GSY REVIEW | PS4 Monday, December 5, 2016 | 4:00 PM

We reviewed The Last Guardian

We reviewed The Last Guardian

After the release of Final Fantasy XV last week, another game people have been waiting for for a very long time is about to become available. It took 7 years for The Last Guardian to be completed, and it was obviously a cause for concern, especially after some of the previews came out a little while ago. Now is the time to see if the game was worth the wait.
update: 2 FPS analysis videos added, this time on base PS4.


Verdict


While the experience may be flawed, The Last Guardian remains a must-play for anyone searching for something different and impactful. A game similar to previous works by Fumito Ueda, though perhaps closer to ICO than Shadow of the Colossus, this third game certainly took its time. By the time the credits roll and the final cinematic plays out, all doubt is erased, the long wait for The Last Guardian was not in vain. That such a unique and beautiful world may never have been released at all is certainly difficult to consider. To paraphrase Descartes on the subject of mankind, The Last Guadian is an imperfect thing that incessantly tends towards something greater than itself.


On the plus side


+ The hypnotic universe created by Ueda and team
+ The poetry which pulls you in from beginning to end
+ A discreet narration in serve of a lovely story
+ Incredible animation work
+ Trico, more real than nature
+ The soundtrack, expertly used
+ Great sound design
+ A plethora of memorable moments throughout
+ Smooth 1080p experience on PS4 Pro


On the downside


- The camera system, tricky to control...
- The camera can go a tad crazy at times
- The controller prompts indicating button presses
- One or two potentially frustrating sections
- Graphically dated, in terms of textures and lighting effects mostly
- Some slowdowns on base PS4 and PS4 Pro when running at 4k
- The occasional bugs

Gameplay #1 - 4K
Gameplay #2 - 4K
Gameplay #3 - 4K
Gameplay #4 - 4K
Gameplay #5 - 4K
Stress Test (at 4K)
PS4 Pro - FPS Analysis 1080P
PS4 Pro - FPS Analysis #2 1080P
Base PS4 - FPS test #1
Base PS4 - FPS test #2

All comments

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Commented on 2016-12-05 16:14:57
Great review. And in line with what I was expecting. Team Ico's games were never technical powerhouses and have some control problems. Still, it's great to see that in the parts that most matter, at least to me, the game is a true gem, if going by most reviews.

EuroGame even gave it an "Essential" badge (link below).

EuroGamer Review - Does the successor to Ico and Shadow of the Colossus live up to its lineage? It does so much more:
http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2016-12-05-the-l...

NeoGAF - The Last Guardian: Review Thread:
http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=13223...
Commented on 2016-12-05 16:51:08
Ico and Shadow were two of my favourite games ever. After reading the review I am sure this will be another masterpiece.
Commented on 2016-12-05 16:53:48
Is there an ingame menu option to choose resolution on the ps4 pro?
Commented on 2016-12-05 16:57:57 In reply to AndreasZ94
Nope, it has to be done in the console menu itself.

The menu is pretty empty, on-screen prompts cannot even be deactivated...
Commented on 2016-12-05 17:05:24 In reply to Driftwood
Thats a shame. The control hints UI is really distracting
Commented on 2016-12-05 17:12:38
I'm really curious what the typical play through length will be.
Commented on 2016-12-05 18:16:28
Hopefully it makes some money

Maybe some day they'll make Shadow of Colossus 2
Commented on 2016-12-05 18:28:16
I really want to play this, but at the same time i feel like the graphics are complete cabbage and i shouldn't have to pay 60 buckaroos for what is essentially the HD port of a last gen game :P
Commented on 2016-12-05 19:02:58
After all these years, they didn't manage to get a consistant framerate with dated graphics? And then there are bugs on top of that? I'm sorry, but even though it might be a masterpiece, there is no excuse for that.

The camera system was obvious from the last trailer. It made me think of Knack when I saw it.
Commented on 2016-12-05 19:18:52 In reply to Wheat_Thins
Posted by Wheat_Thins
I'm really curious what the typical play through length will be.
12 hours based on neogaf early recievers. Good length. Longer than ico and shadow of the collosus. It was honestly my biggest worry.
Posted by droezelke
After all these years, they didn't manage to get a consistant framerate with dated graphics? And then there are bugs on top of that? I'm sorry, but even though it might be a masterpiece, there is no excuse for that.

The camera system was obvious from the last trailer. It made me think of Knack when I saw it.
You'd almost think it was a team ico game, eh? Lol. And it's not like it was being developed for 8 years...
even sony aren't that forgiving with long dev cycles.
Commented on 2016-12-05 21:44:06 In reply to KORNdog
Come on, you didn't forgive Gearbox for the awfull Duke Nukem, did you?

