Team Ico and Sony’s The Last Guardian has to be a strong contender for sleeper hit of E3 2016, and the development team has begun to open up ahead of the show.

The Last Guardian has achieved near mythic status in some video game circles, although the reasoning behind that label is dubious at best. Once one of the most wanted game releases of all time, The Last Guardian ran into significant production problems, resulting in a now seven year developmental delay. Gamers were understandably skeptical when the game resurfaced at last year’s Sony E3 presentation, but a year – and several interviews with director Fumito Ueda – later and The Last Guardian has the chance to steal the show at E3 2016.

More details about The Last Guardian are now leaking in anticipation of E3 in a few weeks, and the result has been an even louder buzz surrounding the fabled game from the developers behind Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. Previews of the game have begun to unravel the mystery behind The Last Guardian‘s gameplay, and it appears to be a refreshing take on the adventure and platformer genres. Fumito Ueda had this to say about the 2016 PS4 exclusive‘s Trico, the feathered creature players will be getting much closer to later this year:

“This creature isn’t like the cute pets that exist in other games, or an ally that’s really useful. The role of the creature is ambiguous…it doesn’t always do what you ask it to do.”

Gamers following The Last Guardian closely are already familiar with Trico and the player-character, a small boy who finds himself thrust into a relationship with the giant beast. What they didn’t know – until now – is just how ambiguous the relationship between Trico and the protagonist will be, and how Trico will independently respond to the way it is treated as players forge a friendship between the two.

Although The Last Guardian‘s story details have been guarded relentlessly, new screenshots and hands-on experiences have indicated that the game will focus heavily on establishing a sense of camaraderie between The Last Guardian‘s two main characters. Trico’s eyes will change colors to reflect emotion early on, for instance, while later, as trust has developed between the two, Trico will save the small boy from falling into water after slipping off a ledge. The details might not be action-packed, but The Last Guardian has a clear sense of its own identity, which should help keep fans looking forward to the title’s release later this year.

the last guardian screenshot animal protagonist chain

Of course, all of these details have surfaced after only a brief period of time with the game’s earliest nuances. What do you expect from the rest of The Last Guardian? Is its presentation at E3 a must-watch for you? Let us know in the comments below.

The Last Guardian is a PS4 exclusive, and will be available by the end of 2016.

Source: IGN (via Edge Magazine Online)