TGS ’10: Fumito Ueda Talks The Last Guardian

According to the creator of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, Team Ico’s latest game is about the growing bond between a boy and his … cat-bird thing.

Following Sony’s big mid-day press conference Thursday afternoon, Fumito Ueda sat down in a small conference room packed with foreign journalists for an intimate discussion on his upcoming game. Ueda stated he was “confident” of the game’s concept, and that the trial-and-error phase was over. It’s now full-steam ahead for Team ICO.

The latest teaser trailer’s highlighted the rich expressiveness of Trico, the large cat-bird creature. Trico not only meows (chirps?) at the mysterious young boy in the trailer, but now he is shown whimpering, scratching his ears, and … puking. In other words, very animal-like. Ueda put a lot of effort into the creature’s eyes – just as well, since they are the major source of communication between Trico and the boy.

Not much was revealed about gameplay. One interesting note, echoing Agro of Shadow of the Colossus, was that Trico will not respond to your every command – he may, but he may well ignore you. The boy and Trico will have a somewhat unfriendly beginning, but as the game progresses, the player will have to find in-game elements that will help the boy build an emotional bond with the beast.

So will Last Guardian have anything in common with predecessors Ico and SOTC? Ueda is vague on this point, and maintains he doesn’t know. Apparently, SOTC wasn’t made to intertwine with ICO initially, but at the end, they decided to subtly link the two games.

Further, Ueda revealed the boy was initially conceptualized as a girl. He later reconsidering, thinking that a girl wouldn’t be suited to the grip strength needed as well as potentially awkward up-skirt shots. Not that this ever restrains other game designers …

Team ICO also confirmed that The Last Guardian will be 3D compatible. If all goes well, expect to see The Last Guardian on store shelves in time for a 2011 holiday release.

TGS 2010 reporting is done jointly by Fintan Monaghan and Lisa Gay.

Read more TGS 2010 coverage here.

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