Every now and again the main playable character needs a little tweaking. Sometimes it’s done as a result of a sizeable backlash to a character redesign (see Infamous 2) and other times it is in order to add more points to the believability of the game. Such is the case with The Last Guardian, the highly anticipated moving painting created by the genuine artists over at Team ICO.
In an interview with PSM3, Team ICO head Fumito Ueda said that he originally wanted the grace an elegance of a female main character to offset the brutish strength of the bird/dog creature in the game. Then when thinking more on the topic of gender, Ueda decided to go with a male character instead because of his belief that a male character would have greater gripping power. Worth noting is that fact that all of Team ICO’s games from Shadow of the Colossus to Ico have had some sort of climbing mechanic that required a tremendous amount of fingertip strength and all of their main characters have been male.
While the first deciding factor in changing the sex of the character was more of a product of function the second is more design oriented. In the game, players will be experiencing a wide array of camera orientations as they traverse the various landscapes of the game. If the main character had been a girl, Ueda feared that some camera angles would be inappropriate should the protagonist be wearing a skirt.
Ultimately, Team ICO settled on a male main character and is not thinking twice about it. Sure, it would have been nice to approach the game from a completely different perspective than Team ICO's previous games but, from all that we have seen, the game is visually stunning and it’s going to be a very emotional experience.
What do you think of Team ICO’s decision to change the sex of the main character in The Last Guardian? Would you have preferred playing as a male or a female character in the game?
The Last Guardian is set for a Holiday 2011 release on the PS3.