Why you won't see much more of The Last Guardian
After going off the radar since 2009, Team Ico's The Last Guardian was shown off at Sony's E3 press conference this past June. Following a seven minute gameplay trailer featuring a boy and his giant bird-dog hybrid, Trico, it was announced that the game will be coming to PlayStation 4 in 2016.
No further footage of the game has been shown off since the re-reveal in June. And according to Shuhei Yoshida, we shouldn't expect any different leading up to its release.
Speaking to Gamespot about The Last Guardian's absence at TGS 2015, the President of Sony's Worldwide Studios said that footage is being purposefully kept under wraps in order to preserve its story:
Development is going well, but because it's about the story, we don't want to show too much. We wanted to show that it exists, it works, it runs. It's not like we won't show anything before launch, but I think we will try to limit what we show about the game.
The Last Guardian is no stranger to this tight-lipped treatment. Originally planned for a 2011 release on the PlayStation 3, Team Ico's third game was delayed numerous times before going completely dark by 2012. During an interview held at E3 2015, Yoshida was asked about the game's elongated disappearance. According to him, this was due to The Last Guardian switching from PlayStation 3 to PlayStation 4 midway through its development. This was allegedly done for the game's technical benefit.
Because of the limitation of the hardware performance, the team was doing their best ... but we knew — from a design standpoint — in order to run it on PS3, the team would have to make some compromises in terms of the number of characters and these things ... 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.
However, this statement was somewhat contradicted a few weeks after the gaming expo by The Last Guardian's creator and designer Fumito Ueda. In an interview with Game Informer, Ueda gave reason to believe that the switch to PS4 might not have been for the sake of the game.
I probably would have been comfortable with the end result – originally, this game was designed for PS3. Assuming that all of the game architecture and all of the game design was suited to deliver the experience I envisioned, given those assumptions I think it would have been a good product ... The PS3 was not restricting me from doing something. It was pretty much a corporate decision by Sony.
The Last Guardian will be Team Ico’s third title developed exclusively for a PlayStation platform. Their first two titles, Shadow of the Colossus and Ico, released on the PlayStation 2 back in 2005 and 2001 respectively. Both games met critical acclaim, with Shadow of the Colossus making its way onto many “top games of all time” lists.