There is a rumor going around that The Last Guardian will be re-revealed at E3 2015. But this is not the first time this type of rumor has surfaced.
The Last Guardian was announced in 2009 at E3, but has been in development since 2007. To put that in perspective, The Last Guardian has been in development for the entire PlayStation 3 console cycle, seven Ratchet and Clank titles, and three of its own trademarks. That is eight years in video game limbo.
Despite the wait, the Sony exclusive is still on the mind of gamers. There is no official news on a release date for the game, but Developer Team Ico wants fans to keep holding on to hope. A hope that one day, The Last Guardian will be more than just a pipe dream and playable on a PlayStation 4.
It has been six years since E3 2009. Since that time, the only thing Team Ico has shown is the Ico Collection. A collection of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus; remasters of the studio’s past games.
But in The Last Guardian’s defense, it’s not the only game to have a long development cycle. Kingdom Hearts 3 has now been 10 years removed from Kingdom Hearts 2. Although, developer Square has released iterations and spinoffs of the series. Duke Nukem Forever on the other hand (fitting name), took 15 years before it went gold. This is a great example of time not equating to quality.
Whether it’s The last Guardian or not, Team Ico has to be working on something. They can’t be developers that are just sitting behind their computer screens doing nothing, while cashing Sony Entertainment checks. With recent rumors and claims of Sony “working diligently on the game,” it’s a matter of when not if.
However, the question still remains: If The Last Guardian does come out, will it be worth the wait?
As of today, the game will be eight years in development. That is eight years of anticipation for gamers and the expectations are high. This is a game that has to be almost perfect. After almost a decade of development, a flop at the finish line will leave the game reminiscent of Duke Nukem Forever. Maybe not as bad, but surely just as disappointing.
Story: Gamers expect a storyline that feels like it took eight years to create. While that may not be the case, The Last Guardian will need to instill the same charm from Shadow of the Colossus.
In the November 2010 issue of Game Informer, Team Ico shared elements on the story. The main protagonist goes on a journey with Trico, a creature that resembles a cat and an eagle. However the protagonist does not know whether Trico is a friend or a foe. To make things more complicated, the title of the game in Japanese has the word “Toriko” in it. This could translate to either prisoner or baby bird, both potential themes for the story.
Gameplay: This will make or break the game, especially since gamers complained about Ico and Colossus’ control schemes. The Last Guardian will most likely be similar to its predecessors, a third person action-adventure puzzle game. A decade later, the concept is still unique. The level design shows influences of those genres along with platforming; and by the looks of it, the game still has that simple “get from point A to B” type of gameplay.
Graphics: The Last Guardian has changed behind closed doors. Game Creator Fumito Ueda explained to Dengeki PlayStation.
“Talks with Sony Computer Entertainment on The Last Guardian have been ironed out, and we’re making progress under completely new conditions.”
This could mean any number of things, but many people have determined it to mean the game will be featured on the PlayStation 4.
While the PlayStation 4‘s GPU will make the game look pretty, the graphics have to capture audiences with its simplistic design and unique visuals. From the trailer alone, it looks like Team Ico will have no problem dong that. Just like with the past games, the art direction should renew the conversations of video games being compared to art.
When development stops, the E3 announcements end, and the game goes gold, The Last Guardian’s only mission is to deliver. The game can’t even barely miss the mark. It can’t leave gamers saying, “It’s good, but not the eight years worth waiting for.” From the unique gameplay and mesmerizing story, to the satisfying final note on the musical score, The Last Guardian must leave gamers feeling satiated. Because after eight long years (and possibly more), anything less could be a letdown.
Do you think The Last Guardian will live up to the hype, or has the long wait ruined your interest? Let us know in the comments section.
Harman is a freelance writer from California. He likes action-rpgs and long walks on the beach.