When development of The Last Guardian began in 2007, the developers intended for the game to be released on the PS3, but after eight years of delays Sony finally reintroduced the game, nearing completion on the PS4, at E3 2015 with a 2016 release window. Borrowing themes from Team Ico’s only previous games, Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, players of The Last Guardian control a young boy who slowly gains the trust and companionship of a large griffon-like creature called Trico, for which the player must provide care such as feeding it or removing embedded weapons from enemies. Trico’s relationship with the player will develop depending on the treatment it receives from the players, such that every player may have a Trico with a different temperament.
Players only directly control the boy in the trailer, and can issue commands to Trico which will react to the player’s movements, almost instinctually as an animal would in real life. Additionally, Trico may not always listen to the player’s commands, and may need to be told several times before it takes action. The purpose is to simulate the training of an animal with its own instincts and personality, which may not always obey its owner or trainer. As the bond between player and cat-dog-eagle-thing matures, the creature becomes easier to direct. At other times, Trico wanders off without the player, but it could find areas otherwise out of reach for the player. The player may need to rely on Trico to take out most enemies.
Development of The Last Guardian slowed as Team Ico attempted new development strategies, and the game was eventually canceled for the PS3 after the PS4 launched in November of 2013 and the game was still far from finished four years after the first trailer in 2009. In the latest trailer below, we get our first real taste of the previously mentioned concepts in action.
The boy calls for Trico, which bounds recklessly up from inside a nearby tunnel in the vast ruins which serve as the setting of the game. The boy pets Trico as a small reward for following orders, and the two proceed to work together to traverse the tall, crumbling structures, and you can even see Trico take a few moments to understand what it is the player wants. Get ready for what is sure to be one of gaming’s unique experiences next year.