Why Wasn’t The Last Guardian at E3?

Why Wasn’t The Last Guardian at E3?

All the exciting sights and sounds of E3 weren’t enough to distract us from the absence of two much looked-for guests: A little boy and his baby monster. Team Ico’s The Last Guardian, a beautiful and mysterious follow-up to the celebrated Shadow of the Colossus for the PlayStation 2, lay low for E3 2011, much to our disappointment.

When footage of The Last Guardian blinked into existence in 2009, it introduced us to an adventure/puzzle game that made Sony skeptics finally long for a PlayStation 3. Now we’re in the latter half of 2011 and the PlayStation 3 is having a much easier time of selling itself than it did a few years ago. There is still a very distinct griffin-shaped hole in our lives, though. Where is The Last Guardian? Is the project in some sort of trouble?

Not likely. The boy and his pet are hanging around, and we’ll see them soon. An excellent indication for this is the “Team ICO HD Collection” for the PlayStation 3, which was given a release date and a price at E3. Look for the Collection on September 27: It’ll be priced at a very reasonable $39.99 USD.

This is lovely news, but it doesn’t explain The Last Guardian‘s consistently low profile. Why is Team Ico being secretive?

We can only guess, but consider this much: Whenever the internet decides to boil up an argument about whether or not video games can be considered art, Ico and Shadow of the Colossus are cited most frequently as the games that prove, without a doubt, that video games can serve as an art form. That’s a pretty tough reputation to live up to. Team Ico is up to the task, but maybe caution is keeping the team from revealing too much about The Last Guardian until it has something that is perfect, polished.

Preview footage of The Last Guardian has also made a much stronger showing at demonstrations based out of Japan (as Trico) compared to what has been shown at E3 over the past couple of years. This might be because English-speaking audiences still aren’t as familiar with Team Ico’s games compared to Japan–Ico for the PlayStation 2 was a hit overseas, and was largely ignored elsewhere. Not to suggest that Team Ico is bitter, of course, but it’s possible that the team wants English audiences to re-acquaint itself with what it missed before it rolls out the third chapter in the series. Hence the push behind the Team Ico HD Collection at this year’s E3 (which might be coupled with a demo of The Last Guardian).

Either way, don’t fear for the boy and the monster. They’re taking their time, but they will soon make their presence known. It’s kind of hard to overlook a child with an eagle-lion hybrid in tow.

About Nadia Oxford
Nadia is a freelance writer living in Toronto. She played her first game at four, decided games were awesome, and has maintained her position since. She writes for 1UP.com, Slide to Play, GamePro and other publications, and is About.com’s Guide to the Nintendo DS.

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