E3 2011's Most Anticipated: The Last Guardian
29th May 2011 | 17:17
The games on show at E3 2011 are some of the best in living memory. So you really owe it to yourself to vote in CVG's inaugural E3 2011 Awards... in the Most Anticipated Title category.
Shortly before the show, we'll work out which of these 60 special E3 game previews have enjoyed the most page views, Facebook 'Likes', ReTweets and poll votes (see below) and crown our first victor. Shower your favouriteswith online love!
Game: The Last Guardian
Likelihood of E3 2011 showing: Likely
If you're following the development of The Last Guardian as closely as we are, you know how agonising it is to be so wrapped up in the game only to have it delayed mere months from release - again.
Last time we heard news, Famitsu told us that it "exceeded expectations" while Ueda himself was banging on about how it borrows borrowed gameplay and concepts from his PS2 classics - and 'pushed the PS3 to its limit'.
Then, just when we couldn't possibly be any more excited, Ueda turned around and cruelly announced The Last Guardian would be delayed.
To top it off, the high-definition release of Shadow of the Colossus and Ico have also also be dragged back a while, taking with them the rumoured Last Guardian demo. Devastating stuff.
But being the suckers that we are we still latch onto it at every opportunity. Sure, we know we'll probably be crushed again sometime soon, but honestly, we just can't resist the charms of The Last Guardian; and its adorable fantasy cat-bird creature Trico precariously dragging around the game's protagonist, a diminutive boy dressed head to toe in tribal-esque robes. We'll be hunting this one out at E3 for sure.
Like the Team Ico titles before it, both The Last Guardian's gameplay mechanics and narrative focus on the relationship between the mysterious young boy and his colossal pet. However, this time, thanks to the power of the PlayStation 3 hardware, the interactions between the two go a lot deeper than the simple hand-holding of Ico or horse-riding of Shadow of the Colossus.
The bird doesn't just blindly follow you around at your beck and call, for one. The loyal and lovable furball will take the opportunity to sneak a quick nap in when he/she/it can, which means you'll have to scale the beast and hop about on its head to rouse it into action. At other times, it might get distracted by something in the environment and wander off for a bit - so you'll have to get its attention.
To get around the huge citadel and explore it, the player must scout ahead and clear paths. Naturally given the size of the little boy, it becomes difficult for Trico to track him, so objects such as urns can be used to attract his attention along with the shouting mechanic used by Wander in Shadow of the Colossus.
The Last Guardian also borrows its scaling mechanics from Shadow of the Colossus - allowing the player to clamber up the towering creature to access new areas and complete puzzles by manipulating his movements and using his curious nature. If an area is too far for the boy to reach on his own throwing the catnip into it will send Trico sniffing after it, hitch a ride on him and you're there.
Beyond his exploration advantages, Trico is also used to defend the weak main character in battle. The imposing Citadel is littered with guards that will grab hold and squeeze the life out of the boy unless he can shake free. Along with furiously moving the analogue stick to escape, players can use Trico to smack away the pesky sentinels with a wave of his gigantic paw.
Those who have played through Ico and Shadow of the Colossus will no doubt have pre-conceptions about how this relationship will unfold, but we suspect Ueda will have something just a little bit original up his sleeve. Roll on E3...