Devs Share Their Thoughts on The Last Guardian and Its Development

October 6, 2016 Written by Alex Co

In just a few short weeks, The Last Guardian will finally — finally — be released and played by all those looking forward to it; fans and developers alike. Speaking of which, notable developers from different studios weigh in on The Last Guardian.

Before you read what developers from Naughty Dog, Guerilla Games, etc. have to say, you can also watch a The Last Guardian tribute video that was shown to Tokyo Game Show attendees last month above. Watched it? Good! Now on to the developer comments.

 “Ico was the first videogame ever for me to care about an AI character, Yorda. There were no conversations that I could understand between the characters, just the behavior of Yorda in relation to what I did, or the situation presented, that made me feel like Yorda was a living person — thinking and feeling as an individual. This made playing through Ico a very special experience — like I lived through the adventure with her.

“I believe, as a fan of Ueda-san’s games, that people feel like his work is special because you clearly feel the game was — from beginning to end — a singular vision, without any influence of popular genres or styles at the time.”

– Shuhei Yoshida (President of SIE Worldwide Studios)

“Team Ico creates timeless masterpieces that remind me of a long-loved picture book or a fairytale. I’m especially a big fan of their fantastic animations.

“We at Team Ninja have also put great effort into creating smooth action for a long time. I feel real and warm emotion from Ueda-san’s sophisticated animations.”

-Fumihiko Yasuda (Director, Team Ninja)

“When I played Ico for the first time I was struck by how well it conveyed scale and solitude. The game truly makes you feel like you’re left to your own devices in a huge and uncaring world — there are no armies coming to your aid, no inns to seek refuge in between chapters. It’s just you and Yorda, a girl you know nothing about and whose language you don’t speak, trying to escape from a vast and ancient castle.

“That atmosphere of desolation makes certain forms of interaction all the more meaningful. My favorite thing in Ico is the way in which you save your game: you sit down on a bench together with Yorda and take a breather from all the jumping and climbing. It’s such a touching little moment, allowing you to reflect on everything the two of you have been through and strengthening your bond.

“In Shadow of the Colossus, the sense that you’re facing down impossible odds is even stronger due to the ever-looming presence of the colossi. The first time I scaled and took down a colossus was a moment of pure exhilaration; I’d never faced a creature so much larger than myself in a videogame, let alone defeated one. It’s one of those defining moments in games, and I think it’s fair to say that the confrontations between Aloy and the machines in Horizon Zero Dawn owe a huge debt to Shadow of the Colossus.

“I think Ueda-san’s games tell bittersweet, human stories that tap into universally relatable emotions. They’re minimalist works of art, executed with laser-like focus throughout — from the core game mechanics to the storyline. Coupled with the craftsmanship evident in the visuals, the animations and the music, it’s easy to see why they’re timeless classics.”

-Hermen Hulst (Managing Director, Guerrilla Games)

“The little boy with horns in Ico is a very good example of an intriguing character created through very simple means. Ueda-san’s sense of storytelling is elegant and subtle, it talks directly to the heart of players, which is difficult to do. His sense of poetry is something few games manage to offer.

“I have many favorite moments in Team Ico’s games. I love both games’ ends in particular (I don’t want to spoil them). I remember standing in front of my TV absolutely amazed by these endings, so clever, moving, surprising, and at the same time so spot on. But both games are full of these incredible moments, from the discovery of your horse to this incredible feeling of climbing on the shoulders of a giant. These games are about being a child again, and that’s really a miracle by itself.

“Very few creators have such an ability that makes everything they touch distinctive and special. Ueda-san is definitely one of them. His work has been seminal in many ways, and is still today a source of inspiration.”

-David Cage (Director, Quantic Dream)

“I can’t wait to be sat on my couch, lights down, sound up, and this game starting up on my screen. Ico is in my top game experiences — so gentle and yet unforgiving, so beautiful and yet bleak! I absolutely love the fantasies they created and I am looking forward to seeing what metaphors/emotions this rite of passage story explores. It’s so hard to get that stuff right. Basically looking forward to everything.

“Team Ico has brought us incredibly beautiful rites of passage experiences and for that I am very grateful. I’m happy that some of them have stayed together to bring us The Last Guardian and with Ueda-san at the helm I am sure that we are in for a massive treat! I know that Day One I shall be on my couch escaping the real world and immersing myself in theirs. I can only imagine the team’s own feelings getting this out after all the time and effort that they have put in, and so I wish them the very, very best and hope that they have a big celebration.”

-Siobhan Reddy (Director, Media Molecule)

“Years after first playing it, the emotional impact of Ico tugging at Yorda’s arm still resonates with me. The hand-holding mechanic appears deceptively simple but was clearly constructed and with intense care and attention to detail. Through interactivity a deep bond is created between the two characters in a way that is wholly unique to games. It is one of many visionary choices that make Ico a classic and a master class in elegant storytelling and design.”

-Neil Druckman (Naughty Dog)

Well, there you go; even devs have a lot of things to say about Team Ico’s games. The Last Guardian will be out this December 6 exclusively on the PS4.

[Source: PlayStation Blog]