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The Last Guardian, the spiritual successor to the beautiful and hugely emotive PlayStation 2 titles ICO and Shadow of the Colossus, first stepped into the daylight all the way back in 2009. Ever since then, however, the game has become virtually the stuff of legend, missing both the peak of PlayStation 3’s development cycle and the launch of the PlayStation 4. With good reason, perhaps, many believed that the game was done for, trapped forever in development hell, and that Sony would one day be forced to announce that it had been canned.

But earlier today, Sony’s Shuhei Yoshida revealed that The Last Guardian is not only alive and well, but that it will be with us fairly soon. Along with a 2016 release date, the company showed off five minutes of gameplay footage in a brand new video. Check it out after the jump.

Even when an inside source reported that the game was to appear at the E3 trade show this week, few could bring themselves to believe that The Last Guardian would really show up. After all, didn’t someone say the exact same thing pretty much every year?

It was understandable, then, that Sony president Shuhei Yoshida should be so visibly excited when he took to the stage to introduce the game a few hours ago.

“I could not be happier standing here today;” Yoshida said with an enormous smile, “you don’t know how long I have waited for this moment.” With friendship and companionship at the game’s heart, it’s clear that someone at Sony didn’t want to let this one go. Come hell or high water, The Last Guardian was going to get finished.

Check out the official trailer here:

▼ Fumito Ueda, the game’s creative director, was also present in the auditorium today. Invited by the Sony president to stand up and take a bow, Ueda was met with rapturous applause.

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The Last Guardian is reminiscent of ICO with its rickety platforms, push-pull puzzles and perilous jumps.

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▼ Those who preferred Shadow of the Colossus‘ climbing and traversing look set to feel right at home, too, since your character will have to cling to the back and tail of his giant, feathered companion in order to survive.

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The Last Guardian‘s somewhat vague “2016” launch date may well mean that the game won’t arrive until autumn or even winter next year, but we’re sure that the rest of you are just as relieved as we are to see that the title is not only alive and flapping, but showing signs that it will be every bit as spellbinding as its predecessors.

Featured image: YouTube/PlayStation
All other images via Sony’s livefeed