Parents' Guide to

The Last Guardian

By David Wolinsky, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Big adventure charms with strong bond between kid and beast.

Game PlayStation 4 2016
The Last Guardian Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 8+

Fantastic !

The last scene may be too brutal for children under 8 years old. The game is calm and slow.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
age 8+

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4):
Kids say (4):

This incredible adventure game is full of heart, charm, and personality, even if some of the technical hiccups make it stumble at times. The colossal delays for The Last Guardian (it was previously canceled, and many doubted it would ever see the light of day in any form) should have little to do with a player's expectations of what the game is actually like once you boot it up. That said, this is a charming and straightforward title that doesn't concern itself with twitchy battles and item management. Instead, it's a streamlined adventure where a strong bond of trust and friendship is forged between a small boy and a towering mythical beast. It helps that great care went into creating the beast, Trico. A mix between a giraffe, cat, dragon, bird, and, seemingly, every other animal, the creature feels alive. Although it learns to take cues from you over time, it's largely content to go around and do its own thing as any animal really would. As such, it's impressive how pixels assembled on a screen in a game in reality guided by code doesn't feel like an artificial intelligence but instead a breathing being with its own personality and quirks.

It's also a nice contrast with exploring the castle and floating island, which is fraught with peril and steep drops. Since the boy has no health bar, it encourages you to be bold in your exploration. Risking terrifying falls is a routine part of The Last Guardian, as Trico's height is key to progressing. He serves as a moving platform with a mind of its own, but you also need to be on the lookout for tiny crevasses. Expect to feel stuck for long periods of time before having an epiphany of where to go that you hadn't thought of before. In all honesty, the game is a sequence of moments interrupted by progress and forward momentum. Trico can leap over towering walls and zap lightning from his tail to remove wooden walls, and he has other abilities you can use once you bond with him. This stopping and starting is only marred by a camera that struggles to keep up with the scope of the castle, the size of Trico, and the perspective of the small boy at the same time. When the camera isn't showing the wrong side of a wall, you can expect it to frequently give you a sense of claustrophobia. Although these are things that might be patched in the near future, they shouldn't deter you from exploring The Last Guardian, which, unlike many other games made today, can easily be described as warm, charming, and inviting.

Game Details

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