After 11 years, Fans will finally be able to get their hands on the successor to the masterpieces that are "Ico" and "Shadow of the Colossus." The legendary game that went through numerous delays and an entire console generation was given a playable demo at the 2016 PlayStation Experience.The game will be available for purchase within the week, but I've waited so long for this game that I just had to be able to boast that I was one of the first people to play. After waiting in line, I finally got my hands on this legend and got to play it.

So, why did I walk away feeling so empty?

The Storytelling

One of the great aspects of both "Ico" and "Shadow of the Colossus" was the way they told a story. These were emotional journeys that never gave players easy answers or explanations. They followed the philosophy of "show; don't tell." Conversely, "The Last Guardian" gives us narration from an aged version of the boy that we control. Whatever the boy feels or thinks is flat out stated by the narrator, never giving us a chance to project our feelings like in "Ico" or "Colossus." This may be a more subjective critique than most, but I just didn't find myself getting invested in this tale like I did with Team Ico's previous games.

Granted, this is a demo, and the final game will benefit from more time to get players endeared to Trico and the boy. However, my first exposure to "Ico" was from a demo disc that gave me no story synopsis, but that didn't stop me from being invested back in 2001.

The boy and Trico

When I saw ads featuring this majestic looking creature, I was so excited to see what kind of interactions these two would have.

The relationship between these characters is a huge selling point, so if we don't care, the game falls apart. I did appreciate how Trico's trust had to be earned, but some clues as to how to form the bond between these two would have helped. I spent a large chunk of the demo perplexed as to why Trico would not eat the food I offered him despite the narrator saying that he was hungry. A Sony associate explained to me that Trico wouldn't eat unless he had some privacy.

Fine for a 20-hour game where a player can ease in and take their time. Terrible for a 14-minute demo preceded by a 2-hour line.


The gameplay has shades of both "Ico" and "Colossus" with climbing, platforming, and puzzle solving. Unfortunately, some of the problems I was able to overlook back in 2001 and 2005 rear their head here and bring the experience down. Controlling the boy feels awkward. He's extremely clumsy and prone to stumbling. That's fine for storytelling purposes, but not so much when you're trying to solve puzzles.

The camera has an awful habit of getting caught in geography and it handles pretty clunkily.

I struggled to get a good look at Trico in some areas. Also, a glitch prevented me from going into a hole after removing the crate.


All in all, the act of playing "The Last Guardian" demo as opposed to watching it is a frustrating experience saved by occasional moments of brilliance. However, a lot of these problems can be attributed to the demo's run-time. A lot of these complaints probably won't apply to the final product, but some will. For better or worse, "The Last Guardian" feels like a game from 2005. Look for it on PlayStation 4 on December 6th.

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