MARE is a new adventure title from a former member of Team Ico, the studio responsible for the PlayStation classic Ico and the (very, very) long awaited The Last Guardian. Here’s the game’s teaser trailer.

Anyone who has experienced the bewitching, desolate charms of Ico, a 2002 platform-puzzler for PlayStation 2 following a boy’s quest to escape captivity alongside his female companion, you’ll likely draw some similarities with a new title being developed for Oculus platforms called MARE.

There’s a good reason for that too as the sole developer on the title, Rui Guerrero, was also part of Team Ico until he left part way through the group’s torturous development of the forthcoming PS4 title The Last Guardian. At first glance, there are glimpses of MARE which could fleetingly be mistaken for Ico. The bleached, softened lighting cast across a world filled with ancient ruins all towering over the protagonists’ tiny form. But MARE is all new and what’s more, it’s being build for virtual reality.

marescreen_04Coming to Oculus platforms some time next year, MARE follows the journey of a young girl and a mechanical bird as they traverse through a lost, mythical world. In terms of what the game is actually about, little is known just yet. What we do know is that the title is roughly 50% complete and is being built exclusively for Oculus VR hardware. You indirectly control the bird, glancing at key focus points in the world such that the bird triggers key events in the landscape. The recently released trailer (which you can view in full at the top of this page) shows the bird “sailing the winds” swooping between vanes, with the girl in tow.

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marescreen_05The game looks stunning, with vast ancient deserted structures for the duo to explore and a Team-Ico-esque attention to beautiful animation clearly in evidence. A clear visual lineage can be seen here with comparisons to be made with Ico and The Last Guardian, something which will delight fans of those game.

Again, it’s not clear when we’ll see the final version of MARE ship, but Rui Guerreiro has stated that – given his pas experience with protracted development cycles – he’s not willing to set a timeline just yet. You can however find out more about MARE’s somewhat complex development journey thus far in an excellent expose over at Polygon here.

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Based in the UK, Paul has been immersed in interactive entertainment for the best part of 27 years and has followed advances in gaming with a passionate fervour. His obsession with graphical fidelity over the years has had him branded a ‘graphics whore’ (which he views as the highest compliment) more than once and he holds a particular candle for the dream of the ultimate immersive gaming experience. Having followed and been disappointed by the original VR explosion of the 90s, he then founded to follow the new and exciting prospect of the rebirth of VR in products like the Oculus Rift. Paul joined forces with Ben to help build the new Road to VR in preparation for what he sees as VR’s coming of age over the next few years.
  • Bryan Ischo

    Sure the game looks stunning in super high resolution screen shots. How that will translated to the low resolution of VR headsets is yet to be seen.

    • Buddydudeguy

      With proper implementation of pixel density /super sampling and anti-aliasing, it shouldn’t be a problem. Crappy indy VR games with N64 graphics are a victim of limited time, not so much the “low resolution of VR headsets”. You notice the huge difference in graphics quality in the ( limited number) of AAA VR games, it’s due to time spent on the project /number of people/man hours. A few more weeks and a good handful of highly polished big developer stuff is coming. Can’t wait :P

  • Foreign Devil

    Looks great!

  • First second I saw the title of this article my thought was “So how long will it be exclusive to Oculus?”. So irritating…

  • kylio27

    Looks like an almost complete ripoff of the indie game ‘Vane’.

    • Have a look at Polygon’s piece – it’s the same developer.

      • Andrew Jakobs

        It propably is even the same game, but with a new name (happens a lot during development).

  • OgreTactics

    Looks amazing

  • Adderstone VR

    Still not out?