Just played The Last Guardian.

This is not a good game.

I had high hopes since it's from Team Ico, who made Shadow of the Colossus, which is one of my favorite games of all time.

Unfortunately, The Last Guardian did not take after SotC. It mostly felt like Ico, except much more annoying.

Apparently they spent some 10 years on this game. But apparently those 10 years mostly went into making your giant-feathery-dog companion behave "like a real animal". And indeed, the companion's behavior is incredibly convincingly animal-like. It would be incredibly impressive except for one problem: the game is not fun.

The animal behavior does not make the game fun. In fact, it does the opposite: it makes the game incredibly annoying. Because if your animal doesn't do what you want it to do -- for instance, jump to a nearby ledge -- there's two possible reasons:

1) It can't jump to that ledge. There's something different you need to do next.
2) It's being moody, and if you keep trying for half an hour eventually it will indeed jump to the ledge, which indeed is the thing you need to do next.

As a result of this awful mechanic, a large percentage of the game is spent trying to coax your companion into making jumps it can't make, or spent searching in vain for what to do next after falsely concluding that you can't jump to that ledge.

The other half the game is spent missing jumps and falling into pits because the game controls are basically QWOP. Apparently, team Ico spent zero of those ten years fixing their egregiously play control issues -- indeed, many parts of the game seem explicitly designed to highlight the crappy control. (The controls were bad in SotC, too, but it felt "right" when you were trying to climb up the side of a giant golem who is struggling to throw you off. SotC was supposed to be stressful. But for a "find your way through the inanimate obstacle course" game, it's totally wrong.)

I was hoping for a puzzle-platformer, but The Last Guardian does not have "puzzles". None of the areas required any kind of mental capacity to figure out. When it was unclear what to do next, 100% of the time it was because there was a thing that I could do which I didn't know about, and so the challenge was to wander around until I accidentally tripped over the answer. These are not puzzles. In a good puzzle-platformer, you have a set of tools and you have a problem, and you can figure out in your head exactly how to use the tools to solve the problem and know you have the right answer before you actually do it. This is not that.

I could have lived with a dexterity-platformer instead, but that requires controls that aren't shit.

The Last Guardian is a QWOP-platformer.

I guess the story was good, though.
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