For a 2001 PS 2
game, the graphics are surprisingly beautiful. There aren't a lot of stuff that you can do in the environment, apart from climbing and swinging, but that's nothing to nitpick about; your only concern is to leave the castle, after all. The Mooks aren't that frustrating to fight; it's when they grab Yorda, drag her down into a pit, and knock Ico out while saving her that annoys me. The camera itself can get clunky, particularly when I zoom in and move around with it. Getting confused about where to go is my own fault, and the times where Yorda runs to one place, stops abruptly, slowly turns around and runs into something else while changing direction is because I've already done something beforehand that inhibited her from going where she wanted to.
Unusually, Yorda hints at a puzzle advancement depending on the location, which you can tell by her trademark pointing and corresponding Verbal Tic
of "ee-ko". Furthermore, Yorda sometimes walks around and looks for a way before she points to the object/area of interest, giving the impression that she's helping you look for a way out. For example, in the first time you needed to plant a bomb on a pillar to level a bridge, I went to the door through the chain and called her, but she went to the bridge instead, waiting for me to go while facing the direction of the closed door instead of the opened one. She wanted to walk through the bridge and to the door that we came in, because in that adjacent area was a wall of stairs just underneath a save-couch. Walk down and you can see a row of bombs sitting just next to a door. Don't use FAQ, because if you pay attention and follow in the direction that she's facing, Yorda can truly shine her Artificial Brilliance
. I was confused at first, but like she trusts Ico to get her somewhere, I can trust her to lead me where I need to go. I've never had that happen before, not even with Agro.
The point of the game isn't about the plot, the visuals or the gameplay, though each contributes to some degree. The point of Ico
is how you manage to get around with Yorda, connecting with her while she and Ico try to escape the castle. If you haven't developed a bond with either of those two, then you've wasted your time with the game (e.g. the more-negative reviewer did that).