Team ICO Takes Art to Another Level with Lifelike Environments in The Last Guardian

September 24, 2011 Written by Jonathan Leack

Team ICO have gained a strong reputation since 2001 for creating memorable games through the form of uniquely artistic and heavily polished gameplay experiences. It’s nearing six years since we saw a release from the team, but The Last Guardian is creeping toward release, and will continue the team’s trend of straying the pack, this time with lifelike, unpredictable environments.

Popular game director Fumito Ueda explained the vision of the group at Team ICO to 1UP, as well as what could end up being The Last Guardian‘s greatest asset: its environments.

Obviously we need to do the level design, but we don’t want our users to notice the intent of the designer… I think that’s what we’re spending most of our time on right now.

Ueda elaborated with the following:

I think being unpredictable, giving the game unpredictability, is key for The Last Guardian. It has to seem like a natural part of the atmosphere and the world, like it’s been like that forever.

Creating a natural environment is no easy task as we’ve become accustomed to seeing games that throw interactive set pieces all over level layouts. Making game areas look completely natural will likely make puzzle sequences particularly challenging, and the game could be quite suspenseful. This revelation could reveal why the game has been delayed, and why Ueda stated last month that development has been very difficult. We’ll have to wait until 2012 to see how well this translates into the gaming arena, but it sure does sound promising.