Sony's PlayStation 4 game The Last Guardian has been a long time coming. Originally announced in 2009 for the PlayStation 3, the game has been delayed on multiple occasions. It also did something many games don't: it switched platforms. You might think that given the extended buildup that director Fumito Ueda -- who has been leading the project since its start -- would feel some added pressure to deliver, but this is not the case.
"In terms of pressure, or added pressure, I don't think I feel that," Ueda told GameSpot through a translator during a recent sitdown interview at E3. "Why I say that is because from the very beginning I've felt a certain layer of pressure thanks to a lot of fans and followers from my previous games, Ico (2001) and Shadow of the Colossus (2005). They've been received very positively, so I think there's been a certain level of expectation that I've always felt, so that hasn't really changed just because we're now nearing the completion of the project."
At E3 last week, Sony revealed that The Last Guardian will arrive in October. Asked how he felt now that fans have a date to circle on the calendar, Ueda said it was nice to confirm the release date, but stressed there is more work to do.
"It's not that I am overly excited just because we announced the date," he said. "Obviously, myself included and our entire staff, still have work to do to make sure we can hit that date. So I want to make sure that we work in great, healthy conditions so none of us are worn out and that we can hit the goal that we've set our for ourselves."
On subject of living up to expectations, PlayStation Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida recently said he's "not worried" that the game won't live up to the hype.
"Lots of people are waiting," he said. "I expect people will enjoy it when it comes out."
Ueda also told us that he's working hard to ensure that The Last Guardian stays true to his original ideas for the project.
"For me, what's most important is that I am creating and completing this game in the way that I envisioned it," he said. "And from a player's perspective, myself, too, how I want the player to experience this world. So as long as that stays true, then I think that's all I really need to do."
We also asked Ueda about The Last Guardian's shift from PS3 to PS4. He said fans can look forward to better resolution and more "detailed expressions," but stressed that the game, at its core, is the same.
"There wasn't anything in a major or drastic way that we had to rethink the whole thing or make drastic measures or anything like that," he said. "It was all really just looking upwards and looking more in a positive direction. Obviously because of the hardware specs being better, going from the PS3 to PS4...it wasn't just about, 'Oh, it's higher res and we can do all these detailed expressions.' It was more about how do we bring that to life.
"And the visual style has not changed from the very beginning. This is what we had aimed to and hoped to achieve. So not changed in terms of direction or concept or anything like that. It's just now that we've made that transition, how do we maximize what we can get out of the hardware and how do we really take that and use it to our advantage? That's what ultimately happened and that's what got us here today."
The Last Guardian launches on October 25. Additionally, Sony has announced a $120 special-edition version of the game that includes a statue, art book, soundtrack, and more, all of which comes inside a special box.
GameSpot played The Last Guardian at E3 last week. You can find out what we thought in the impressions video above and our written preview here.