I've been reading reviews on the game, and I allways skip the 100 scores because those are as reliable as Trump.
So, in almost every review that doesn't praise the game as a true masterpiece, gameplay mechanics and camera issues are mentioned and seem to be a pain in the ass. It's also often mentioned that your pet doesn't allways react to commands which make it frustrating to get timed puzzles done.
And then there are the framerate issues with dated graphics.
So, I'm not buying this game at full price.
They had loads of time to address obvious issues. The fact that they didn't, shows a certain lack of respect.
Commented on 2016-12-05 22:44:59 In reply to droezelke
Posted by droezelke
Come on, you didn't forgive Gearbox for the awfull Duke Nukem, did you?

I've been reading reviews on the game, and I allways skip the 100 scores because those are as reliable as Trump.
So, in almost every review that doesn't praise the game as a true masterpiece, gameplay mechanics and camera issues are mentioned and seem to be a pain in the ass. It's also often mentioned that your pet doesn't allways react to commands which make it frustrating to get timed puzzles done.
And then there are the framerate issues with dated graphics.
So, I'm not buying this game at full price.
They had loads of time to address obvious issues. The fact that they didn't, shows a certain lack of respect.
So your argument is "if you ignore all the majority of possitive reviews, the remaining bad reviews make the game seem shit", well no shit sherlock. You know what, you continue having a brain damaged logic. I'll stick to the average being 80+ on metacritic and see it as what it is. A troubled, albeit still great game.

I mean, do you feel the same about dishonored 2 by any chance?. Did you strip away all the possitive reviews for that game and say to yourself. "Oh, it's got 2 7's and a 5...must be shit". That game also had a plethora of bugs, glitches and a shit framerate. Or are your standards of the double variety? I think the latter.

...And your duke nukem example is fucking dumb too, and you know it.
Commented on 2016-12-05 22:59:53 In reply to KORNdog
Posted by KORNdog
So your argument is "if you ignore all the majority of possitive reviews, the remaining bad reviews make the game seem shit", well no shit sherlock. You know what, you continue having a brain damaged logic. I'll stick to the average being 80+ on metacritic and see it as what it is. A troubled, albeit still great game.

I mean, do you feel the same about dishonored 2 by any chance?. Did you strip away all the possitive reviews for that game and say to yourself. "Oh, it's got 2 7's and a 5...must be shit". That game also had a plethora of bugs, glitches and a shit framerate. Or are your standards of the double variety? I think the latter.

...And your duke nukem example is fucking dumb too, and you know it.
Brain damaged logic? I don't read the 100% score reviews. That's what I said.
Nevermind, it's a Sony exclusive, so not worth going into a personal attack kind of discussion with you.
Commented on 2016-12-06 00:12:30
Tearing in ps4Pro 1080 mode? Please tell me NOT
Commented on 2016-12-06 00:26:52 In reply to sulei
Posted by sulei
Tearing in ps4Pro 1080 mode? Please tell me NOT
Nope. It's vsync'd on all modes

"From a performance perspective, the bottom line is this. The only option available to PlayStation gamers in getting a regularly smooth 30fps is to use PlayStation 4 Pro, running at 1080p. If you're on a regular PS4 you're in for a very variable experience; lurching between 20-30fps just by running around empty areas, and with stutters to over 110ms. All playthroughs have full v-sync, and there are thankfully no frame-pacing issues at 30fps, but sadly playing The Last Guardian on a standard PS4 easily gives the worst performance of all three options."

From Digital foundry.
Commented on 2016-12-06 11:11:56
Played 3-4 hours and i really love it so far. Some first impressions
The visuals are beautiful. There some ps3 era stuff but the art direction, lighting and especially trico are gorgeous
The camera is different to other games and can be a little hard to control sometimes but its not major issue for me. I recommend turning up camera speed option in the menus.
The controls are responsive and the animations are incredible for both the boy and trico. There is occasionally some clumsiness to the controls but i was never frustrated or felt the controls suck.
Also hearing so many people complain its annoying that trico doesn't respond immediately, so far i completely disagree. At first Trico doesn't trust you so of course its trickier but again i was never frustrated at all and now that i ve earned trust Trico is surprisingly very obedient to me. You can give him or her ( not sure which actually) specific commands by holding R1 and pressing the face buttons, left stick.
Overall i think anyone who enjoyed team icos previous games and likes animals they are gonna love this game
Commented on 2016-12-06 16:37:42 In reply to Megido
Well to each their own but I'd happily pay 60 bucks or more for ICO if it came out right now exactly as it was then and the same goes for SOTC, which also suffered from bad frame rate when it came out but that didnt stop it from becoming one of the best games I have ever played.
Commented on 2016-12-06 16:59:34
^Didn't they re-release those in hd?

