The Last Guardian was announced back at E3 in 2009 for the PS3. Finally after six years of absences and a console generation later, it was shown yet again to shocked PlayStation fans at E3 2015. In 2012 the game became a PS4 game, but will The Last Guardian, the long-awaited spiritual successor to Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, actually look like a PlayStation 4 game?
The Last Guardian is set in a crumbling world that the hero must traverse through with the help of a large, dog, cat, bird like griffin type creature which can make getting to otherwise impossible parts of the map possible. The Last Guardian has an eccentric, atmosphere that is filled with a strange sense of loneliness and the highly architectural setting offers players unique puzzle mechanics that are blended with pulse pounding action elements. All of this world building and unique characters in a unique setting is great and shaping up to be another great addition to the world of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, but the gameplay that was shown off at E3 2015 this year looked less than impressive. Compared to its original debut trailer and now the current gameplay trailer, it seems as if the years of development has not aged this game well. Let’s not take this the wrong way; the game looks great for a PS3 title, but the graphics fail to compare to that of a next gen game.
Shuhei Yoshida was interviewed on The Last Guardian and when he was questioned about the visual style of the game and that it looks more like a PS3-era game than a next-gen one and if they planned on upgrading the graphics, Yoshida had the following to say, “No, that’s the vision for the project. The vision hasn’t changed since the PS3 era. It’s just that we couldn’t achieve that on PS3. [Fumito] Ueda-san doesn’t view the need for any changes.” Although it is the “vision” for the project, playing a PS4 era game and having it project like a PS3 era one seems like a weird vision to go off of especially now that they have the proper tech that they need to complete and polish it up. It feels more like Team Ico is being lazy after years of hard work and are just looking to get their game released before they are no longer relevant and taken seriously anymore.
Whatever the case may be, whether artistic or wanting to get their game released as soon as possible, Yoshida has confirmed that “the game is totally playable.” Sony choose not to play the demo live at E3 2015 because the AI behind the Dog Griffin can’t be expected to behave in a showcase way all the time.