Solve the puzzles or join the tormented souls forever
Come on an extraordinary journey into a world of myth, magic and wonders. Ico is the story of a young boy who was born with horns and has recently come of age. Unfortunately for him, this means his sacrifice. As village law decrees, all boys with horns of age must be taken by horse and skiff to an ancient castle. Once there, they are locked in stone tombs for eternity, eventually dying. The sacrifice of the boy, will aide the village but that is no comfort to a scared little boy. However, due to the intervention of fate, Ico is freed from his stone prison by a small earthquake.
Upon Ico's freedom, you will notice a ghostly white girl in a giant birdcage and through some small puzzles you will free her. Your adventure as Ico is to protect the girl from the dark shadows and escape the castle. The graphics of Ico is truly amazing. When you first escape your prison, you will notice just how big the areas are. The first level has you standing in a huge chamber and the attention to detail is outstanding. All the graphics are ingame and the level design, lighting effects and various other special effects all come together to make this one truly remarkable and memorable game.
The controls of Ico are fairly easy to learn which range from jumping, using and calling for the girl, Yorda. You can use either the analog stick (highly recommended) to move Ico around or the directional buttons. As the controls are fairly simple, the programmers have done a good job in linking extra abilities together. For instance, when calling for Yorda, this turns into holding hands when she is near. Each button may sometimes do more than one thing.
The combat in the game is very easy, you are equipped with a wooden stick that lets you hit the shadow creatures. There are no fancy moves here, just one attack and one enemy throughout the game. The game is very similar to Prince of Persia (the original PC game) in its use of puzzles and simplistic combat.
The game very rarely becomes tedious as most puzzles are right before your eyes. However, the only drawback with the game is the free look mode which seems very jerky when you are looking around. The main highlight of the game is the relationship between Ico and Yorda and their young love. The characters seem real and actually do feel like they having something special between them.