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Jun 17

Jun 17

Fumito Ueda on The Last Guardian’s Grand E3 Reveal

Fred Dutton's Avatar Posted by SCEE Blog Manager

There are few games that inspire such passion and devotion among gamers than those of Fumito Ueda. His twin PS2 classics, Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, are rightly beloved for their extraordinary atmosphere, thoughtful mechanics and evocative storytelling. Duly, it was no surprise that his ambitious third game, The Last Guardian, was met with feverish enthusiasm when first announced for PS3 back in 2009.

Since then – as is well documented – everything largely went quiet, but finally the wait is nearly over. It’s re-reveal for PS4 this week was a real lump-in-the-throat moment and – forgive my shameless partisanship – one of the highlights of a packed E3 week, where big announcements have come thick and fast.

24 hours after the big reveal, I caught up with Ueda-san to find out what he made of the reaction to the news, and how the game is shaping up.

The Last Guardian

So, for the benefit of those gamers who might not be familiar with the game, can you give me a brief overview of what exactly The Last Guardian is?

Fumito Ueda: In short, it’s an action adventure title. It’s a story about a young boy who has been kidnapped or captured under strange circumstances. It’s about an encounter between that boy and the mysterious beast Trico amidst ancient ruins, and a story about their journey together in the hope of escaping their mysterious predicament.

In short, that’s what the game is, but we don’t want to tell you too much. We want players to experience it for themselves as the story unfolds.

Obviously it’s been a number of years since we last heard news of the game, and there’s been so much speculation about the title among PlayStation gamers. How does it feel to finally re-introduce the game to your fans?

Fumito Ueda: Yes, it’s been a few years since our last announcement. From my point of view, it was very unpredictable how the audience would react. I wasn’t sure if people would remember the title. Admittedly I was a bit nervous, but after the announce I saw the reaction, and the cheering – and that proved to me that people had really been waiting and were excited to see us reveal The Last Guardian for PS4. Afterwards, I was more relaxed and happy!

Can you talk a little about why the game has taken longer than anticipated?

Fumito Ueda: Obviously there were a number of reasons for the delay. If I had to call out one of them, it was more of a technical hurdle that we had to overcome. But eventually we have overcome it, and we have finally – proudly – announced the game for PS4 during the E3 press conference.

The Last GuardianThe Last Guardian

Has the game changed at all since we last saw it?

Fumito Ueda: The game content itself – the storyline etc – that stuff has not changed. Obviously the migration to PS4 has enabled us to push the envelope on the technology side. The overall aesthetic that the team is going for isn’t necessarily ‘edgy’ but we have a very specific art style we are aiming for and the PS4 hardware has helped us achieve our goals.

One of the aspects of the footage you showed during the E3 press conference that I found most interesting was how the boy and Trico moved. The boy’s motions in particular are a little unusual, but extremely charming. How did you go about defining their characteristics?

Fumito Ueda: When I was formulating the concept of The Last Guardian, one of the things I looked at was the relationship between people and animals, and I thought this was something that I wanted to build a game around. Most people really relate to animals – they find them cute and easy to bond with – so that relationship was the primary focus. The reason I chose this core theme is that I wanted to appeal to as many people as possible, knowing that it would resonate with many players. As a result, I hope some elements of the boy and Trico’s expressions may well come across as ‘charming’.

The footage mainly featured environmental challenges. Can we expect different kinds of threats elsewhere in the game?

Fumito Ueda: The demo that we showed this week is a vertical slice of the game and we intentionally selected this to show some of the dynamic game transitions. There are quieter encounters that the boy and Trico will experience at other times in the game. There are a variety of different level designs and challenges that players will encounter.

Given the fervor and anticipation around the game, are you feeling a burden of expectation to deliver something incredible?

Fumito Ueda: Obviously I’m very relieved to finally have had the chance to stand up and say, “Here we are again!”. I saw the crowd’s reaction and the reception was great. That reception has fed our motivation to work even harder to complete production. From a creative and development point of view things haven’t changed – we’ve been working very hard already – but we’ll certainly be fueled by all the attention and love we’ve got this week.

The Last Guardian

Add Your Own

paulogy said:

June 17th, 12:59 pm

I am so glad there is hope once again for The Last Guardian. I loved ICO, I loved Shadow of the Colossus, and I loved the early TLG trailers. I really hope the team can deliver on the vision Ueda has for this game, as it seems like something truly special. Can’t wait to play it someday :-)

auron2 said:

June 17th, 1:10 pm

I’m so happy that this game is finally happening.
I’m replaying The ICO and Shadow of the Colossus Collection out of hype.

