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Game of the Year 2016 #7: The Last Guardian

There’s so much to be said about The Last Guardian, and to be honest, I could go on and on for hours about how good it is, and how the connection between Trico and the boy really brings the story to life. Even if it wasn't perfect, it lived up to the hype.

Yes, performance is rough at times, with the regular PlayStation 4 riding between 25 and 30 FPS most of the time. On the Pro, it stays at a solid 30FPS on 1080P settings, but bumping the more powerful console to 4K settings will cause even more FPS drops than on the regular PS4. It isn’t the most optimized game to hit systems this year, nor is it the most technically advanced game on the market.  While the graphics are stunning, they definitely show their age, and the camera controls, which often times leave you staring at the broadside of Trico’s rump, leave a lot to be desired.

For all its faults, though, The Last Guardian is an outstanding tale of two creatures coming together as unlikely allies. The story is expertly threaded throughout the game’s various areas, with the creators never forcing too much development. The puzzles, while not overly complex, do offer some challenge, but most of all they help to build the relationship between Trico and the boy, as you have to issue commands to the massive beast. As time wears on, Trico pays more attention to your commands, and the bond grows between the two, helping to cement the story and connection.

The Last Guardian isn’t a perfect game, and we shouldn’t give it any passes just because of the things that it does well. We should, however, recognize the story as an example of a flawed masterpiece. It’s perfect, aside from the scrapes, bruises, and cuts that line its surface. Of course, it’s also a reminder that not everything left in limbo for ten years has to be bad. If we’re lucky, and the right people are involved, it can turn out to be one of the most surprising games of the year. 

2016 Game of the Year Countdown: 

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