At Sony’s 2009 E3 press conference, the developers behind Ico and Shadow of the Colossus showed the world their newest project – The Last Guardian.
Ever since then, the wait for the release of this expectedly emotional adventure has been excruciating. After a flood of delays and a super lengthy production schedule, we’ve arrived in 2016 with great news – The Last Guardian is finally releasing. And no, that’s totally not a false claim. A picture of the game’s PS4 retail disc has been floating across the web and Sony has been ramping up its promotion of the game up until its December 6th launch. Expectations are high for this PS4 exclusive and a lot of gamers (including us) hope it delivers on all its promises.
Before it finally…FINALLY releases, let’s get into everything you need to know about The Last Guardian.
1. The Last Guardian Has Been in Development Since 2007
The Last Guardian has been in the works since 2007 and was originally set to launch as a PS3 exclusive. Japanese video game designer Fumito Ueda actually began putting concepts together for the game (codenamed “Project Trico”) around 2005. After the game’s debut at E3 2009, plans were put into motion regarding a demo of the game that was to be featured within The Ico & Shadow of the Colossus Collection. But as we all know already, that outcome never came to be. Team Ico simply had a tough time bringing Ueda’s vision to fruition with the PlayStation 3’s hardware capabilities.
Things got even more chaotic behind the scenes when Ueda announced his departure from Sony in 2011. Several of Team Ico’s key members also chose to leave alongside him. As the years passed, word had started to circulate that The Last Guardian’s production had been shut down for good. But at E3 2015, a brand new trailer for the game was released and helped reintroduce it as an exclusive for the PS4. Ueda and a host of former Team Ico members decided to return to the project under the development studio name of genDESIGN. genDESIGN opted to work alongside SIE Japan Studio in order to properly complete their passion project.
2. The Game’s Plot Follows the Unlikely Relationship Between a Young Boy and a Mysterious Creature
The narrative behind this title is told by an older man who happens to be the young boy you’re playing as. This elderly gentleman recounts his time spent with the massive creature named Trico, which makes this game more of a playable flashback sequence. As a young boy, he ends up kidnapped for undisclosed reasons and is then trapped within a mysterious castle. When he finally awakens, the boy discovers he’s been covered in a bunch of mysterious tattoos. Once he finally frees himself from his predicament, he befriends Trico after releasing it from captivity. From this point forward, both the young boy and Trico aid each other as they look to escape the castle’s dangerous confines.
3. Most of the Gameplay Revolves Around 3rd-Person Platforming and Puzzle Solving
When they first meet, Trico is initially hostile towards the young boy you control. Once you free Trico though, they become fast friends. From a 3rd-person perspective, you move the young boy around a host of environments. He sometimes runs into armed guards, whom you need to stealthily avoid and figure out how to bring down before you can proceed any further. Trico plays a big part in how you move forward as well since it can help complete tough puzzles.
The young boy can even climb upon Trico to get to higher vantage points and ride it when it’s time to do some traveling. Trico may not respond to every request the young boy makes, which feeds into the idea that this creature’s AI is driven by true animal instincts. Trico’s mood is often reflected by its physical demeanor and the color of its eyes. As the young boy, you’ll need to perform a number of tasks in order to please Trico and further develop their relationship.
4. The Soundtrack’s Been Composed by Takeshi Furukawa
Thankfully, the beautiful art style of this title is matched by an equally wonderful soundscape. Japanese/American musical composer Takeshi Furukawa (the GoldenEye 007 video game, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Trek: Enterprise) is the main maestro behind The Last Guardian’s 19-track soundtrack. Furukawa composed the game’s sweeping score, while the London Symphony Orchestra, the Trinity Boys Choir and London Voices helped performed it all. The video posted above will give you a visual and audio tour of The Last Guardian’s music. Vinyl collectors can grab the game’s 2xLP soundtrack via Iam8bit.
5. You Can Get Yourself the Standard Edition of the Game or its Collector’s Edition
The Last Guardian is coming in two different flavors – the Standard and Collector’s Edition. Getting a pre-order means you’ll walk away with a digital version of the game’s sweeping soundtrack (which includes four songs) and an exclusive PS4 background theme. Now if you choose to go with the Collector’s Edition, the following ensemble of bonus goodies comes with it:
– a special Collector’s Box
– a premium SteelBook case
– a physical copy of The Last Guardian
– a statue of the young boy and his beast ally, Trico
– a 72-page art book
– the digital soundtrack (which features 10 full songs instead of four)
– a sticker sheet