Tuesday, December 13, 2016

This is not what I was waiting for

There is a moment in The Last Guardian when everything that Team Ico is trying to do comes together and the player believes: the child and the Trico have escaped the cave that they both woke up in and they find themselves at the edge of an impossibly high cliff. The trico climbs a nearby pillar and stares into the wind, its feathers being back and forth in concert with the surrounding grass and the boy's clothes. It looks ethereal.

And then you have to play the game again and it goes to shit.

The Last Guardian feels as old as it is, perhaps even older. The child's motions bleed into one another in an uncanny valley-esque manner. He doesn't look like a person when climbing or holding on to his companion's feathers, he looks like a human shaped sack of bones with no muscle or tendon to keep the articulations moving the correct directions. Controlling him is just as awkward as he slips and stumbles over the smallest of obstacles. The trico's movements look much better but the player has precious little control over what he does.

I have seen and heard the trico compared to a cat which is accurate. I don't play games with my cat. My cat can be kind of a dick. Just like the trico. Operating around it as the child is quite difficult as he both obscures the already suspect camera and takes up all the space in tight hallways. The sense of scale is impressive but actually interacting with it is not a good time.

Speaking of not a good time, I would like to smack the person who decided that giving the player no information on where to go next was a good idea. This does not foster exploration, it drives the player to wander in circles. Give the player a clue, a path, and then add interesting deviations to that path. No path can lead to no progress and no progress is never fun.

This game annoys me to no end, so much so that I stopped playing it after two hours last night. The final chapter of TellTale Batman hits tonight so it is off the list again. Going back to it is going to be a chore.

1 comment:

  1. That is so disappointing. I was actually looking forward to finally getting to play The Last Guardian but this has me seriously reconsidering it. Oh well, guess I need to find something else to try.