Goodness: Ico-Esque Toren Is Breathtaking

By Nathan Grayson on October 22nd, 2013 at 12:00 pm.

I may look a lot like a dragon who's going to eat you, but I'm really a metaphor. And also a dragon who's going to eat you.

Regrettably, I must confess that I had forgotten all about Toren. It’s been wandering around the shadowy halls of gaming’s collective consciousness for more than a year, but it hasn’t made much noise since it was first announced. But wow, it’s definitely got the tools to leave an impression. The hauntingly solitary vibe and environments that breathe beautiful mystery make me think of a more colorful Ico, but it’s also quite obviously it’s own animal. Most interestingly, the puzzle adventure is built around an epic poem, so uh, take that, Child of Light. Toren was doing it before it was cool. Absolutely enchanting trailer below.

The game heralds from Brazil and is apparently one of the first to be supported by the country’s Cultural Incentive Law. Here, on admittedly vague terms, is what Toren’s about:

“Toren is a puzzle/adventure game with beautiful graphics, innovative and immersive gameplay, which leads the player through an introspective and captivating journey. Built around an epic poem, the game takes the audience in an torrent of discoveries about the greatest myth of all: the meaning of life.”

“Toren is a game in development, with transformation in mind, using an environment with a constant threat: a relentless enemy. The experience desired for the player is the human struggle against time and mortality. A game to be experienced, in which the player will grow and change along with the tower and its heroes.”

So it certainly has big aspirations, but good ideas will only carry you so far. All the beard-fluffifying philosophy and eye candy in the world can’t save a bad game. We shall see.

Soon, even! That’s the only thing resembling a release window the developers are offering at this point, but it’s still better than “never” or “I don’t know, I guess when we get around to it or something, if we feel like it.” Until then (whenever then actually is), I suppose we wait. We wait, and we go, “Ooooooooooooooooooo.”

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20 Comments »

  1. GamesInquirer says:

    Not seeing much of Ico there myself. Looks neat if not exactly breathtaking though.

    Here on the other hand, definitely getting Ico x Skyward Sword vibes.

    • smeaa mario says:

      The Youtube-linked game above is one fantastic work too. Please feature it too dear RPS.

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  3. Eight Rooks says:

    Yeah, I like this. Very nice. Kinda crude in places, but it almost seems to enhance the effect – it feels like some kind of strange arthouse stop-motion movie made on a shoestring budget but with a pretty vivid imagination driving it.

    It actually reminds me a whole lot of Namco/Game Republic’s ill-fated Majin & the Forsaken Kingdom, which makes me happy, given I was just arguing on the forums how it’s a crying shame the mediocre Enslaved gets resurrected – with a PC port, no less – and Majin gets forgotten.

  4. Caerphoto says:

    Is it just me or does the video look like it was shot on a camcorder pointed at a TV screen?

  5. Drake Sigar says:

    Don’t think I’ve played anything from Brazil before. That alone makes me interested.

    • Viroso says:

      Some games you might have not known were Brazilian: Oniken, Knights of Pen and Paper, Chroma Squad and Dungeonland.

      • Faldrath says:

        There’s also Reiza Studios, which are fairly well regarded in the racing sim community, with games like Game Stock Car and Formula Truck.

        • Bugamn says:

          There was also Outlive, a Starcraft clone. I still have the CD.

    • Thrippy says:

      Papa & Yo is set in Brazil. Dev Vander Caballero is from Colombia and lives in Montreal. It’s an honorary Brazilian game. Reus was made in the Netherlands. Shad’O is from France (I read Okugi Studios is bankrupt! Noooo.)

      I’ve come to realize throughout 2013 that, for me, Enchantment in games was surprisingly often imported from other countries.

      The games above had such a fresh novel atmosphere, I felt child-like renewal from all the fresh. American/UK indie developers are beginning to lose their monopoly on freshness. This trend is maybe approaching a warning and wake up call to the English indie world: quit pumping out unfresh generic platformers. At least it looks that way from the narrow perspective of observing new Steam releases in 2013.

      • pilouuuu says:

        Let’s not forget Max Payne 3 and Call of Duty something which are set in Brazil.

    • pilouuuu says:

      Hopefully they are as good as games from Chile (i.e.: Zeno Clash). I wish there were more games not from USA.

  6. Turkey says:

    Looks nice, but I doubt It’ll make me grow and change along with the tower and its heroes.

  7. SheridaH says:

    Ah nice to see something of this game again, it’s been way too long. I remember playing the alpha a few years back on Onlive!

    • LTK says:

      I was about to say the same thing! But it can’t have been years ago, can it?

  8. Spoon Of Doom says:

    I was sold at “Ico-esque”. Where do I throw my money?