The Last Guardian (PS4) – Completed

So last night I finally beat “The Last Guardian”.

Overall I enjoyed this game very much. If you liked “Ico” or “Shadow of the Colossus” then you’ll like this as well. I didn’t rush it, but still managed to complete it in under 15 hours (I wasn’t timing so don’t know the exact time, but I got the “Fleet Emissary” trophy at the end).

I would classify the game as an interactive story with some puzzles and 3D-platformer elements thrown in. Why do I categorise it as such? Because it is almost entirely “on rails”. Apart from some small hidden areas, or having to explore an area to find the route to the next part, the game pretty much runs along a single track. This means unless you’re after getting all the trophies, it’s unlikely that you’ll be replaying this game as it will play out almost identically.

Overall I’d give it an easy 8/10. It was really sad to see the story come to an end.

So now that I’ve completed the game and watched all the cut-scenes, it opens up quite a few questions and observations.

WARNING! Spoilers ahead..

1. Why are the suits of armour hostile towards Trico?

Part-way through the game, a cut-scene shows the original abduction of The Boy by Trico.  Trico is hit by lightning on returning to The Nest, and crashes to the ground. Following this, the suits of armour transport Trico to the cave where the game starts. So apparently they are caring for him, but then leave him wounded and chained up in a cave.
So the main question is – why didn’t they just kill him considering that throughout the game they are instantly hostile towards him? Or alternatively, why didn’t they take care of his wounds and try to heal him?

It appears that the lightning strike broke the Masters’ control over Trico which explains the chaining up (assuming that they were going to try to re-assert control over Trico), but not the lack of care, nor the deadly force on sight instead of trying to re-capture him. They can obviously cower him sufficiently using the “Glass Eye” shields seen later in the game.

2. What’s the whole point?

It appears that The Master has enslaved the Tricos for the sole purpose of capturing boys and bringing them back to the tower to be converted into food barrels (“Trico Treats”). Ew! Why don’t the Tricos just eat the boys directly?

Alternatively I may have misunderstood this bit and perhaps the Trico Treat only pops out as a reward for bringing the boys, but what happens to them is completely unexplained.

Meanwhile the whole valley is slowly crumbling into ruin. Every section which the game traverses is long dead, with only abandoned buildings and broken machinery. Given how much damage Trico and The Boy did during the game, it’s amazing anything was still standing!

3. Telling Trico to leave.

Why is the only thing The Boy can do is tell Trico to leave? If he has the strength to do that, why can’t he tell the villagers to leave him alone? Trico is rather obviously not attacking anybody who’s not attacking him, and at least one villager is seen holding the others back.

4. The whole valley is too obviously just a game. (Well, duh..)

Countless times immersion into the fantastic environments is broken by having jarring game elements in place. For example, most of the hanging “Glass Eyes” are on tracks whose only purpose is to be able to push them off. Along with the fact that these Glass Eyes (and many other such things) are only found along the route which Trico and The Boy are taking..

Or the fact that The Boy (and Trico) can perform some amazing acrobatics while climbing and jumping – but only in the designated areas. Other almost identical sections are impassable barriers. Hence my classification as a “puzzle” game; there’s no free-form exploration of the world allowed here.