Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, held up as two of the most influential titles in the PlayStation pantheon, allowed Team Ico to carve out a legacy during the PS2 era, one defined by minimalist design, cracking characters and emotional storytelling.
Though there are those who would argue that neither has aged terribly well — and that’s even when factoring in Bluepoint’s HD remaster —
Ico and Shadow of the Colossus had a tremendous impact on the industry, and are so often cited in the great ‘video games are art’ debacle. Whatever your stance on that one, Team Ico’s brace holds a special place among the hearts of gamers, which made it all the more disheartening that the developer lay dormant for the entire PS3 generation. That was never the intention, of course; Game Director Fumito Ueda has reflected on those much-touted development woes with a heavy heart.
before it, it didn’t take long before Final Fantasy XV became completely swamped in conflicting reports and allegations of internal turmoil — pigeonholed to within an inch of its life, essentially. Team Ico’s new IP has lived to tell the tale, thank the heavens, and in anticipation of its release, we’ve scoured the four corners of the Internet to compile The Last Guardian Everything You Need to Know about The Last Guardian.
The Last Guardian takes flight on Tuesday, December 6.
The Last Guardian Info Dump
The Last Guardian - Everything You Need to Know
Ready to tame the elusive, mythical beast?
What is The Last Guardian?
It’s the third action-adventure game to emerge from Team Ico and one that has spent almost a decade languishing in development. Thought to be sentenced to limbo in perpetuity, it’s well known that
The Last Guardian endured a tortured production, during which time Game Designer Fumito Ueda left Ico to work on the gestating project in a freelance capacity.
It was only when Sony re-revealed
The Last Guardian at E3 2015 that the pieces started to fall into place, and we’re now mere days from release.
Introducing Trico, Your New Bestie
Part Yorda, part Agro, Trico is a griffin-like creature that combines the characteristics and appearance of a cat, bird and dog. Its a quite, gentle beast, but you'll have to earn its trust first before setting off on your adventure.
Prolonged Development Cycle
For the longest time,
The Last Guardian was the stuff or legend, right up there with FFXV and even the fabled Half-Life 3.
Reflecting on the twists and turns, Ueda noted that
The Last Guardian wasn't always in active development, as many suspected.
"We weren’t always in active development so it’s really difficult to provide an accurate number in terms of the development period, but one thing I can say is that we thought that it was going to be shorter, or we thought that Ico and Shadow of the Colossus took a long time to develop, so one of of the missions of The Last Guardian was that we wanted to create something good in a short period of time, so the fact that it took a long time to develop was completely unexpected for me."
The Stuff of Legend
You and I aren’t the only ones excited by
The Last Guardian’s launch. Here, developers from Naughty Dog, Guerilla Games and more share their hopes for Team Ico’s imminent release.
Sony Almost Pulled the Plug
During the throes of development, The Last Guardian flirted with cancellation numerous times, to the point that Sony almost pulled the plug.
When asked if Sony would have
canned after all this time, Shuhei Yoshida replied: "If everyone stopped asking about it, probably we would have." The Last Guardian
So, What’s the Story?
That's a question we can't answer -- not
really. Ueda first drafted up ideas for the game in 2005, before it entered development under the name of Project Trico two years later.
Even after the first reveal at E3 2009, production proved sluggish, with developers reportedly struggling to meet Ueda's initial vision. Right around the time that development appeared to reach a standstill, Sony was beginning work on the PS4. Some months later it was decided that Team Ico's third outing would be repackaged for PlayStation 4, and the rest is history.
But What’s the ACTUAL Story?
Oh, you mean
The Last Guardian itself?
Told as a flashback, the game's official logline reveals:
"When a young boy meets a colossal, mysterious creature named Trico, the pair form a deep, unbreakable bond that will help them survive amongst the crumbling ruins and malevolent dangers that surround them. By working together, the unlikely pair must communicate with one another to overcome tremendous obstacles and uncover the secrets of their beautiful fantasy world – and ultimately survive their touching and emotionally charged journey."
