure starring an extraordinary companion. Framerate issues intrude, but don’t let them stop you from finishing this wonderful game.”

GameInformer – 8/10

“Ultimately The Last Guardian isn’t about pulling switches or leaping over gaps. It’s about your smile when you see Trico doing something silly, your compassion when you watch it struggle, and your relief when the creature shows up at just the right time. That’s what you get here that you can’t find anywhere else, and it is enough to make The Last Guardian worth playing.”

The Last Guardina screen

The Guardian – 5/5

“That story of therapeutic friendship and survival is told lightly in the dialogue (“Stop following me; go home,” orders the boy early on, an attitude which, by the game’s conclusion, has entirely changed). But it’s far more meaningfully told through the action, which shows an unspoken, healing bond forged in real time by two underdogs together facing otherwise insurmountable odds. This theme alone would be enough to mark The Last Guardian out as almost unique in games. But it’s the execution that marks The Last Guardian and its creator out as singularly brilliant. Here is an exquisite gem, the brightest in Ueda’s enviable clutch.”

Polygon – 7/10

“How I wish that more of The Last Guardian could have lived up to its own spectacle. The easy shorthand that many have used is that it feels like a PlayStation 2 game — I even said so myself a few months ago — but the reality is more complicated than that. In its best moments, The Last Guardian pulls off feats that could only be done on modern hardware; at its weakest, it’s not just “like a PlayStation 2 game,” but like a particularly rough, unpolished PlayStation 2 game, one that recalls the legacy of its forebears, but can’t quite recreate it.”

GameSpot – 9/10

“It isn’t clear whether or not The Last Guardian means to be frustrating at times–if it’s a concerted effort to test your patience for a lovable-yet-stubborn creature. Your affection for Trico and sympathy for both characters blossom nonetheless, culminating in an enrapturing series of revelations that cements your attachment to their personalities. Trico is the undeniable star of the show, exhibiting believable physicality and emotional range, but the boy is a valuable lesson in how to be patient and resilient when faced with unforeseen challenges.”

IGN – 7.0/10

“The divide between the highs and lows of The Last Guardian is staggering. For every wonderful moment of absolute beauty and emotional attachment to its lifelike companion, there’s an equal and opposite baffling moment that ruins the mood with frustrating controls and camera angles. But I found myself willing to put up with all of these hiccups if it meant experiencing any of its multitude of incredibly-beautiful moments.”

Eurogamer – Essential

“Does The Last Guardian live up to its lineage? Does it do its forebears proud? It does so much more. It is bold enough to step away from their hints and their mysteries and explore its own kind of wonder.”

VideoGamer – 9/10

“For some The Last Guardian’s iffy controls, awkward camera, and glitches might be hard to overcome. Others won’t care as they experience one of the most incredible relationships in video game history.”

It seems that despite the technical issues, the game endures and rises above these, delivering a compelling story, grand adventure and clever puzzle mechanics – basically what we really want from Sony’s Japan studio.

Will you be picking up The Last Guardian this week? Let us know by tweeting @MenStuffZA and commenting below.

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