December 15, 2011, 12:00

2012 Most Anticipated – #11 The Last Guardian

By Dave Irwin, Sub-Editor

Editor’s Note: Onto number eleven  our twenty-five most anticipated games of 2012. After culminating a comprehensive list of the confirmed games for next year, the MediaKick team voted on the games they are most looking forward to for next year, and after processing the results through a methodical algorithm we’re here to bring you the results. Taking a closer look at both what we know so far and why the team are excited for each game, we’ll have an article at midday everyday until Christmas – when we’ll reveal our most anticipated game of 2012. Be sure to check out the previous games so far if you haven’t already – #25, #24, #23, #22, #21, #20, #19, #18, #17, #16, #15, #14, #13, #12.

First introduced to us at E3 2009, The Last Guardian has since then been as elusive as the rarest creatures of our planet. A tale about a boy and his gigantic animal monstrosity friend with the barren locations similar to the style of Team Ico’s previous works. Ico and Shadows of the Colossus are certainly two of the most unique experiences found on the PlayStation 2. The art direction, game structure and general quality of the experience as a whole is unlike anything else out there. More than two years on and we’re still waiting with held breath for even a glimpse of this new creature.

2012 Most Anticipated   #11 The Last Guardian

My experience with Team Ico is possibly like a few others. Ico initially passed under my radar as a teenager; the nature of games as art wasn’t quite as dominant in my eyes as it is now, but that frame of mind started to formulate thanks to Shadows of the Colossus. As a game, it was a deeply immersive experience that surpassed every expectation. I liked it so much that I sought out a copy of Ico just to see what I was missing. From the looks of things, Ryan might have a similar experience if we hear more about The Last Guardian.

“I’ve heard great things about Ico and Shadow of the Colossus but never got round to playing them despite recently being given the HD upgrade. They weren’t titles I was particularly interested in as a younger gamer, but things change. Not only do I want to play the first two titles from Team Ico, but I want to see what they can do with The Last Guardian. Yes we haven’t seen much except for a few screens and that lone trailer, but my word, those snippets have me excited.”

The problem so far is that despite being in development for over three years now, we have a grand total of one trailer, one developer diary and a few screenshots to figure out just what this game might be about. One man who is apparently a veteran to the works of Team Ico and is eagerly awaiting to hear anything new about this game is David Howard, who believes that a big re-reveal is in order.

“It’s Team Ico, how could we not be hyped for it. After missing 2011′s tentative release, hitting a 2012 release is vital for a game that, aside from some quite stunning trailers, we still know very little about. Here’s hoping for a big re-reveal soon along with some meaty information on the currently mysterious exclusive.”

2012 Most Anticipated   #11 The Last Guardian

Perhaps fuelling the flame to this anticipation is the HD re-imagining of Team Ico’s works this year that gave players who missed out the first time around an opportunity to see what fantastic creations they are. Our very own Phil Costigan rated this very highly after experiencing these two games for the first time and loving every minute of it.

“Reviewing the Ico and Shadow of the Colossus HD Collection was one of my stand-out moments of the year and it finally gave me a taste of what Fumito Ueda and co. at Team Ico could do. Those guys and girls have an unparalleled knack for emotion in games, great storytelling, stunning settings and great characters, and the trailers we have seen of The Last Guardian so far only serve to re-affirm my belief in those guys. I just hope the game comes out next year. The wait is too much!”

But what about those who don’t have a PlayStation console knocking around their house? They may have missed out on all incarnations of the Sony exclusive developer’s previous works, including that superb HD collection! Even these hindrances weren’t enough to divert Robert’s awareness of the title, with the curiosity succumbing him to a similar amount of anticipation to everyone else!

2012 Most Anticipated   #11 The Last Guardian

“I’ve not played either Ico or Shadows of the Colossus, but after seeing some of the behind the scenes and sneak peaks, it perked my interest. To a newbie and mainly an Xbox gamer, this offers experiences we rarely have on the Microsoft behemoth.”

During the past week or so, we’ve heard nothing but doom and gloom about this ambitious project for the PlayStation 3, as both Team Ico CEO Fumito Ueda and Executive Producer Yoshifusa Hayama – also former Vice President of Sony Computer Entertainment, leave their respective positions. The slither of good news is that Ueda will carry on work with this game in a “freelance role”, but there is a slight chance that this might be the last game of its kind from this auteur game company. If true, The Last Guardian needs to see the light of day. We all sincerely hope we hear more about it soon.