By Tom Tolios / June 15th, 2015
Sony has stricken a game from the industry’s list of legendary vaporware at their E3 press conference this year. They’ve done something that many thought they’d never do. They’ve proven that The Last Guardian is still alive. Not only is it still alive, but it looks to be doing well despite not having seen the light of day for years. Its release has long been the speculation of a fan base that had all but given up hope it would ever see a release. But it’s 2015, and Sony is clearly riding the wave of their success and making this thing happen.
The Last Guardian is actually still on the way, folks.
We were treated to a gameplay demonstration showing a little bit of the action we can expect to see out of this tale of a boy and his, um, dog-bird-griffon puppy friend. It’s a simple sequence that shows the pair navigating through a small section of the game where a few platforming puzzles have to be solved. While the gameplay itself seemed to be fairly standard in terms of Team Ico fare, it’s clear that the emphasis has been put on the companionship that these two characters share. They rely on each other to advance, emote with convincing vocals and barking, growling and whining, and there is a strong emphasis on the unique relationship they share. The two seem to look out for each other, save each other and help each other escape from perilous gaps in the environment. Trust is the emphasis here, with the boy taking death-defying leaps and knowing that his large canine friend waiting on the other side of the gap will save him from plummeting to his doom. And the boy returns the favor later when his large pal is scraping to climb up on a crumbling platform and he has to free a trapped column to help him find purchase and scamper up to safety. It’s a brilliant demo that shows Team Ico is still focused on gameplay informed by the emotional themes of the storytelling. Oh, and it looks great, too, with the most noticeable visual effect being the way the wind displaces the individual feathers of the giant dog-bird-griffon puppy.
While this footage doesn’t necessarily justify the long wait, it’s encouraging to see Sony finally pushing this one forward. It’s long overdue. And, if there were any doubts that they are serious about this game, they even brought The Last Guardian project leader, Fumito Ueda, to E3 and showed him off to the crowd. Take a look at the gameplay and screenshots below and see for yourself if The Last Guardian is still on your ‘must-own’ list. I know it’s still on mine.
The Last Guardian is coming out for Sony PlayStation 4. It still has no confirmed release date but we know now, more than ever, that it’s coming.
SonyTeam IcoThe Last Guardian