The Last Guardian, known in Japan as Hitokui no Ōwashi Trico , is an upcoming video game developed by SIE Japan Studio and genDESIGN, and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment for the PlayStation 4. The Last Guardian has been in development since 2007 by Team Ico, and was announced at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2009 with a planned release in 2011 exclusively for the PlayStation 3 console. The game has since suffered from numerous delays, Ueda and other Team Ico members departed Sony, and hardware difficulties forced the game to be transitioned to the PlayStation 4 in 2012. The player controls the unarmed boy who can run, jump, climb and perform other actions similar to the gameplay in Ico and Shadow of the Shadow of the Colossus. As stated by Ueda, Trico is "driven by animal instincts", and it is up to the player to guide the creature, "taking advantage of his natural behavior" to complete puzzles. For example, the player may have the boy throw a barrel that gains Trico's interest, causing it to move to a specific location. As such, The Last Guardian has been considered by journalists as the combination of Ico and Shadow; Ueda admits "there's a bit of each of those [games] in there" within the gameplay of The Last Guardian. The relationship between the boy, Trico, and the human guards in the game was described by Ueda as a game of rock-paper-scissors that changes throughout the game; at times, the boy may need Trico to protect him from the guards, while the situation may be reversed at other times. Though both Ico and Shadow of the Colossus had a similar, changing connection between pairs of characters, Ueda said that there was much more of a "dynamic range" in The Last Guardian.The Last Guardian is the first Ueda game to use a voice-over to provide narrative context; Ueda noted that much of the game relied on non-verbal communication between the boy and Trico, and the use of the voice-over helped to immerse the player in the mindset of the boy in the absence of such speech. Ueda stated in 2013 interview that his departure from Sony was due to feeling "a sense of crisis within myself about a lot of things" on news of the delay. Some of those that departed Sony went on to other projects.
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