It goes without saying, but I feel like The Last Guardian is a litmus test for what kind of gamer you are.
If you’re reading this, then you know the story behind it. The game was announced about a decade ago, and drew plenty of eyes across the medium. The crew behind Ico and Shadow of the Colossus -- two central pillars for the “games are art” argument -- are getting together to release a brand new installment? Sign me up, we said in droves. And we waited, and waited, and waited. But The Last Guardian pole vaulted right over the PS3, and landed on the PS4 in 2016 -- well into the console’s lifespan. Was it worth the wait?
I can’t imagine how many reviews featured the “was it worth the wait” line as a lead-up. For me, though? It was always a given that The Last Guardian would be something special -- like I had no reason to worry because of the minds and pedigree behind it. “GOTY 2016 incoming,” I thought on occasion. I thought that it would be the latest pillar in the art debate, without question. I thought that I could rest easy, because Team Ico and the rest of the funky fresh crew had it in the bag. Imagine my surprise, then, when some reviews gave it a decent(ish) score instead of an avalanche of TENOUTTATENs -- not enough to change the conversation, but Metacritic can be telling at times. And imagine my greater surprise when it got a permanent price drop, which seems to signal all sorts of unfortunate implications.
So I pretty much went from “YEAAAAAAAAAAAAH!” to “WELP.”