You know the feeling when you start a new game and you know it’s going to be a sweet ride.
The opposite is also true. I hated this game from the moment I gained control of my character. But let’s not start there. Let’s start with the good.
Trico is a big beast, kind of a cross over between a dog and an eagle. It behaves like a dog, but has feathers and wings like an eagle. It also has some magical properties as it can shoot lightning from its tail.
Trico is very well made. It behaves like a living thing, it looks realistic and it moves realistically. A lot of effort has gone into making Trico a believable character. It is the most well made entity of this game, even better modelled than the main protagonist.
That’s the good.
My main issue with this game is the basic premise. You are a human and most of the time you spend convincing Trico to do this or that by pointing and yelling. Trico is however moddeled like it’s own entity and will not do exactly as you say. It will do as it pleases. This leads to huge amount of frustration. I spent 20 minutes trying to get Trico to lift me up to a ledge but he didn’t want to. I could see on youtube this was the way forward but my Trico refused to do it. At some point Trico got really curious about a wall. I couldn’t get Tricos attention away from the wall even if it wasn’t a part of main progression.
This is the hole 12 hours of the game. Full of frustrations like this. What the developer wants is for me to build a relationship with Trico and they succeed. I hate this thing, I start yelling at the TV and figure out creative ways of calling the beast stupid. Trico is so frustrating I want to hurl my controller at the TV.
I hated this game from the moment I gained control over my character. The controls sucks. It is very imprecise and the boy will do things you never intended. When you intend to jump down a ledge you character won’t and when you’re balancing a ledge the boy will suddenly jump of to his death.
There is a lot of platforming in this game but very little of it is guided. You stand on one ledge and jump to the next. If you’re a few pixels off you will fall to your death. I swear almost as much at my own character as with Trico.
It becomes worst with my character riding Trico, and you do that a lot. It is impossible to make a controlled jump off the beast. It is actually a complete hurdle to just leave the beast as when you press X to let go, the boy grabs hold again immediately causing you to press X repeatedly and the boy falls head first into the stone. This is just so bad.
In contrast to Trico the boy’s animations are very limited and at times it looks really weird. When you get out of bounds riding Trico you can be reset and thrown inti the air. It also happens that the boy let go of Trico during a long jump causing him to fall to his death.
The whole game takes place in the same ruins. Everywhere you go it looks the same except progression is always upward which gradually gives you a better view. However it is the same textures through 12 hours. Nothing of it is explained and the ruins bear no meaning. Other games would try to give the ruins purpose like “the temple of worship” or “the spire of despair”. If there is a room this room should’ve had a purpose for the previous inhabitants but here is is just a video game level. Ledges are put in places where there are no relevance to put a ledge other than “video game”.
The levels are really bad. It is unclear where to go. There are stair cases that doesn’t lead anywhere, very few visual cues to point out the main progression route, and Trico will fool you by taking interest of things that are meaningless.
Vines are climbable in this game. Sometimes they are used as the way forward, and sometimes they are just decoration. It is impossible to know which, and I climed my fair share of decorative vines.
There is very little happening with the traversing and the puzzles. You pull levers to open the path, you jump ledges, climb walls and avoid enemies for 12 hours. It doesn’t change much along the way, except for the water levels which are not an improvement.
Because of Trico, the levels quite easily bug out. The developer seems aware of this fact and gives you lots of respawn points that you are going to use because you need to reset Trico, the big bafoon.
The whole story is explained by the very last end. During the game you have no idea what you’re doing or why you’re doing it. You’re just moving forward by the voice of a narrator that tells you nothing about the world or its inhabitants. There is nothing to encourage me keep going forward or play your damned game. It’s like they created Trico and then completely ran out of ideas.
The graphics are bad, except when it comes to Trico. He is very detailed, but looking around you in the world it is very low poly and the textures are really fuzzy. I assume this is because they wanted to make Trico really detailed so they compensated, but every time Trico is in the picture the game starts to lag. When you reach the end and the game really tries to astonish you, it becomes Blight Town level of lag. That is totally unacceptable in 2018 when you release a game exclusively for PS4. They know that it lags and choose to do nothing about it. I thought it ruined the experience of the end. If you’ve played Horizon: Zero Dawn you know what the PS4 can do, and The Last Guardian is miles away from that graphical feat.
So, this is the worst game I've played in 2018. It will not get any worse than this. It was a pain all the way through, but I did finish it. I do not believe what the hype was all about and how the game could get such high praises. I’m happy if I never have to see Trico ever again.