Staff Writer, Danyel Poindexter
It never withers the mind when a new game of beautiful quality is released out into the world, especially if you are a gamer who obsesses over unique and creative graphics. On December 6, “The Last Guardian” was released worldwide and exclusively to the PlayStation 4 console. Published by Sony Interactive Entertainment and developed by genDESIGN and SIE Japan Studio, “The Last Guardian” is an action-packed adventure that is receiving high marks for not only the artistic attention to detail in its contents, but for the heart-bonding plot that will leave some breathless yet amazed. The designer, Fumito Ueda, and composer, Takeshi Furukawa, come together to create an outstanding relationship between architecture and music.
Like many games surrounding the concept of mysticism, “The Last Guardian” delves you into a world of mystery that leaves a story most say could be left up for interpretation. Your adventure into the game is mostly driven by the concept to keep moving, keep finding new things, keep discovering more land; all in the perception of the nameless boy and his new companion, the uniquely large hybrid animal. Small sightings throughout the game can be discovered by players who pay attention, for these sightings have a greater meaning to the story.
Unlike many games of this year, “The Last Guardian” is narrated while playing. Meaning, while it takes the player throughout the journey, a narration of the boy’s older self leads the storyline and at the same time aids the player with learning or trying out certain aspects of the game. The character development is undeniably the highlight of this story, besides its strong use of brightness. Trico, the animal companion, grows from a scared savaged animal to a loyal partner as he learns different ways of maneuvering with the help of the little boy. When Trico is first found in the game, his skin is ravished and has a demeanor of wanting any help from man but with the assistance of the child— who he bellows at during the first encounter— he learns from a bonding of the heart, that there is little to be afraid. This character development shows maturity in his arc. You cannot direct or control your companion, but through a series of callings and gestures that you learn from gameplay, he immediately responds per what he believes is right.
However, like many games, “The Last Guardian” has its flaws. One of the major issues surrounding the game were players becoming stuck in some degree of movement when having the large creature next to them or becoming stuck after getting onto the large beast. The next issue that competed with the smooth play of “The Last Guardian” was its lack of highlighting. Unlike most games, this one does not tend to highlight the objects that you need to help you with a task. That could become annoying for some, but for others who dive into the adventure, perhaps not so much. As for color, this game has its moments of unusual brightness, but finishes off well by not containing an overwhelming contrast or saturation of color.
There are a lot of warm hues but again, it does not overwhelm the player, while, depending on your eyesight, the brightness might as it pertains to traveling outside in the open land. Besides these minor issues, the game plays smoothly and leaves off with a realistic quality. The puzzles make you think quite a lot—which could annoy some—but also leaves you with a realization that not everything is easy.
The boy, can be somewhat compared to Avatar Aang from “The Last Airbender” with his clothing style, tattoos, small stature, and soft voice.
The game has its highs and lows in terms of technical qualities but critics or vastly overlooking these issues because the pure essence of the game is so pleasing to the eye and enjoyable to the heart. Christmas has yet to come, buy it for that special someone.