Technical Limitations Drove Trico to PS4
According to Shuhei Yoshida, The Last Guardian officially became a PS4 title in 2012.
Much of that came down to the technical limitations of the PS3, with
"So, that’s the decision that we made some time in 2012, and after that, the team went back to the drawing board in terms of the tech, because the architecture is so different. … But since last year … the game’s playable. So, the team is very excited now. And working very hard."
Project Trico Runs Deep With PSLS
Project Trico has a history with us, and its triumphant re-reveal prompted PSLS' founding father Anthony Severino to pen a
candid open letter.
The Last Guardian Lives
Naysayers be damned, E3 2015 ushered
The Last Guardian back on stage and in one fell swoop, the game once written off as vaporware was slated for 2016.
Not a Guaranteed Slam-Dunk
When asked about the potential success of
The Last Guardian, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe President and CEO Jim Ryan remained coy, stating:
"We obviously believe that they’re gonna be a success. But the one where the most uncertainty is, is The Last Guardian. Well, not in terms of the quality of the game. I don’t have any qualms about that. But my organisation did not perform particularly well with either Ico or Shadow Of The Colossus. I have berated them for this, and said, ‘We have to do better with this game’. And we’ll certainly give it our very best shot. So I’m saying, the other two games [Final Fantasy VII and Shenmue]… there’s a history of successful and profitable publishing. There isn’t that in the third case and I need to change that."
Download Size & Install Size
Team Ico has confirmed that The Last Guardian physical version will occupy 15GB. As for digital, the PlayStation Store has updated to reveal that it’s an 11.9GB download in North America and 12GB download in Europe.
PS4 Pro Support Confirmed
You can officially add
The Last Guardian to the list of games compatible with Sony's PS4 Pro.
Support will be added support
through a game update, and The Last Guardian will upscale to 4K and bring “minor performance improvements” on PS4 Pro.
Extended Gameplay Demo
Curious to see Trico in action? Look no further than this
extended, 20-minute gameplay demo.
More footage! This time,
it's a CG trailer accompanied with further details on the core premise.
“When a young boy meets a colossal, mysterious creature named Trico, the pair form a deep, unbreakable bond that will help them survive amongst the crumbling ruins and malevolent dangers that surround them”
Rated T for Teen
The Last Guardian has been rated T for Teen.
Here's the ESRB listing:
“This is an action-adventure game in which players control a young boy as he explores ruins and solves puzzles with his giant animal companion (Trico). Players can command Trico to zap blocked passages or strike enemies with a lightning attack that shoots from its tail. Enemies in suits of armor generally break into pieces when defeated; though soldiers sometimes emit blood-like flashes or red symbols when injured. In some levels, the player’s character can rip the helmets off enemy characters, though no gore is shown. Cutscenes also depict acts of violence and occasional blood: Trico attacked by spears or swords; Trico bleeding from wounds.”
Two Collector’s Editions
Join Sid Shuman and a rather excited Shuhei Yoshida, President of Worldwide Studios, as they
unbox the game's NA Collector's Edition.
Those in Europe can find an unboxing of their TLG premium package
here, via PlayStation Access.
will be released via vinyl and a downloadable app known as the Composer’s Choice music app. The Last Guardian soundtrack
"We’re happy to announce that a The Last Guardian Composer’s Choice PS4 Music App of the score featuring 19 tracks will be available separately at launch via the PlayStation Store. The soundtrack app supports both stereo and surround playback, and also allows users to export all the tracks as stereo MP3 files via a compatible USB drive. The soundtrack will also be available via iTunes at a later date."
Back at E3, PSLS had the chance to go
hands-on with an early build of The Last Guardian, when Jowi Meli walked away overly impressed. In his preview, he wrote that, “there’s enough both new and reminiscent of Ueda’s past works to make me think Sony might have something truly special on their hands.”
Expect the first wave of reviews to
begin pouring online on Monday, December 5. Our own Chandler Wood will be taking point for PSLS.