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How The Last Guardian sacrifices gameplay to build companionship

The Last Guardian isn't like a lot of puzzle platformers out there---and no, that's not because they don't have bird-dog creatures that shoot lightning out of their butts.

The Last Guardian has finally arrived. No longer vaporware, we at Gamasutra finally have the chance to try out Fumito Ueda’s latest game, which he at length has referred to as a game about companionship. 

Now we were curious about what that meant, given that Ueda has connected this idea to how players responded to Argo, the horse from Shadow of the Colossus. Today, Gamasutra editor-in-chief Kris Graft and news editor Alex Wawro sat down with The Last Guardian to examine just what Ueda was referring to. 

It turns out, per our own observations, there are a lot of level design techniques that the game throws out in order to make sure you’re interacting with your AI companion. At one point in the video above, you can see that your companion Trico is responsible for pointing out a door in need of opening, in the kind of space where a modern game would use lighting or environmental tricks to make the door stand out from the surrounding area. 

Instead, Trico curiously pokes at the door until you realize what it’s looking at, and are able to command it to open the door with its—lightning butt. We aren’t making that up either. 

Be sure to watch the full video above for more insight on The Last Guardian’s unique design, and subscribe to the Gamasutra Twitch channel for more gameplay commentary and developer insight. 

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