One of my greatest joys in life is spending time with my dog. The unbridled joy he has when he sees me, the companionship no matter what is going on in my life, and the unconditional love is always present. These feelings are extremely hard to convey in a video game because few animals on screen look and act like a real animal. The Last Guardian is able to accomplish this in a way I’ve never experienced before.
Trico, the bird/cat/dog hybrid, reacts just like a real animal would. At the beginning, you have to build your relationship with him. He won’t respond to your commands and he is fearful of you. Trico will scream at you to get away until you insist otherwise. This can be frustrating at first for gamers used to pressing a button and always getting the same result. I found it refreshing and these reactions made Trico feel more lifelike. By the end of the game, Trico was there for me when I needed him and I was there for him when he needed me. We were a perfect pair and because the relationship grew organically, it paid off it spades.
The real marvel with Trico is how he moves. The Last Guardian development for an extremely long period of time, which left many wondering if the game would ever see the light of day. I imagine what took so long was getting Trico to act and move like a true animal. Trico will wander, sniff around, get enamored by random items and it will be hard to break his attention from these distractions. The expression in his eyes and his ears give Trico personality that will melt your heart. By the conclusion of the game, I was less motivated to get to the end because I didn’t want my time with Trico to end.
I would be remiss to not mention the incredible score of the game. Its sweeping orchestration that came and went as emotional action happened on screen gave me chills at times. The music helped build the relationship between you and Trico in a magical way. As you get to climactic moments, the music would build and crescendo right when you are falling and Trico would swoop in and save you. The score always added to the moments while never dominating them. Bravo to Composer Takeshi Furukawa.
The Last Guardian is a Playstation 4 exclusive that is a must play if you are able. Fumito Ueda, who previously brought us Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, created another masterpiece. Games like The Last Guardian are why I play video games. It gave me an experience like no other form of media can and I can’t wait to see what Ueda-san does next.