This month's Edge magazine cover story is all about long-awaited, semi-mythical PS4 game The Last Guardian, which is finally coming out later this year after close to a decade of work. Naturally I'm extremely jealous that my colleagues at our sister Future publication have actually gotten to play the thing. On a recent visit to Tokyo, they discovered that The Last Guardian's giant dog-cat-bird thing Trico doesn't always behave exactly as you might desire.
Call Trico, and he won't always come. Ask him to do things for you, and he won't always comply. This, though, is kind of the point, says the game's director Fumito Ueda: it's not just a wrinkle in the code.
“This creature isn’t like the cute pets that exist in other games, or an ally that’s really useful," he told Edge. "The role of the creature is ambiguous; that’s something we wanted to express in the game, and it doesn’t always do what you ask it to do. That’s one of the themes of The Last Guardian. It’s something that’s difficult, and completely different. I want to create the next thing – an experience that people have never had before."
As pointed out by Edge's Ben Maxwell, though, how are players to distinguish between a recalcitrant animal and a game that's just not working quite right? Where is the line between bold design choice, and frustrating mechanic? "It would be a lie to say that I have no worries," Ueda responds. "But another game where you can completely control a creature wouldn’t be enjoyable for me because there are a lot out there where you can do that. I think I’ve had enough of them."