Of all the technical advancements the PS3 has brought, it's the simple things that really impress Team Ico's Fumito Ueda.
For instance, he's particularly taken with the amount of expression it can bring to a character's eyes. Perhaps this isn't surprising coming from the man behind Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, games which carried as much emotional wallop as they did spellbinding action.
As there was in those games, there's a touching relationship at the heart of Team Ico's The Last Guardian. The duo are initially wary of one another, but trust soon develops and the boy (you) leads his massive new friend (or Trico) through a series of puzzle-filled environments.
Ueda's also hinted that, as the emotions grow and change, so will the gameplay.
It's telling that Ueda should focus on such small features as the heroes' beady eyes, because the team's new approach to development has meant that most of the work up until now has been honing the game's mechanics.
There was the thorny issue of making the Trico behave realistically in environments not suited to its massive size, for example.
Now that's done, it's full steam ahead on the visual design. Eagle-eyed viewers will be particularly taken with the new-and-improved look of the main creature, who manages to seem both terrifying and huggable, we reckon.
KLEENEX AT THE READY
The developers are still keeping schtum on exactly how the game will play out, but are happy to acknowledge some similarities between this and their previous two classics.
The demo we saw certainly backed that up, with the boy having to communicate with the monster and use its immense size and power to move through increasingly dangerous environments.
But, like the other two games, will it feature a heart-rending ending that'll reduce even the stoniest of gamers to floods of tears? Team Ico say wait and see. Team GM say it's probably best to stock up on tissues.
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