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Ico is an adventure game for the Playstation2. If there was any doubt about the PS2 being the most fantastic piece of gaming hardware ever built, you can settle that doubt with games like Metal Gear Solid 2, Gran Turismo 3, and Ico.

Ico is the name of the protagonist, a young, somewhat awkward boy who happened to be born with horns. Evidently the villagers in the town where he lived were frightened by his visage and locked him in a castle, where the action of the story takes place. As you play the demo, the smooth, crisp graphics, the detailed textures, and the wholly believable environments immerse you in the game - and without any sort of interface in the way (numbers, health bars, lives, menus), you become more involved with the characters themselves. Ico has the help of a blind, almost ethereal princess named Jorda. The two characters speak different languages, although Ico, you, have subtitles. There is also report of a devious villain who happens to conveniently speak both languages, and that if you beat the game, Jorda's lines are subtitled as well.

Ico and Jorda's motions are superb, and the physics are somewhat realistic. Standard gaming physics like the ability to change direction in mid-jump don't work, for instance, and if Ico picks up something heavy, he staggers and sometimes stumbles under its weight.

The demo had some simple but curious puzzles, and some black-smog bad guys you have to beat with your stick. The most cool part was the impressive windmill in the one scene where you're outdoors in the demo, outside the sun is shining, the grass is green, and birds flit about, which belies the dark gritty castle interior.

All in all, the game's originality, intrigue, and astounding visuals make it one I'm looking forward to playing as soon as it comes out.
Ico is developed by a new team of programmers internally at Sony Computer Entertainment, and is due to be released September 25th, 2001.