Team ICO Plays Coy About New Game
For PS2 owners everywhere, the feelings associated with Team ICO can be a bit overwhelming. They haven’t so much been responsible for publishing solid games as they have putting together iconic pieces of art. Both 2001’s Ico as well as 2006’s Shadow of the Colossus broke new ground in the ways that games could be designed and enjoyed, often testing, and succesfully standing against, the paradigms of the action-adventure genre. There was no tangly plot to have to sift through to enjoy the adventures of Ico and Wander; you simply picked up the controller and fell into their respective worlds which, with fantastic art design, simultaneously spun a haunting serenity as well as an overaching sense of desolation. It was up to you, your wits, and a single companion against an incomprehensible evil or towering behemoths.
It’s this standard of marrying a simple gameplay concept (escape the shadows, kill the colossi) with a completely absorbing atmosphere that has captured the hearts of gamers many times the world over. And now, with the current-generation full-well underway, it’s about time that these same people and I hear something from Team ICO regarding their next project.
The very first inkling the world received from Sony Computer Entertainment Japan about the team’s mystery project was revealed back in January of this year via an advertisement for recruiting potential new staff members:
In it, we see a large chain passing through an ornate opening constructed on a rocky surface. Gathering from the growth of vegetation within this stone circle as well as the haphazard scattering of debris, it would seem as if this were some kind of mysterious ruin. The rest of the shot is obscured by a black fog and we can’t tell exactly what it is the chain is connected to in what would’ve been just above the provided image. One item of note is that the chain does seem to be slack, leading to some speculation that whatever it does hold down doesn’t seem to be struggling: another point adding to the mysterious sense of odd tranquility exuded by the shot.
For a while that was pretty much all we had from SCEJ or Team ICO regarding their highly anticipated PS3 debut, until this week when Sony global studio head Shuhei Yoshida revealed that Team ICO leader Fumito Uedo would soon be able to raise the curtains on the project. The tight-lip treatment of the upcoming release has caused an agitation of sorts in the last couple of months as fervor as been building for a possible sighting at this year’s Tokyo Game Show (to be held October 9-12).
Even though Ueda’s been quoted as saying that Team ICO has yet to enter critical development, Yoshida’s reaffirmed that work on the title has been going strong ever since Shadow of the Colossus arrived to market two years ago. Whatever it is, Yoshida hasn’t been shy about dumping praise on what’s been achieved by the developers so far.
Now… if only Ueda and the rest of Team ICO could follow suit at TGS 2008.