After a decade of waiting, forgetting, and disappointing absences, The Last Guardian is finally closing in on a release in December, and fans will finally get to play a game they’ve two waited two console generations to enjoy.
In fact, so much time has passed since it was first announced that an entire generation of gamers has come of age in that time period, some of them only knowing The Last Guardian as an extended running joke rather than the completion of a beautiful, ground-shattering gaming series. When revealed at E3 2015 for the first time in years, I was surprised with how many people dismissed it as an ugly previous generation game and how some called it out for lacking the qualities of a full console release.
Maybe the love for this series doesn’t extend as far as I once believed, or maybe it’s because those who jumped on the hate wagon simply weren’t around when ICO and Shadow of the Colossus shook up our standards. The passion fans have for these games extends beyond mundane debates over computing performance and console wars. Looking at it through the same lens as an annual AAA release grossly misses the point.
You kind of had to be there, or at least have to have journeyed with Ico at some point in your formative years to understand why fans are still so desperate to play this game. Fans should proudly stand by the The Last Guardian knowing that their dedication and personal reactions can’t be calculated by a computer processor.
To give a quick reminder of why we’ve all been waiting so long, Sony dedicated a direct presentation to Team ICO at Tokyo Game Show 2016 and reminded us of all of the wonderful memories it’s delivered. The tribute kicks off at the 21 minute mark, so fire it up and prepare to get teary-eyed, remembering the first time you grabbed Yorda’s pearly-white hand or the first time you mounted Agro in a charge across the open plains.
This is why we play video games. Not to bicker over the power of our preferred hardware but to revel in magical moments that simply can’t be quantified. The Last Guardian will be released on Dec. 6 for the PlayStation 4. I’ve got a nagging itch to dive back into ICO and Shadow of the Colossus before then. Maybe I’ll do so in November if I have a free moment.