*Recently re-named The Last Guardian.
*Make sure to click the HD option on the video after pressing ‘play’ to get rid of the smudgy picture. Works on standard definition monitors too.
Well, I don’t think anyone expected that. Outrageously stunning and a perfect example of a fantastic change of pace to radically alter the tone of the whole spectacle. But what else would you expect from Team Ico but the unexpected?
I don’t know what was more surprising, the creature itself initially (should we be scared, amused, confused?), or the flood of relief that hits as you realise it’s not intended as a fearsome creature as it picks up the boy, presumably his young master, and lovingly nuzzles him.
From this footage it looks like past Team Ico efforts Ico and Shadow of the Colossus have merged, leaning more towards Ico perhaps, with a young hero clambering around ruins and castles with help from his erm…pet. While nobody expects this to be a direct sequel to either of the previous games, the similarities and shared universe are plain to see.
The sound of the boy running through the tunnel is identical to the hero’s pattering through Ico’s castle as is the panicked outburst of ‘whoa’ as he slips off the ledge, there’s even a trace of seagull coming from the creature and the sound of wind pouring into the depths below all trigger memories for even the casual Ico fanboy.
Fans of SOTC will notice the similarities as the boy scrambles up the creatures tail, when even the creature is seemingly struggling itself to climb to safety up a crumbling pillar.
As for the creature itself, it’s not quite a Griffin (no birds head). It has clawed bird’s feet, a lion’s tale, a cat’s body and a dog’s (sort of) head and some very flimsy looking wings. It’s a fair assumption that perhaps it can only fly for short distances or glide, just enough to lift you to a starting platform as it wouldn’t be a great platforming game if you could just fly everywhere.
Enemies for the game look to include knight-like armoured foes like the one that’s battered out of the way before the reveal in the trailer; unless the creature was ‘just being playful’ like a seriously well-fed mythical pup. It’s still unclear if the boy was just playing ‘chase’ with it (at home maybe?) or they’re in an enemy environment. However, later in the trailer we see the creature swimming underwater, then striding through a huge stone hall, covered in arrows, which suggest you will see some human-like enemies in the game. At a (very) long shot the creature could be one of the Colossi from the last game that got away from Wanda and Agro.
This could just be a taste of an early part of the story. What if the creature grows throughout the games narrative, spread over years, with it and the boy growing up together? It’s possible, as the creature looks like an infant, despite the mystery of what the hell it is.
It’s unlikely we’ll see a release this year, and you can bet the name Trico will change too. Team Ico and Sony should nail one down soon though and start pushing it hard as an important title and try and exceed the cult (quite poor) sales of its predecessors.