It's a classic hit and exclusive for the PlayStation 2. Released in 2001, a minimalistic action-adventure explores a simple concept - the boy meets the girl. However, the approach of Japanese game designer Fumito Ueda made the game a real hit.
The player takes control of the young boy with horns named Ico. He was kidnapped by a group of soldiers and imprisoned in a stone sarcophagus. The kidnappers plan to sacrifice him, but Ico manages to flee. During the escape, he stumbles upon a girl named Yorda speaking a different language. She is the daughter of the castle’s Queen. The mother is going to use the body of Yorda to extend her life. So begins a long road to freedom.
The game has many innovative mechanics: for example, the story is told with the minimal use of words, it also used new graphics techniques never seen before on consoles. Despite the commercial failure, the game is recognized as a work of art and is considered must play for all fans of video games.
More like an 8.5. If not for the clunky controls and sometimes broken mechanics, this game could be more enjoyable, having said that, I can only imagine the emotions I could feel if I played this as a teenager back in 2001. Ico pulls of something truly incredible and beautiful with Yorda (the girl who is with you in your journey), instead of giving her depth with cinematic cutscenes or heavy dialogue, you gain that depth through gameplay, and by the end of your journey you are not playing with an obstacle or a mechanic, you're playing with an actual being, and for me that's how video games should be.
The story is so cryptic and powerful that you want to give some thought, also playing this in 2018 it seems to me that this game was a heavy influence or inspiration for Dark Souls, from the cryptic and almost non-cinematic story to some of the stages and environment design. I don't think it aged that well or that this is a masterpiece, but I'm sure that this game has to be played by everyone.