It is pretty funny that the same issues that plagued those past games are still here.
Typically a dev learns from their mistakes, why do they keep repeating them?
Just because they always have these issues, doesn't make it OKAY korn.
Commented on 2016-12-06 19:09:56 In reply to Tinks
Posted by Tinks
^Didn't they re-release those in hd?

It is pretty funny that the same issues that plagued those past games are still here.
Typically a dev learns from their mistakes, why do they keep repeating them?
Just because they always have these issues, doesn't make it OKAY korn.
Says the guy who litterally dribbles cum over the souls series...that have the same appalling framerate issues time and time and time again...but yeah, please. Continue. You don't sound hypocritical at all...nope, not one bit. Lol.
Commented on 2016-12-06 19:15:47 In reply to KORNdog
Posted by KORNdog
Says the guy who litterally dribbles cum over the souls series...that have the same appalling framerate issues time and time and time again...but yeah, please. Continue. You don't sound hypocritical at all...nope, not one bit. Lol.
lol did you mean to quote Megido here Korn? ;P
Commented on 2016-12-06 19:18:52 In reply to Tinks
Posted by Tinks
lol did you mean to quote Megido here Korn? ;P
Lol. Brain fart. Sorry. For some reason i read his name. Meh. I will keep it posted to shame myself. Lol.

I will say though, while framerate issues aren't ideal. They also didn't effect my enjoyment of both ico or shadow of the colossus on PS2. So *shrugs*
Commented on 2016-12-06 22:25:24
After reading all the comments, and in hopes of putting an end to a stupid discussion - that will never end, really.

Yes, ideally - or to put in another way, in a perfect world - all games should have from none to almost no technical problems and be great at gameplay, visuals, art, direction, story, characters, lore and everything else.

But since we don't live in a perfect world where everything is - obviously - perfect, in our real world we must choose what is most important to each of us. Is it the substance or the package?

And before anyone answers it, please consider the 2 cases below:

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has a lot of technical issues and hundreds of bugs even to this day, and was far, far worse at launch with many game-breaking bugs. Yet, it's the game with the most number of Game of The Year awards to date, and the general consensus is that it's an excellent game that everyone should play.

The Order: 1886 has gorgeous visuals and a rock-solid framerate that rarely goes below 30fps, and when it does, most of the occurrences happen on cuts, making them totally unnoticeable - it was in this state at launch, before any patches, now it might just be almost perfect technically-wise. But how many Game of The Year awards has it won? And the overall consensus is that the game is average at best, one that not many people would recommend.

So which is it? Substance or package.

PS. There's no wrong answer. What matters to you might not matter to others, and vice-versa.
Commented on 2016-12-06 23:16:56 In reply to Sdarts
Both.
I just can't stand games where the controls feel off and the camera is a pain in the ass.
Commented on 2016-12-07 01:33:46 In reply to KORNdog
Somehow i just don't get how you can suck so hard at coding that you made the game for PS3, keep all the same shitty looking assets, and it still runs like a fucking potato on hardware form the current gen? I'd be upset if Bloodborne looked like DkS1 and still ran at 25 FPS, for sure.
Commented on 2016-12-07 14:46:23 In reply to Megido
Posted by Megido
Somehow i just don't get how you can suck so hard at coding that you made the game for PS3, keep all the same shitty looking assets, and it still runs like a fucking potato on hardware form the current gen? I'd be upset if Bloodborne looked like DkS1 and still ran at 25 FPS, for sure.
Probably not so easy to port their engine from running on PS3 to PS4. Maybe not the technical know-how in-house.
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About the game


What's up?
  • nostradamus
    nostradamus Inside devs are already teasing the GOTG for the next decade release. (6 Hours ago)
  • nostradamus
    nostradamus Ico, one and done. next, Zone of Enders 1. (6 Hours ago)
  • Tiz
    Tiz @GriftGFX: I think MS were in full on panic mode because they wanted to add value to their box, so they showed everything. (12 Hours ago)
  • GriftGFX
    GriftGFX Yeah they just need to actually implement some of that stuff. They're charting an interesting path. I feel like they showed this game off before they knew what it was. (12 Hours ago)
  • Tiz
    Tiz For instance, in Destiny, the whole point of getting loot is to get better equipped to do raids for better equipment to do raids for better equipment and sometimes Iron Banner. (12 Hours ago)
  • Tiz
    Tiz @GriftGFX: It really depends how they approach it. If you can upgrade your ship, crew etc to navigate more dangerous parts of the sea then it will be a dangling carrot scenario. (12 Hours ago)
  • Tiz
    Tiz Also, like the Division you have to cash in the loot before people steal it for themselves. The Division ran into the problem of just allowing anyone in the instances. (12 Hours ago)
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