The Last Guardian is almost confirmed to be at E3 2015, after six year of public absence. Three clues have been shared over the Internet in the last couple of months by the famous insider Shinobi602, the forum NeoGaf and just yesterday by the popular newspaper The Guardian. Talking about the game, Forbes said:
“If Sony actually does show The Last Guardian, it’s an almost guaranteed E3 win. This is the game people have been itching to see ever since 2009 — Microsoft would need to have some seriously impressive surprises to go up against such a beloved title.”
Then, I was asked: why do you think The Last Guardian would be a showstopper, or even put Microsoft in a condition where its 2015 line-up could come up being devastated by this news? It’s an interesting question, and I think the first answer I would give is simply this. The Last Guardian is not an actual game anymore, not at this point; it’s the remembrance everyone has of the first trailer Sony shared almost ten years ago and, based on that trailer and the love for Team Ico’s previous masterpieces, the sum of all the desires every gamer had in that moment. Six years later and not been released yet, it’s already a classic.
That’s why, in my opinion, The Last Guardian could be devastating for Microsoft. Sony would almost unexpectedly have its killer application for PlayStation 4 – when, in the very beginning, it was supposed to be PS3 killer application – and the gaming industry would have once again something emotional, that could make people dream and feel.
We can’t say gaming industry has not evolved from the release of Shadow of the Colossus. Games like Brother: A Tale of Two Sons have been inspired in terms of gameplay by Team Ico’s work on that game, for example, while productions as Beyond: Two Souls share with it the will to create emotions in gamer’s hearts rather than multiplayer excitement. But nothing’s like the original, I guess, and I don’t even know if people is ready for that at this point.
Looking at the success Bloodborne had on PlayStation 4, I feel much more comfortable regarding The Last Guardian, as it seems there’s still hope for those games which are not part of a popular genre (i.e., shooters or sports games).
All I pray for is Sony to be able to avoid the Duke Nukem Forever effect: vaporware becoming a game means the original title has to be massively upgraded to encounter new people’s tastes and expectations in terms not only of mere technology, but for gameplay, too. What has surprised us in Ico or Shadow of the Colossus back in the days, now could be just pretty or nice, but not as “devastating” as they had been at launch.
One more thing I suggest to Sony: I don’t expect a release date already, but at least you should provide a release windows, and make sure it is not too far. Something like CD Projekt’s “when it’s ready” wouldn’t work now, as so many years from the original announcement have passed and gamers could feel cheated.
What about the release window, then? Well, at this point it is pretty complicated. Sony has a bad 2015 first-party line-up (or “sparse”, to use Andrew House’s words) but a good one for next year: Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End in the first half, then Quantic Dream’s new game, Sony Bend’s, Guerrilla Games unannounced title that could require a bit more time, God of War IV for the second half and even more, maybe. As you can see, Q1-Q2 2016 would be a whooping announcement but it’s unlikely: I am almost sure Sony would prefer Q3-Q4, if the game – and I hope so – is finally ready.
What’s your take on this? Are Sony and Team Ico really about to re-announce The Last Guardian, or those rumors are just speculations? Furthermore, do you think the game would have the same effect on the audience in comparison with E3 2009? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.