Editorial: Where the Wild Thing Shouldn’t Be

While that title might imply that I’ll be talking about the surprisingly impressive Where The Wild Things Are movie trailer, Lusipurr.com is not the venue for such discussion until the assumedly horrible liscensed video game tie-in hits stores.

No, instead I wish to weigh in on the recently leaked trailer for Project Trico. While nothing has been officially confirmed yet, the gaming world has pretty much universally accepted that this is the real deal with even reports of gaming journalists confirming that they saw this trailer behind closed doors at last year’s E3. So I’m going to write based on the assumption that this is a legitimate concept trailer for the spiritual follow-up to Shadow of the Colossus and Ico.

Anybody who has read any of my work has likely seen at least one billion drooling references to Shadow of the Colossus in which I sing its praises and defend its glory. So it’s no wonder that I’ve been desperately waiting for over three years for even a taste of Team Ico’s next project.
Well I finally got that taste, and what do I think?

Meh.

For those of you who didn’t click the YouTube link or haven’t seen the trailer, the premise is this: You play a young boy who has befriended a cat-like griffin beast and the two of you skip around a beautiful world exploring carverns and sharing heart-warming moments.

I wish this was still all I knew about the game...
I wish this was still all I knew about the game...

While I can appreciate that Team Ico wants to keep their games fresh, and while bringing in the Cat-bird-mouse is certainly a way to do that, I’m just not convinced that this isn’t a step backward for the series. The game appears to be focused on partnership. The boy uses the creature to reach places he couldn’t normally while the boy seems to find barrels of water for the creature and also use his smaller size to explore certain areas and caverns the creature can’t get to.

My issue is this: while Ico‘s partnership mechanics were innovative and occasionally satisfying, I found them to be primarily more annoying than anything else. Shadow of the Colossus was liberating because you didn’t have to maintain anything or keep track of anyone except yourself and so the game truly progressed at your own pace. The horse was there for the companionship and worked as a partner for some of the colossi battles, but I never had to think “oh crap, have I watered the monster?”. I’m aware that this is just a trailer, and I hope seeing more of the game turns me around, but as it stands, I’m not excited.

What do you guys think of the trailer? The response seems to be overwhelmingly positive from Team Ico fans, so maybe I’m alone with a negative opinion for once in my life. Hopefully E3 shows us more than this apparently year old trailer, but this is all we have to go off of for now, so discuss below!

0 comments

  1. Its a old trailer, almost a year or so old at that. The “Nico” Trailer for what became SotC Looked no where as good as how the finished game out to be. This game will be beautiful, And I already felt emotion just from this trailer.

  2. I agree about the Nico trailer. But I guess I was so unimpressed that all the emotion came across as very expected and predictable to me. But again, it’s just first impressions from an early trailer.

  3. Knee jerk much? I don’t know how you can deduce that the sky is falling in just from watching a few old cutscenes. From what I saw the game needs a buch more work to polish the visuals, but I did enjoy the sense of genuine warmth the game seems to invoke with the boy/beast relationship, it was very Miyazakiesque. As for the gameplay, we didn’t see any.

  4. @SN – I admitted multiple times that this was a first reaction to an early trailer.
    Also, we didn’t see actual gameplay, but the scenes absolutely hinted at what the gameplay would be. Throwing water barrels into its mouth, being lifted up on its head to reach a new platform, climbing down its tail.
    Although I did love how the game hinted at how alive the monster character would be, even more so than the horse.
    The genuine warmth felt more planted and obvious to me.

  5. I hate to say it, but I didn’t really get those types of feelings watching trailers for Ico or SotC, either. Personally, I only really enjoyed the games when I got a chance to play them (even watching somebody else play them didn’t really do anything for me). I’m hopeing this will be another case like that since, like Ethos, I don’t think I got any of the emotions I was supposed to from the trailer.

  6. Y’know, I wish it was kicking around for this, but I’m not going to front a reaction because it’s what people expect.

  7. You just keep surprising us Ethos. XD

    There’s a reason Team Ico never released this footage however, and that is becaus (a) it gives no indication (excluing a few thematic hints) as to how the game is going to play, and (b) because the graphics look extremely unpolished and the character model of the protagonist looks just awful. If Team Ico actually released a trailer that looked like this I would be the first to bemoan their efforts, but this looks more like an internal tech demo never intended for the light of day.

  8. Oh really? I actually think it looks nice, and thought that it “leaked” secretly on purpose. That just seems to be their graphical style, and I still think it’s possible that we WERE looking at early gameplay footage.
    But you definitely could be right as well (and I hope you are). I hope E3 will clear a bit of that up.

  9. Yeah I really doubt that this is a representative sample of what we can expect, if the main character looks that awkward in the retail version I will be shocked and dissapointed. As for gameplay, I certainly didn’t see any. Maybe these scripted events were the result of meeting certain gameplay conditions, but I really doubt any of the sequences were comprised of real-time gameplay.

  10. I don’t know. It seems very Team Ico-ian to control swimming, when to make the monster stand up to let the boy onto a ledge, or when to decide to climb up/down its tail. Obviously the opening scene, and the epic scene with the monster perched on the pillar are more in the realm of cut-scene.
    Anyway, this is obviously just educated speculation from both of us, but I think we can agree we both want the game to be fantastic.

  11. That’s what I meant by “scripted events resulting from meeting meeting the appropriate gameplay conditions”, you know like in God of War when you meet the conditions to open up a new path and are greeted with a good looking several second non-interactive cut-scene clearing your way for progression. Some of the scenes we see in the trailor could make an appearence amidst gameplay, yet I’m pretty sure that none of them are under the direct control of players….then again I’d love to be wrong, I’m all for the blurring of the lines between gameplay and cinematics.