After a long period of radio silence, a cacophony of new information on The Last Guardian has come crashing through the ether. The latest issue of the French magazine PSM3 features an extensive article on the game, including news straight from TLG mastermind Fumito Ueda.
Gamersmint has allegedly managed to secure an issue and translate the article, and has gone public with several of the newsworthy points made in the feature. Not every bullet point is revelatory, but given the starvation rations of TLG news we've been made to endure ever since the game failed to make an appearance at E3 2010, any new information is more than welcome.
Take a deep breath, try to remain calm, and take a look at all the juicy new Last Guardian news. Keep in mind, none of this has been verified by Sony. Yet.
- The Last Guardian will be similar to Ico.
- The game’s original music is not the one presented in the trailer. It’s just a test track being used.
- Ueda stated that he’s allowed to achieve things with the PS3 which he couldn’t manage to fulfill due to the tech on offer with PS2.
- Torico’s feathers, butterflies, dust, particles, everything is managed in real time, many great animations were all made by hand.
- The game we will not be as confined as in Ico.
- Torico can apparently eliminate the guards, the child however can’t do that (so he will be playing undercover when he is alone).
- Ueda didn’t reveal who the Last Guardian is, Torico or the boy. He said we’ll have to find out.
- Team ICO has sought technical advice from all in-house Sony Studios wherever possible.
- Torico-AI will focus on that moods and reactions to the environment. The game will be based on its relationship with the child to solve puzzles and explore the fortress.
- Guards in armor are actually shadows, when their armor glows, they can vanish.
- Ueda, does not consider his work as art. It could go much, much further in the concept art but that would make it difficult for some fun and commercial viability of titles. He must find the right balance.
- Ueda would love the game to release on time, however he won’t rush things.
- Ueda is wary not to make the game’s puzzles too difficult, however, he wants to maintain a good amount of challenge and hence they’re constantly beta-testing to measure the difficulty of puzzles and find the right balance.
- There will be less fighting sequences in TLG than in ICO
- Ueda has assured that the game will be released by the end of this year, at least in Japan.
Got that? Alright, it's time to try to digest what we've just learned.
The Last Guardian certainly seemed more like Ico than Shadow of the Colossus from the outset, given the clearly central relationship of the boy and the creature, so it's nice to have that point confirmed. I, for one, won't miss the overly frequent (and frankly kind of sloppy) figting sequences that occasionally marred Ico, though I hope the news that the boy can't directly attack guards doen't mean that stealth is a primary element of TLG. With Ueda promising to carefully balance the game, it'll probably turn out okay
As to the size of the game, it's a bit disconcerting to have TLG compared to Ico rather than Shadow of the Colossus. Don't get me wrong -- bigger than Ico is good, as is less confined, but after the majestic expanse of Shadow, not to mention the Gran Turismo 5-esque development time afforded TLG (so far), players may be disappointed if the scale of the game is anything less than grand.
It's always encouraging to hear about developers sharing technology, especially when a few of the likely suspects -- Naughty Dog and Guerrilla Games -- have delivered some of the most graphically stunning games ever seen. Of course, we expected TLG to be a big step up graphically (the videos of the game demonstrated as much), but again, it's nice to have the point confirmed.
A couple of short takes: I'm unconcerned about the music, which I'm sure will be appropriate to the game. And of course Ueda didn't reveal the identity of the Last Guardian. Did you expect him to?
Finally, there is also the thorny issue of the game's release date. Good news for Japanese gamers, who can look forward to playing The Last Guardian later this year, but probably bad news for everyone else, who may have to wait until the following spring. This is certainly not what I wanted to hear, but rest assured that whenever TLG does finally hit North America, I'll be first in line.
Ranters, what do you think of this new Last Guardian news? Were you surprised by any of it? Does it heighten you anticipation for the game?
The Last Guardian is currently in development for the PlayStation 3, with a release scheduled for holiday 2011.