MrBeens said:

June 17th, 1:15 pm

The first time the boy leaps across the gap, in my mind I was cracking up as I pictured the creature just sitting there staring at him dumbly as he plummets to the ground far below. Then the creature gets up and wanders off… cue credits.

    islankleinknecht said:

    June 18th, 6:27 am

    Hah, I also loved how the kid just seemed to give no ****s.

    darthelghast said:

    June 18th, 2:53 pm

    That’s hilarious!

djsaiyan said:

June 17th, 1:44 pm

From arguably one of the biggest running gags in the gaming community to a beautiful, much anticipated title with gameplay shown and a release window.

Welcome back, The Last Guardian!

LeandroDiFini said:

June 17th, 1:51 pm

I love the concept of this game and can’t wait for it, but I agree with interviewer about the movements of the boy. They do look a bit unusual and “charming”… And by “charming” I mean “clunky”. This weird character movement goes back to ICO and Shadow of the Colossus and might have been the reason why i didn’t finish SOTC.
Still, I can’t wait to try The Last Guardian, both story telling and artwork look amazing.

boxmyth said:

June 17th, 2:07 pm

I hope there’s a collector’s edition with a little plush Trico included :)

sealum01 said:

June 17th, 2:08 pm

This is a day one purchase. I remember being enamoured with ICO, after having been introduced the title casually at a friends house. Prior to its existence, I didn’t know what it was, nor that it was a popular game, but I simply loved what I played, installing it as one of my fondest gaming memories. Roughly the same was true with Shadow of the Colossus. I have full faith that this title will simply be a gem among games. I can’t wait to play.

Bellalara said:

June 17th, 2:09 pm

Can’t wait for this greatness on PS4! Day one buy for sure

cusman said:

June 17th, 2:26 pm

Top highlights for me this E3
* Uncharted 4
* The Last Guardian
* Horizon – Zero Dawn

Unfortunately all are 2016

What do I do in 2015? Oh yeah, no shortage of games ever, plus they have those Uncharted trilogy remasters. Hey, how about Ico and Shadow of Colossus remasters for PS4?

    PanTheMan16 said:

    June 17th, 9:42 pm

    It’s already been done for PS3.

    islankleinknecht said:

    June 18th, 6:30 am

    Fallout 4 and Arkham Knight are still incoming this year.

stlthriot said:

June 17th, 3:17 pm

Absolutely one of the best games to see come back to the light after being in development for some time :)

Glad the team waited until the PS4 was released to fully bring to life what they had imagined! Can’t wait for the day to play it :D

KazeEternal said:

June 17th, 3:17 pm

Thank you for finally bringing this game to a release window, it has been a long wait:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B75_562kMMbrMmdyV19NSHI3bjg/view?usp=sharing

remanutd5 said:

June 17th, 3:58 pm

“I wasn’t sure if people would remember the title.”- Even though he is one of the most reverend creative directors of all time and he said that? Man he is extremely humble. I’ve waited an entire generation to play your next masterpiece Mr Ueda, to be honest if it was any other developer I wouldnt be this excited.
Your games are once in a generation experience, simple as that.

Know_Yourself416 said:

June 17th, 4:21 pm

Are they gonna make it for the ps vita too ?

    KazeEternal said:

    June 17th, 4:28 pm

    This won’t run on Vita.

    YungShep said:

    June 19th, 10:44 am

    remote play, yes.

kratos_iran said:

June 17th, 4:28 pm

No news in all these years I’m more than happy and excited to re-introduce The Last Guardian did not.

Team Ico’s titles to worship and love, especially those directed

Trico character than the last show down just a little bit of physics that I hope to get better.

And in the end I have to say “I love you, Professor Ueda

Hakumen__ said:

June 17th, 4:49 pm

Where are the PS Vita games? :(

    YungShep said:

    June 19th, 10:45 am

    on a vita post.

Seiryuki2002 said:

June 17th, 4:53 pm

Thank you Mr Ueda and team genDESIGN and everyone else to supported the title! I’m willing to pay $100 for the game alone. I think there should be a Trico and Boy figurine in a special edition. This game deserves a collector’s edition. How about a Team ICO artbook too? Or maybe something totally unique and unexpected?
I think it’s about getting something extra to represent the hope and emotional impact the game had on us at every E3, TGS, GDC, and on every single-paragraphed news article and screenshot from the first time it was leaked by PSLS to the very heart-lifting moment when Mr Layden spoke those wonderful words Monday night.

Make it happen…please.

PanTheMan16 said:

June 17th, 9:39 pm

I got a little choked up when I saw the reveal. Ico and SotC were incredibly special experiences for me, and I bought them on a whim because the screenshots were so beautiful. I got my PS3 late 2009, and I ihave been wanting this game since before I had it. Despite what many people believed, I knew that this game was stiill in the works and that we’d see it on PS4. Wishful thinking, perhaps, but considering who is behind this project, The Last Guardian was always destined to be one of the most important and memorable titles in PlayStation history. I knew Mr. Ueda wouldn’t let us down. I’m sure he would see it as letting himself down if this project wasn’t finished. His games are works of passion, and while there are other passionate developers out there, few -if any – share the same level of artistic creativity and genius storytelling.
I really hope that we will have the option to order a collector’s edition.

