Irrational Games, perhaps best known for the System Shock titles, along with the more recent Bioshock, has been tight-lipped about its upcoming project ever since Bioshock's release, refusing to give any solid information about what the upcoming title may be. What is Icarus? may not be doing much to change that, but hey -- it's better than nothing.
It's likely that we will uncover more about Project Icarus on August 11, the date of an upcoming press event being hosted by Irrational. Now then, is the time for speculation. Let's start with the name.
"Icarus" is seemingly a reference to the famed character from Greek Mythology, but it's doubtful that Irrational's next project will be based on a Greek Myth. If the story of Icarus is even related to the upcoming Irrational title, then it's likely that Ken Levine and team selected the project title because the two share similar themes.
In case you're unfamiliar with the story of Icarus, it's pretty simple --Icarus and his father were people imprisoned by the evil King Minos, who then escaped with wings that had been fashioned out of wax and feathers. The ecstasy of flying made Icarus careless and, disobeying his father's wishes, he flew too close to the sun. The wax melted and Icarus plunged into the Icarian Sea, dying in the process. As I said, it's unlikely that Irrational would base a game around such a story, but then again, stranger things have happened.
If the project title was chosen due to linked themes, then perhaps Project Icarus will focus on a gameplay mechanic based around a form of unimaginable power. You can use it as often as you like, but if you use it too much (ie. get too close to the sun) then you're punished in some way, either by death or some form of loss of control. It's also entirely possible that Irrational are planning on making a Flight Combat Simulator, and Icarus was chosen to represent the impossibly brilliant sense of flight. I wouldn't bet on that, mind you.
Of course, it's also entirely possible that the project title was chosen simply because it sounded badass. Whichever it is, remember that these are the guys who made Bioshock, so you're going to want to keep an eye on the it. I would also highly recommend that you check out Irrational Interviews, a podcast hosted by Shawn Elliot, Ken Levine (both of Irrational Games) and special guest Todd Howard (of Bethesda Softworks) -- it's a fascinating look at the gaming world through the eyes of games developers. It starts a little slow, but it's very insightful, and definitely worth your time!
So, do you have any theories about Project Icarus? Are you excited to hear more about the Irrational Games title? Let us know in the comments below.