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Play OverviewPlay Overview

The Last Guardian (2016) is a running, jumping and exploring adventure about a boy who befriends a giant half-bird, half-mammal creature, Trico. You work together to navigate the world, solve puzzles and reach new heights. Unusually, you have to build trust and friendship with a believable companion to cajole and nurture acceptance of your guidance.

You wake up in a ruined castle and discover an enormous, winged, cat-like creature. After removing the spears from its body and feeding it, you unchain the beast and a friendship begins. This builds on themes from previous games from the auteur-developer Fumito Ueda: Ico and Shadow of the Colossus.

From there, you explore a broken-down ancient world by climbing, running and solving environmental puzzles. You develop cooperation with your large, Trico. But you can't command the creature directly. Instead, you must develop a relationship with them so they accept your guidance.

The story is narrated from a retrospective perspective. As you progress you learn about your past and the importance of the creature. Caring for Trico is a big part of the experience. Petting, removing arrows and generally tending to your friend is engaging and affecting for players.

These parts add up to an unusual game in many ways. There is a floaty looseness to the mechanics that invite exploration and experimentation. This creates a unique world in which to journey with your living-breathing companion. Trico very much has their own will, which underlines the need for empathy, trust and dependency required to finish the game.

This is a story about therapeutic friendship. Trico has clearly survived mistreatment and abuse. Your presence is not only to cast off injury and physical chains but to walk with a creature learning to trust again. As Simon Parkin wrote in the Guardian, "This is a game, as much as anything, about rehabilitation through kindness and companionship. That story of therapeutic friendship and survival is told lightly in the dialogue. But it’s far more meaningfully told through the action, which shows an unspoken, healing bond forged in real-time by two underdogs together facing otherwise insurmountable odds."

Our examiner, Jo Robertson, first checked The Last Guardian 4 years ago. It was re-examined by Ellen Robertson and updated 2 weeks ago.
Kids not old enough for this yet? There are lots of games similar to The Last Guardian. Here are some similar younger-rated games:

Play StylePlay Style

This is an Adventure and Traversal game with Action, Communication, Narrative, Platform and Simulation elements. This is a single-player game.

DurationDuration

Play Time: This game will take between 12 hours and 15 hours to complete.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Content Rating

Rated PEGI 12 for violence. This game features frequent depictions of realistic-looking violence towards fantasy characters, they can get impaled by spears and arrows, slashed with swords and attacked by other fantasy creatures, very mild blood is shown and the characters are shown whining in pain. There are depictions of non-realistic-looking violence towards human characters, there is a section in which a child looks as if they are being gobbled up by a large hybrid dog-bird. The child displays no reaction and is not scared by the events taking place, no blood/gore is shown and the creature doesn’t chew on the child.

This game also features frequent depictions of realistic violence of a minor nature towards human characters. The protagonist of the game is often knocked around by the creature, pushed into walls and hit. There is little to no reaction and rarely are they injured in the process.

Rated for younger players in Australia. Rated Parental Guidance (PG) for Mild Themes and Violence.

Skill Level

10+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Still, it's important for parents and guardians to consider the maturity required to process the game content. You need the able to persevere when it appears you are at a dead end. Spotting the way forward often requires lateral thinking and trying out difficult jumps or interactions. You need to work with your creature friend and pay attention to their behaviour for tips of what to do next.

CostsCosts

The Last Guardian usually costs £29.99.
 

The Last Guardian

PlayStation Store PS4 £29.99
PlayStation Store PS5 Free Free

PS Plus Collection

There are no additional in-game purchases, loot boxes, adverts or subscription costs.

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 28/10/2016

Out Now: PS4

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Players: 1

Genres: Adventure, Traversal (Action, Communication, Narrative, Platform and Simulation)

Accessibility: 0 features documented (Tweet Developer )

Components: 3D Third-Person

Developer: Sony Japan Studio (@SonyJapanStudio)


Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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