Patience for the The Last Guardian is running thin. A few days ago, it was reported that Sony had filed an application to secure the name for The Last Guardian. Upon hearing this news, I started thinking to myself “how long is this gonna go on for?” In 2009, Sony introduced The Last Guardian to the public with a beautiful trailer about a boy and a giant griffin. The game was set to launch in 2011 on the PlayStation 3, but for various reasons, it has still not released. Since the game’s announcement, the obstacles have been a constant. The Last Guardian’s future does not look bright, which is disappointing when looking at its predecessors or the game’s E3 2009 trailer.
Looking At The Past
Ico and Shadow of the Colossus are spectacular games. Both games are in fact art, bringing a tone separate from other AAA titles at the time of their release. Not only were these games visually stunning, but Ico and Colossus had stellar gameplay mechanics and a way of immersing the player into their respective story with little character development. In Ico, there is a clear, strong bond between the title character and Princess Yorda. While few cutscenes appear throughout the game, there is an instant attachment towards the two characters. The same goes for Shadow of the Colossus. In this game, not only is there an attachment towards the protagonist Wander, but there is also one towards each colossi. A profound sadness occurs when taking down each creature. It is as if each colossi wants to be left alone. Yes, Ico and Shadow of the Colossus did so much with little character development.
That feeling of attachment was also prevalent in The Last Guardian trailer when it was first released at E3 in 2009. There was a sense of companionship between the boy and the creature. With fantastic music flowing with each scene, the game was emotional from the beginning. At the time, The Last Guardian also looked to be pushing the graphical boundaries of the PlayStation 3. The game had all the parts to be an outstanding follow up to Shadow of the Colossus. Unfortunately, players are still waiting.
A Bleak Future
There has been too many interruptions with this game, which included the departures of producer Kenji Kaido, Executive Producer Yoshifusa Hayama and director Fumito Ueda (working in a freelance capacity). In June of 2014, it was reported that The Last Guardian had been canceled. Not long after, the development team said that the game was still in the works. Even more Recently, Sony has filed a third trademark, which at the time this is being written, is still pending. It is unclear at this time when the public will see new footage or a release window for the game; maybe E3 2016 or 2017?
Games are art and artists are allowed to take their time, but from the public’s view, little progress on has been made; only setbacks. At the beginning, The Last Guardian was riding high with unlimited potential. Now, the game’s future is cloudy, despite being in development. Hopefully players will seer more in the coming months. At this point, it will probably be a couple years.