Strong links to Team Ico may explain why these first images of Vane, a new indie out of Japan, conjure up comparisons to the atmospheric, bloom-filled beauty of Shadow of the Colossus and Ico. Warning: GIFs ahead.
Vane is an open-world adventure game “based on mystery and exploration”, starring “a child with an odd ability stuck in a strange land”, where he’ll encounter a “dangerous natural environment inhabited by a strange civilization”.
A single-player affair headed to PC first and other platforms later, the game focuses on exploration and puzzle-solving, with other gameplay features to be revealed – presumably something to do with the weather, given what you’ll see in assets and the game’s name (weather-vane, gettit). It has no release date as yet, and currently exists as an early prototype.
What makes the game pull our heartstrings so sharply is its superficial resemblance to PS2 Classics Ico and Shadow of the Colossus; you may see what I mean in the screens and GIFs below. But as well as the aesthetic, the core concept – a strange world and a mysterious, young protagonist – also rings a few bells. If I were Sony I’d snatch this up immediately.
Two veterans of The Last Guardian’s development team are among Friend & Foe’s founding members. Vane coder and artist Rui Guerreiro is a former Team Ico staffer, who spent seven years working on The Last Guardian as a character artist. According to the first dev log Rasmus Deguchi also worked at Sony and contributed to The Last Guardian. Between them the five team members also have experience on Battlefield 3, Bionic Commando and Killzone “to name a few”.
A Tokyo-based team, Friend & Foe is also working on a second project called Dangerous Men.