By Paul Kainoa Vigil / June 17th, 2015
In a brief interview posted to Sony’s official blog (and to each of its regional variants) Fumito Ueda spoke about the experience of the re-revealing and working on The Last Guardian at E3 2015, a game long dormant in the public eye. It’s been about six years since The Last Guardian was originally announced. When asked about why The Last Guardian‘s development has taken as long as it has, Ueda briefly mentions that while a multitude of factors created the stymied development process, “if I had to call out one of them, it was more of a technical hurdle that we had to overcome.”
The team eventually resolved such issues, but with the understandable anxiety from gamers due to extended radio silence and limited media distribution of the game, Ueda felt uncertain about the reception to the The Last Guardian‘s second debut. But the positive reception he received set him at ease and he feels happy with the warm response. On top of that, he feels that the he and the rest of the development staff will be even more resolved to work on the game: “From a creative and development point of view things haven’t changed – we’ve been working very hard already – but we’ll certainly be fueled by all the attention and love we’ve got this week”, said Ueda.
To recap and reintroduce The Last Guardian, Ueda describes the game as an action-adventure title where a young boy and a large creature named Trico work together to escape an ancient ruin. The game’s core concepts and aesthetic ideas haven’t changed since its inception as the developers had a set idea of what they wanted to convey. Ueda does say that when he began formulating the concept for The Last Guardian, he analyzed the relationship between animals and people. “Most people really relate to animals – they find them cute and easy to bond with – so that relationship was the primary focus,” Ueda said. It’s interesting that the team, in creating Trico, managed to create a large and imposing creature (unlike Agro the horse in Shadow of the Colossus) that comes across as endearing and loyal – the fact that Trico helps you traverse the ruins probably plays no small part in making it feel cuter. The verbal “communication” between the two partners feels endearing too – much in the same way a person might talk to a pet or a baby.
From the vantage point of the young protagonist, players will come to unravel the mystery behind the strange circumstance of the protagonist’s kidnapping. Between the limited companionship, a goal that is both clear and yet shrouded in mystery, and the desolate, vast environment, this sort of feeling is in line with the sort of games that Team ICO is known for. Ueda is hesitant to dish out too much on the game; when asked about the type of threats present in The Last Guardian, he mentions that while there are minimally dangerous segments of the game compared to what’s been shown thus far, “there are a variety of different level designs and challenges that players will encounter.” Preserving the mystery of the world will be essential to the experience of the game – perhaps there will still be enemies to fight, as there were in Ico.
Check out the trailer below for an extended glimpse into The Last Guardian! Check out the PSblog link below to see Ueda’s full interview.
Action AdventurePlayStation 4Sony Computer Entertainment Japan StudioTeam IcoThe Last Guardian