– Tom Heath
A gameplay trailer for The Last Guardian was debuted during Sony’s E3 presentation on Tuesday, effectively ending speculation that the game had been quietly cancelled during the four years since anything was publicly shown from the game. The seven minute trailer shows a young boy navigating a chasm using his dog/griffin pet to solve puzzles.
The Last Guardian is being developed by a team within Sony first party developer Japan Studio commonly referred to as “Team ICO”, whose previous credits are the PS2 games ICO and Shadow of the Colossus. While originally announced to be a PS3 exclusive, Tuesday’s announcement revealed The Last Guardian is being developed for the PS4 and will be releasing early 2016.
When that trailer came on, I almost couldn’t believe my eyes. The Last Guardian has been a running joke at games conferences for years. I even recently stated on a podcast that I highly doubted the game would even get a mention at this year’s E3.
Well, today I sure do love being wrong!
Team ICO have a great history of producing beautiful, artistic games, and by the looks of things The Last Guardian won’t be an exception. However, I was not a huge fan of ICO due to it being one long escort quest, where the character you were escorting had all the initiative of a doily and made for some frustrating gameplay. Shadow of the Colossus, on the other hand, was a masterpiece of minimalist storytelling, puzzle based boss fights and artistic vision. The Last Guardian is looking like it will be a combination of the two, with escort/AI companion gameplay coupled with colossal creature traversing puzzles.
Will it be amazing? Well, the 50/50 success I personally have found with Team ICO doesn’t fill me with certainty. But regardless of that, I think The Last Guardian will still leave its mark on the discussion of “games as art”.