After years in the dark, The Last Guardian will be released in 2016

Just when you thought your hope of ever playing The Last Guardian died some time ago, Sony kicked off its E3 2015 press conference with some long-awaited footage of Japan Studio’s long-awaited title.

Directed by Fumito Ueda, The Last Guardian is all about friendship and companionship, according to Sony. That friendship and companionship was on full display during the gameplay reveal, which showed a young male protagonist traversing various platforms with the help of his giant feathery friend, Trico. In the video, the duo helped each other escape the crumbling environment and get to safety.

Interestingly, compared to previous footage, the art style largely remains the same. The most visible changes seem to be the increased visual fidelity, due to the game being released on the PlayStation 4, as well as a newly-designed Trico. Our feathered friend now closely resembles some kind of hybrid between a gryphon and a dog rather than just a dog with wings.

In development since 2007, The Last Guardian was officially announced in 2009 for the PlayStation 3. When it was announced, the game was given a 2011 release, though thanks to numerous delays, the game missed that release window. Some people believed the game to be cancelled, with Sony Worldwide Studios chief Shuhei Yoshida revealing that the game had to be redone in order to ensure compatibility with the PlayStation 3. Since then, however, Sony reiterated on numerous occasions that The Last Guardian was still in development.

Even Ueda, who left Japan Studio but continued to serve as a freelance contributor for The Last Guardian, confirmed that the game was nowhere near cancelled and that it was still under his creative supervision.

The Last Guardian is a PlayStation 4-exclusive title, with no mention of a PlayStation 3 version, and will be released sometime in 2016.