The Last Guardian

The Last Guardian[1] is an action-adventure video game developed by genDESIGN and SIE Japan Studio and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment exclusive to the PlayStation 4 console. It was released worldwide in December 2016. In the game, the player controls a young boy who befriends a giant half-bird-half-mammal creature named Trico. He must manipulate Trico, such as by luring it with food, to reach remote places while evading enemies.

Team Ico began developing The Last Guardian in 2007. It was designed and directed by Fumito Ueda, and shares stylistic, thematic, and gameplay elements with his previous titles Ico (2001) and Shadow of the Colossus (2005). He employed the “design through subtraction” approach he had used for his previous games, removing elements that did not contribute to the core theme of the connection between the boy and Trico.

Sony announced The Last Guardian at the 2009 Electronic Entertainment Expo with a planned release in 2011 exclusively for the PlayStation 3 console. It suffered numerous delays; Ueda and other Team Ico members departed Sony, and hardware difficulties forced the game to be moved to the PlayStation 4 in 2012, which caused people to assume that it was never going to be released. Ueda and his studio genDESIGN, composed of several former Team Ico members, remained as creative consultants, with Ueda continuing as director and Sony’s internal Japan Studio handling technical development. The Last Guardian was reintroduced at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2015 for its 2016 release. It received praise for its art direction, story, and depiction of Trico, while some criticized the gameplay as dated and felt that Trico’s meandering behavior tests the patience of the players.

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