Fumito Ueda is Team Ico’s director and he’s now in the middle of the development of a game called The Last Guardian. According to various reports this could be his last project for Sony as multiple sources suggest that not only has he left Team Ico, but also the Japanese multinational corporation. The main report comes from Eurogamer which states that the successful developer will finish The Last Guardian as a freelancer and after that he will work on other personal projects.
Ueda is well-known for previously working on titles such as ICO and Shadow of the Colossus, which originally came out for the PS2 and took around four years to complete. For all those who didn’t have a chance to play the games on the PS2 there is an HD update called The ICO & Shadow of the Colossus Collection for the PS3 that includes both titles along with some interesting extras like 3D support, 7.1 surround sound and higher framerates. The collection has been really well received by both critics and fans.
The Last guardian was first revealed back in 2009 and its aesthetic strongly resembles Ueda’s previous games. Additionally, the game will share themes and gameplay with ICO and Shadow of the Colossus, but it hasn’t been announced if they’ll have any sort of continuity or of they’ll be related in any other meaningful way. Regarding gameplay the game will feature a third-person perspective, many puzzles, the layout of environment is quite important to defeat enemies, the protagonist can interact with Trico (the feathered creature) and the main protagonist can run, climb and jump.
There are around 50 people working on the title right now and its release has been delayed a couple of times, though the team has stated that we should wait for the final product somewhere in 2012. The game will be exclusive to the PlayStation 3, will be published by Sony Computer Entertainment and will include many action scenes that will be mixed with some puzzles.
The few details from the plot will be extremely familiar to those who enjoyed Ueda’s previous games as it features an unnamed boy who’s trying to escape the ruins of an immense castle. One of the main elements of the game is the relationship the boy shares with Trico, a huge feathered creature that has been attacked by some soldiers. Apparently, this is based on the way the player and Agro could interact in Shadow of the Colossus and this has now become a more prominent part of the game instead of being a mean to an end.
Many fans have are worried about the speculations related to Ueda leaving Sony, as this may affect the development of the game, especially considering that it has been delayed a couple of times. If the rumors are true though and the game is finished without issues, I’m really interested in knowing what his next project may be.
Sony has yet to comment on these rumors.