Shadow OTC producer speaks

Ico fans in for some surprises.

With not long to go until the release of Shadow of the Colossus, the new PS2 adventure from the people who brought us Ico, the US localisation producer has gone on record to reveal a little more about what we can expect from the game.

Writing on the PlayStation.com message boards, 'Viper99' reiterated that "Shadow is not the sequel to Ico," before stating: "You have to realise that this is the same team and they liked Ico as much as we do.

"There will be a number of things which may cross over from palettes, art style, environments, etc. We may find a few nods / homages to Ico here and there. In fact you may walk away with a number of questions which may lead you to want to play Ico again."

In short, "If you don't know squat about Ico, you will have some surprises; if you are a fan of Ico, you will have some extra surprises."

And Ico references aren't the only surprises in store - "There are a number of interesting things that will be possible once you have made it deep into this game," the producer wrote.

"There are some things that you can find and pick up in the game that will add to the experience, however most are not available the first time through the game.

"Pretty much you have a sword, a bow and a horse the first time around."

Viper99 also wrote that the development team has been working hard to ensure that the control system is spot on: "The controller config has been carefully thought out so as to be intuitive in the context of the different actions you need to do at the same time (i.e. hold on for dear life, camera lock on the colossus, power up a jump, etc.)."

"The team feels that they have it down and trust me, it will grow on you."

We're promised "many diverse environments" - there are 52 areas on the game map, and each one is more than 600 square meters in size. And you can expect "some other puzzles involving the environment, console-like hoppy-jumpy puzzles to get to the colossus," plus "some navigation challenges as you are trying to get through the expanse of the world."

As for the game's length, Viper99 reckons that "With a strat guide and NO DEATHS (good luck on this one) the game could probably be beaten in 8-9 hours.

"Realistically, without a strat guide and dying a few times it will take 12+ hours." And potentially quite a bit longer, even if you're a so-called professional: "Some of the media have received preview copies and a few have taken over 20 hours to beat the game," Viper99 revealed.

"Once you do that you get a few unlocks, a new mode (or two)," he continued.

"There is a lot of replayability as the Colossi do not always co-operate the same way."

Shadow of the Colossus is due out in the States next month, with a European release to follow soon after. And as you'll know if you read our first impressions of the game, it's looking really rather good indeed.

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