While Sony have a rather large library of games for us to look forward to over the next year, arguably the most anticipated is Team Ico’s The Last Guardian. Due in large part because of the sheer brilliance of their previous games (Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, for the tragically sheltered), gamers everywhere eagerly await even the tiniest shred of information regarding the mysterious title.
That’s why many were understandably nervous when Sony announced their game lineup for the Tokyo Game Show, with The Last Guardian nowhere to be found. After all, the game had been announced way back at E3 2009, with little new information coming out since. When Sony confirmed that the game would show up at TGS after all, fans everywhere let out a huge sigh of relief.
So now that we know that it will be present at the Tokyo Game Show next week, here are a few things we’d like for Team Ico to bestow upon us.
A Last Guardian playable demo
Whether the game is playable to the public that come in for the tail end of the show or is only available to the press behind closed doors, all we want is assurance that Team Ico have been making precious use of every minute since the game’s announcement last summer. The demo wouldn’t even have to be long at all — even Duke Nukem Forever came out of nowhere with a 15-minute demo at PAX this past weekend.
Somehow too much to ask? Well, surely they’ll be able to piece together a sweet gameplay trailer that will finally let us see Team Ico’s newest piece of brilliance in motion. Just show us a simple puzzle or two, maybe even let us see what kind of relationship the boy and his large bird-cat have.
Actually, we don’t remember any official gameplay trailers for Ico or Colossus, come to think of it. They did at least get a couple of short cinematic trailers each. Can we at least get one of those? Even if it’s only two short, sweet minutes? Honestly, we’ll just take a slideshow of new screens. Just come on, already!
Tell us where the game fits in
It’s tough to make a solid connection between Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, if only because of the lack of dialogue in both games. While both games feature horned protagonists (remember that Wander grows them as the game progresses) and shadowy figures, that is just about all there is to go on. While Colossus is generally accepted as the precursor to Ico, the canon is pretty much up to the player to come up with on their own.
So where does The Last Guardian fit into this equation? So far, we know very little about what’s going on in TLG’s story: Why is the creature held captive? Why does the boy break him loose? Where exactly is this happening? As far as we know, the game might not have any connection with Team Ico’s previous games, although the art styles are far too similar for that to hold any real water.
Once again, we’ll take whatever scrap of information we can. If one of the game’s designers or producers wants to say anything on this front, no matter how vague, it will be welcomed with very open arms.
Announce a Team Ico Collection
Of course, with all of the excitement surrounding The Last Guardian’s confirmed presence at TGS, this would seem like high time to announce the Team Ico collection that PS3 owners think has been a long time coming.
After the success of the God of War Collection last year and the anticipation for The Sly Collection this year, you should already be familiar with how this would work. Instead of having several games on several discs, you put them all on one cavernous Blu-Ray. You add trophy support. You bump up the resolution and anti-aliasing, clean up the textures, and improve the framerate so that games that they look even better than you remember them.
This worked absolute wonders for God of War — it was a great way for fans of the series to fall in love with the games all over again, while also giving new players to experience what all of the hype was about. Even better, it was a perfect segue in the months leading up to God of War III. It was win-win.
After seeing some rather high-resolution screens of the nine-year-old Ico pop up at a developers conference recently, it’s not unreasonable to think that a Team Ico collection is being worked on. If we know when a collection were to be released, that means we’d be within a few months of the most important thing of all …
A release window
Hopefully TGS will pass and we’ll have a release window that is more than simply “2011″. Giving us a concrete month would be fantastic, but realistically we won’t expect anything more specific than Fall, Holiday, or whenever Sony decides to deliver the game. All we need is anything that tells us that the game has made significant progress in the 15 months since its announcement.
After all, if Gearbox could trot Duke Nukem Forever out of absolutely nowhere with a demo and give us a believable 2011 window — big progress over the “when it’s finished” 3D Realms used to give us — would it be so wrong to believe that we can be drowned in an tidal wave of Team Ico goodness?