PS3 Attitude’s Most Wanted Games of 2010 #6 – The Last Guardian
It’s a bold statement, but if the “Are games art?” case were to ever go to trial, we’re pretty sure Team Ico’s Ueda-san would be called as a key-witness. In fact, he might even be the defendant.
Ueda-san is one of the rare few in the gaming industry who bows to no man. A visionary with shows impeccable patience on the path toward an ultimate goal; the creation of a videogame that not only entertains, but engages a player on the most emotional of levels.
Next year, after five years since his last project, The Last Guardian will launch on the PlayStation 3. And when it does, after hopefully experienced by as many people that it deserves, there won’t be a dry eye in the house.
It’s amazing what such a young man has already accomplished in his relatively short career. Sure, Ueda-san may only have made three games (but what games!), but it’s important to realise that he turns forty next month. Compare this to such peers like Hideo Kojima or Shigeru Miyamoto, venerable super-stars who appear to have been around forever and created some of the best games of all-time, and you realise that Ueda-san is still starting out on his creative journey.
His body of work is small yet immensely impressive. Ico (pronounced EEE-Koh, if you were wondering) for the PS2 is now regarded as a classic on the platform. This fact despite the game not setting sales charts on fire when it was first released back in 2002 in Europe. There are also parallels between Ico and Ueda-san’s newest venture; both games possessing a young male protagonist and what appears to be platforming and exploratory game mechanics.
After Ico, the team behind the project delivered what is regarded as one of the best games on the PlayStation2 platform. Period. If you have not played Shadow of the Colossus, you have seriously missed out on one of the seminal moments in gaming history. Accepting the laudation with humility and grace, Team Ico returned to their long development cycle, shutting their doors to the outside world and knuckling down to create something even better.
After an unfortunate and counter-productive leak, the silence was broken and The Last Guardian was shown at this year’s E3. The footage depicts a young boy and his pet/protector; a strange bird-like cat creature that follows the boy, lavishing attention and affection on him. It’s a touching glimpse at a pure and beautiful relationship, a bond we understand only strengthens over the course of the game as it moves toward its climactic ending. Regarding the end, Ueda-san has already come out and admitted that, with such a touchy-feely friendship on display, it’s almost a given that people expect the creature to die. To this he assures that, at least up until a few months ago, nothing had been decided, and that if people are expecting something, it’s almost his job to turn things on its head and surprise them.
The following sums up the anticipation some of the team here at PS3 Attitude have for Team Ico’s next adventure:
The Last Guardian is my most wanted game of 2010 by a country-mile. Number one. Top of my list. Ueda-san is a genius, his games works of art that should be shown in a museum – after as many self-respecting gamers have played them to death.
It’s my opinion that The Last Guardian – more than Heavy Rain and all of the Final Fantasy titles combined – has the potential to really change the landscape of gaming. Forever. – PS3 Attitude’s Brodiesan
It will make you cry, laugh and cheer. Probably all at the same time. The Last Guardian will change everything.