This could either go very well, or terribly wrong.
Will The Last Guardian actually release this year? While Sony have been very emphatic in their insistence that the game, which was originally announced at E3 2009, will in fact be launching in 2016, there is a healthy amount of skepticism about whether or not they will be able to hit that deadline- and given the history of the game and its development, that kind of cynicism does make sense.
However, in a feature in the British games magazine EDGE, which is running a cover story on The Last Guardian, the game’s director Fumito Ueda confirmed a 2016 release for the game. “Since this is the year we will see the game’s release, I do have some worries, but I’m also very excited,” he said.
He also shed some light on some new gameplay mechanics- for instance, consider the fact that you get a piece of ancient circular armor in the game, which you can use to project crosshairs on to the target, prompting your bestial companion to attack that target and take it down- presumably, this is a technique used for both, solving puzzles, and for this game’s take on combat.
That’s not all, either. Apparently, this companion is not your pet, and it is certainly not entirely within your control. It is a free spirited animal, and it does what it wants- something that may even hinder the player’s progress at times.
“It would be a lie to stay that I have no worries, but another game where you can completely control a creature wouldn’t be enjoyable for me because there are a lot out there where you can do that. I think I’ve had enough of them,” Ueda said.
“This creature isn’t like the cute pets that exist in other games, or an ally that’s really useful. The role of the creature is ambiguous; that’s something we wanted to express in the game, and it doesn’t always do what you ask it to do. That’s one of the themes of The Last Guardian. It’s something that’s difficult, and completely different. I want to create the next thing – an experience that people have never had before.
“The amount of code is very large compared to AI in conventional games. We’ve given this creature its own desires, so depending on what action it wants to take, that affects everything, including its animation. It’s not like a normal humanoid character.”
The Last Guardian launches exclusively on the PS4 later this year- hopefully, it lives up to its artistic vision, while also being a game that is actually enjoyable to play.