ico
Metacritic: 90/100
Release: Sep 2001
Reviewed on: PS3

Ico

Site Score
8.0
Good: Changed the genre – Bond focused gameplay
Bad: Some frustrating sequences
User Score
8.1
(7 votes)
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Ico (ICO) mixes puzzles and action-adventure like many games before it but does so more impressively than most. With Team Ico behind the game, who has a strong history of development the PS2 title was eventually bundled with Shadow of the Colossus for release on PS3.

ico-gameplay1

Playing as a young boy named Ico that was born with horns and banished to an abandoned castle by his village. Upon exploration players uncover Yorda, a girl who does not speak the same language but appears equally desperate to escape the situation. As the pair attempt an escape they are blocked by the Queen who rules over the castle and her shadow creatures.

This journey sees players combating the shadow creatures with their blade and guiding Yorda through various puzzles and obstacles. Opting for minimal dialogue the game and unique lighting techniques Ico walks that line between art and video gaming which saw it captivating gamers and reviewers alike and has since seen many other titles attempt to offer a similar range of mechanics.

ico-gameplay2

These mechanics include having Ico push items, climb ledges, jump and solve other types of puzzles throughout the castle. While Yorda will follow players she can also be commanded to stay in place but can never adventure too far away as she is required to open certain doors. Additionally Yorda doesn’t share the same flexibility as Ico with limited movement capabilities, requiring players to alter the environment as necessary.

Similarly Yorda is not capable of fighting back the shadow creatures and if taken away will be sucked into a vortex if players cannot dispatch the shadows quickly enough. If you leave Yorda for too long and she is fully sucked into these vortexes the game will end from the latest save point. With these shadow creatures ignoring Ico, Ico’s only death comes from large heights.

Summary:

  • A journey of Ico and Yorda.
  • Dispatch shadow creatures as you solve puzzles.
  • Protect and guide Yorda to freedom.
  • Limited dialogue and unique artistic lighting.
  • Originally on PS2 with a PS3 re-release.

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Ico, 8.1 out of 10 based on 7 ratings
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