The Last Guardian? Of course you do. We certainly do, since, y’know, PlayStation LifeStyle was the one who unleashed that now-infamous leaked trailer (back when it was still known as “Project Trico” — but more on that in the gallery below) before Sony officially announced it.
reported on the game a lot, and this could be the year Sony finally re-introduces the more-than-long-awaited new game from Team Ico — at least, we hope they do.
We’ve endured eight years of teases, promises, and disappointments for
The Last Guardian. It’s time we break it all down to see all the stuff we know and all the stuff we don’t.
We’ve got our fingers crossed for Sony’s E3 2015 press conference later this month for a surprise re-reveal. Are you in the same boat or do you think we should stop hoping and wishing at this point?
The Last Guardian E3 2015
Alright, What is The Last Guardian?
The Last Guardian is the third game from Japanese developer Team Ico. It’s a third-person, action-adventure game where you play as a young boy that’s accompanied by a giant griffin-like creature named Trico. The game will focus on their growing relationship as they learn to fight and journey together. Trico will behave much like real animals and won’t initially respond to your actions. He will refuse to eat smelly food, fall asleep randomly, and wander around until you, as the boy, learn to control him over the course of the game.
This is The Game People are Hyped Over?
Yes, and hype might be an understatement.
You see, Team Ico are known for creating games that stand on their own. It’s first two games, 2001’s Ico and 2005’s
Shadow of the Colossus (left), are both universally acclaimed for their unique gameplay, lean-but-symbolic stories, and beautifully vast settings. These games feel timeless and mostly hold up despite the technical limitations of the PlayStation 2 era. It also helps that they both got a high-definition remake for the PlayStation 3 in 2011.
Is It a Sequel Then?
People love to theorize about the connection between
Shadow of the Colossus and Ico, but none of the ties are explicit. It’s like trying to draw a line from Demon’s Souls to Dark Souls. There’s similar themes and some little suggestive hints, but not much else. Like From Software, Team Ico is the kind of developer that leaves all of that for you to decide.
The Last Guardian has never been described officially as a sequel or a prequel to either of Team Ico’s previous games.
And It’s Coming Out On PS3?
That seems unlikely. There was
a rumor in 2013 that said the game had already switched over to the PS4, then codenamed Orbis, for “a long time now.” That, plus the fact that the PS3 is considered old hardware now, leads many to believe that it’s a PS4 game.
2013? So It Should Be Out Soon?
We can only hope at this point.
The earliest we’ve heard about
The Last Guardian was a Sony employee reportedly mentioning to a fan that Team Ico was working on two games in 2007. It’s been eight years since then and the game is still not out.
Technically, it had
one proper release date for late 2011, but obviously it didn’t make that.
How Do We Know It Actually Exists?
In 2009, PlayStation LifeStyle (that’s us!)
leaked a rough, internal version of the trailer that Sony officially revealed a month later at E3 with some reworked visuals. A second trailer was shown at the Tokyo Game Show that same year. And there’s some screenshots of stuff not seen in the trailers.
Also, Fumito Ueda, the director of both
Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, said he was also leading development on . He’s been saying what little he can about the game ever since. The Last Guardian in 2008
What Went Wrong?
Ueda said in 2010 that The Last Guardian was the first Team Ico game to be developed by figuring out its core elements before entering production. The first two games had all the research, development, and production done at the same time. He also said that the team was in “full production crunch mode,” and was aiming for that late 2011 release.
April of 2011, the company delayed both the Ico & Shadow of the Colossus Collection and The Last Guardian.
Ueda gave this reason for
The Last Guardian’s delay: “... to provide more challenging and better quality of content to users and to fulfill First Party Studio's obligations, I decided to postpone its release timing.”
And the game hasn’t had a release date since.
So, We Have No Idea
We don’t. We do know that some things have changed at Team Ico though.
left the company in December 2011 and continues to direct the game in a freelance role. The game’s executive producer left at the same time, and some other employees also left since then, including two artists that started an indie studio called Friends & Foes. But people leave their jobs all the time, so it’s unclear how much we can read into these departures.
None of This Sounds Good
Just hold on; there’s more!
In 2012, Sony said it
brought in some of its other studios, including Sony Santa Monica, to help with the game’s “technical difficulties.” Later that year, Sony assured everyone it was still in development and that the technical problems were holding it back from release.
And in 2013,
SCEA’s Jack Tretton said that the game was on hiatus, which Sony quickly corrected and said was in “active development.” Then, Sony President of Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida said the company was waiting to “reintroduce” the game and that the team working on it was small in order to focus on re-engineering it.
That brings us to last year when Sony, once again, said
it’s still in development. And, despite a scare with it dropping, the company renewed its trademark.
E3 2015! The Time is Now, Right?
two NeoGAF members said they have inside sources that have hinted that the game will appear at Sony’s press conference this month, but we have no idea how trustworthy they, or the sources, are. So, I’d say there’s just as much hope for it to be announced this year as there has been for the past few years.
What Should I Even Be Doing With Myself Then?
The Last Guardian could be dead, it could be on hold, it could be almost done, or it could be done, just waiting for Sony’s release date. There are so many things it could be. We don’t even know if it’s the same game we saw so many years ago.
There’s so much we don’t know. I would suggest crossing your fingers during Sony’s press conference. Other than that, there’s not much you can do but hope. Hope is all we have.