The Last Guardian
I hate to be the bearer of bad news here, but I’m not sure that The Last Guardian is ever coming out. We had heard rumblings of a mysterious new game in 2008, which a video confirmed to be Team Ico’s new game in 2009. What we’ve heard since then has been discouraging.
Game director Fumito Ueda left Sony in December 2011, although he remains on the game as a freelancer due to contractual obligations. Then in August 2012, Sony let the trademark on The Last Guardian expire, which is what happens when a product doesn’t actually release in time. Once again, Shuhei Yoshida did his best this past February to assure eager fans by saying that “We are waiting for the right time to re-introduce The Last Guardian.”
It’s unclear what that actually means, but it doesn’t exactly induce confidence.
“Didn’t an XCOM game come out last year?” Why yes, but that was XCOM: Enemy Unknown, a game that was very true to the franchise’s strategy roots. It was in development for a few years, but the turnaround between its announcement and release was less than a year.
Just plain XCOM was supposed to be a 1960s first-person shooter, revealed on the cover of Official Xbox Magazine in 2010. This shouldn’t come as a surprise at this point, but we’ve seen very little since then. We’ve heard of a shift from first- to third-person, along with speculation that it might become a downloadable game the way that Ubisoft’s I Am Alive went from AAA project to small-scale release.
At this point, one has to wonder what 2K would have to gain from an XCOM shooter after Firaxis delivered a successful entry that was much closer to the series’ roots. Probably nothing, with rumors of a rebranding starting to swirl. In any case, the statute of limitations for caring has long passed.