Rainwater said:

June 18th, 5:29 am

Sorry to say, but I had totally written this game off. So glad I was wrong, as Ico and Shadow of the Colossus are 2 of the best games I’ve ever played, especially Shadow. Looking forward to this one (again).

BadMexican77 said:

June 18th, 9:53 am

cool loooking game,but graphics looks faded and grainy.not overly impressed.

dkarlowicz10 said:

June 18th, 2:51 pm

Can’t wait to play this on PS4. Team ICO: Please, please consider bringing Ico and Shadow of the Colossus to PS VIta.

TomatoDragon said:

June 19th, 11:48 am

in all of my 35+ years of gaming, I’ve never anticipated or pined for such a game like this one before. I can’t believe that it’s actually still in production. Keeping the faith for 2016 release.

CaitlinKennedy9 said:

June 20th, 2:55 am

I only work about for 10k- $13k hours a week from home. Im using an online business opportunity I heard about and I’ve made such great money. Join the many successful people who have already started freelancing over the web… WWW.­E­A­R­N­M­O­R­E­9­.­­C­O­M

LouVelvet said:

June 20th, 12:47 pm

I was without a doubt as “relieved and happy” as Mr. Ueda when I was finally woken from the nightmare of perhaps never getting to play another ingenious work of art from Team ICO… the world seems a bit more of a fair place to me ** smiling with content **

vypermajik said:

June 21st, 8:28 am

We went to the PlayStation E3 Experience in Orlando, Florida. Despite the projector breaking for the first fifteen minutes, and only hearing the sound…. RUINING THE REVEAL… I saw what I needed to on my wife’s phone via grainy YouTube feed. Despite that hot mess, I’m STILL pumped as hell for this game. Hell or high water, we’ll finally get to play. I CAN’T WAIT!

sealum01 said:

June 22nd, 8:03 am

This is a must buy for me. It’s on the top of my list!

n_i_g_e_ said:

June 23rd, 12:41 pm

I never really got how this game was in the works for years was real. There was a trailer for it and The Last Guardian was a title, but there was not really all that much around visibly of this game aside from it was one.

Anybody aside from me actually have an animal that could listen to verbal communication on a higher order and not just sit there or run and hide when someone was yelling? Animals that can understand and read humans are highly intelligent, skilled at evasion tactics, and stealth. These animals are also highly skilled hunters and are very prone to something referred to as “mange” as actually livening alongside a human is not the a natural life for an animal. Since animals do not live with humans naturally it can at time revert back to what us humans would see as animalistic instincts. A large predator animal in close proximity could be unruly if the animal was not tame.

n_i_g_e_ said:

June 23rd, 1:00 pm

The Last Guardian video here on this website is a great illustration of how one can see every light, every stone, every hair, and you can even see the air and different textures.

The power of the PlayStation 4 itself is vastly different than the idea that was generated by its predecessor the PlayStation 1. I wish I had a picture I could place here of a polygon animation from the PlayStation One console as it would be a funny graphics comparison.

On one side you can see a purple polygon in the shape of a forearm. On the other side you can see each and every feather moving in the wind. Look at that purple polygon, it is just so good and it is part of a purple Gi. It is not just any polygon it is part of a PlayStation One game. :)

    n_i_g_e_ said:

    June 23rd, 1:13 pm

    I’m holding a giveaway right now and I know it is not Super Fan Build but it will be a good giveaway anyways I promise. Here are the terms of the giveaway: If you can guess the name of the Playstation One game I was talking about one of the staff at the Playstation Blog will drive you around for the day anywhere you need to go as long as you do not live to far away from the drivers location. I’ll tell you if you guessed the title right and if you did I said that one of the Blog staff would have to drive you around for the day so they’ll have to go pick you up.

    Now when your on your Driver for a Day Prize you both, the winner and the Blog staff member, have to make up a game that you can play while driving. It will be a through-back to the days before Pong and Space Invaders. You know the way games use to be. Alright, if you know anyone you can play the game on your own with them even if your not the winner. See it follows a theme since after all the Blog is all about games right?

    n_i_g_e_ said:

    June 23rd, 2:34 pm

    Well PlayStation Blog you can go participate in Super Fan Build as well if you was as I am also on Batman and DMC. Both of the two games are out now. Not sure why a same day release would matter or matter in the long-run. But, I’ll still be around when The Last Guardian comes out. Should The Last Guardian of come out before or after other games and what ones I really don’t know. However, I may know something. Super Fan Build is not open to SCE staff, SCEA staff, or Sony Corporate staff so staff cannot participate in the Giveaway..

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