The debate: Will The Last Guardian ever see the light of day?

Yes says hopeful fan of mythical creatures, Joel Gregory

Five years ago last month was when the first teaser image appeared for Team Ico’s next game. /Five years/. That’s long enough for Phileas Fogg to travel the globe 23 times. But despite the GT5-dwarfing development time and bi-weekly prophecies of doom, I still believe that The Last Guardian’s cat-dog-bird will one day fly free.

Why? Well, mainly because we’ve been promised it will. Members of its team and Sony came out no fewer than six times last year with statements reassuring fans that the game was still progressing and continued to exist, with Sony president Shuhei Yoshida saying in November “The team is working hard on the project, including the engine.”

That last statement could end up being a telling one, for Team Ico has previous when it comes to switching work-in-progress games from one platform to another: Ico was actually scheduled to be a PS1 game before being moved over to take advantage of PS2’s increased grunt. It’s not inconceivable the engine work could involve shifting development to PS3’s successor.

The Last Guardian seems to be between two stools. On the one hand, with only two trailers and a handful of screenshots in five years, it doesn’t seem like too much has been done that it couldn’t be moved to a next-gen machine. On the other, we know Fumito Ueda continues to work on the project and that the team has come too far to junk the whole thing. This game will be real. As for when, Trico only knows.

No mourns obsessive Colossus devotee, Dave Meikleham

Strong men also cry, Meiks. Strong men also cry. Cheer up, champ. You had a good run. Ico was a disarming treat and Shadow Of The Colossu… oh god, here come the waterworks. No matter what way you slice it, Team Ico’s tale of boy meets griffin looks like it may soon take that fateful trip to the tabby/pooch/budgie monster home in the sky.

How can I have any real faith in Trico becoming a real monstrous boy when it’s been in development for five years? The first screen of that mysterious chain was released in January 2005. During the last half decade, The Last Guardian has drip fed us some lovely footage and 20-odd screens. In that same period, Activision has put out six PS3 Call Of Duty games. You’re going to a better place, boy. *sniff*

The project has all gone a bit Titanic, too. Visionary creator Fumito Ueda may not have frozen to death on a bit of wood that was totally big enough for two folk, but he did jump ship in February 2012. He’s now working on TLG in a freelance capacity, yet if Guardian was truly salvageable, surely its creator would have stayed on full-time to see it finished.

Ueda was quickly followed out the door by executive producer Yoshifusa Hayama. It’s no wonder Sony won’t commit to a 2013 release date. The most worrying factor? We still don’t know what the game really is. The whole debacle has the whiff of Metal Gear Rising… minus the third act Platinum Games intervention. I’ve never wanted to lose a debate before… until now. Please be right, Joel.