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The Last Guardian Demo Reports Are Not Glowing

There were numerous moments during Sony’s E3 2016 press conference that the company invoked applause and cheers from the audience in Los Angeles. One such moment was for a simple release date announcement for the long in-development Sony exclusive The Last Guardian, but fans may want to keep their expectations in check, as early impressions of the game are not exactly reassuring.

Patrick Garratt, a video game journalist for online publication VG 24/7, was one of four press members that were allowed to play a hands-on demo of The Last Guardian at E3. According to Garratt, his first impression, and the impression of the others in attendance, was that, visually, The Last Guardian looks more like a PS3 game than something available on PlayStation 4.

Garratt claimed that the textures in The Last Guardian are “flat,” and that the lighting and particle effects are “prehistoric.” This stands in stark contrast to what we saw from the game’s E3 2016 trailer, so either the trailer was misleading, or the demo that Garratt and others played was from an earlier, lesser build of the game.

Unfortunately, Garratt indicated that The Last Guardian‘s poor visuals were only the start of his issues with the demo. He said that many of the in-game prompts didn’t match the controls, or they simply didn’t work right all the time. Considering how many times The Last Guardian has been delayed, and how long fans have been waiting for it, Sony could have some disgruntled customers on its hands come October if the game doesn’t meet expectations.

On the bright side, Garratt also had some positive things to say about his time with The Last Guardian at E3. For example, he praised the animation of Trico, the large winged creature that players will interact with throughout the journey, and was also satisfied with the game’s puzzles.

It seems as though Garratt’s overall assessment of The Last Guardian is that the game has dated visuals, and some rough gameplay. The game feeling dated may be unavoidable, as it originally began life as a PlayStation 3 title, but hopefully the issues with the gameplay can be ironed out over the next few months.

In the meantime, it’s worth noting that developer Fumito Ueda’s previous two games, Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, both launched to near-universal critical acclaim and won many industry awards, so if The Last Guardian flops, it will be very disappointing for PlayStation fans. For now, all fans can do is hope that the build of the game that Garratt and others played wasn’t representative of the final product that will hit store shelves this October.

The Last Guardian will be available October 25th, exclusively for PlayStation 4.

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