Sony’s E3 conference opened with The Last Guardian on Monday night, a game that was greeted by roars of delight both from the audience at the event, and on social media. So why don’t I feel the connection that others felt with the game?
The Last Guardian is a game that has been long in development, it was even introduced with that phrase at the Sony conference, so I can easily understand why the vast majority of the audience would be wowed just at the sight of hearing about it, let alone getting to see actual gameplay and a release window.
I haven’t particularly been following The Last Guardian a great deal through the past few years, I’ve only seriously hit the gaming scene within the past two years, perhaps that’s why I’m less enamoured than most about the game. However just watching the game, I was instantly struck by the art style, but that can only carry a game so far.
Watching the gameplay presentation during the Sony conference, I couldn’t help feeling slightly disappointed by what I was witnessing. Sure, I’m intrigued by the large cat/bird creature and his playable companion, but nowhere near enough character was given away from either to make me warm to them.
As I’ve mentioned before, the art style of the game looks fantastic, but this needs to be coupled with solid gameplay to make a game succeed, and this is where the Last Guardian really disappointed me. The platforming element of the game looks intriguing and entertaining enough, but I can’t help feel a certain disconnect with the whole thing.
The majority of the gameplay was the boy beckoning the creature to either come closer or solve problems for him, such as traversing a large gap on a bridge. This may be interesting enough, but I the majority of the demo really was the boy just calling to the creature, and since I feel no empathy towards them whatsoever, this really didn’t do much for me.
For a game that has been so long in a tumultuous development cycle and widely speculated on, I can’t help feeling let down by what I saw from The Last Guardian at E3. Sure, I bet in a years time I’ll buy the thing and absolutely love it, but for now, I can;’t help but feel a disconnect between the gameplay, the characters, and the world around them.