Shadow of the Colossus was originally released back in 2005 on the Playstation 2. Since then it received critical acclaimed and was referred to as one of the best ever Playstation games.
It did receive a HD remaster on the PS3 (combined with spiritual ancestor Ico), but this PS4 release is more than just a HD upgrade. Bluepoint Games have remade the game from the ground up, giving it a modern look and feel, and they have done a magnificent job with such a treasured game.
First I’ll talk about well the game was remade before I talk about the game itself. This doesn’t look like a prettier version of a PS2 game (like the PS3 remake was), this looks like a legit PS4 game. The detail in the architecture, rocks, trees, mountains, etc. looks so beautiful!
This means the views in this game are worth stopping and admiring throughout your time in this land. But what’s really amazing is how Bluepoint Games still managed to keep the art style in tact, and that isolating vibe the original game gives off is still present here.
Everything from the sound effects, animations, and overall tone have been respected and recreated so it still feels like the same game, but just that little more alive.
The PS4 remaster of Shadow of the Colossus also plays the same as before, from movements to jumping, and of course, those epic battles with the colossi themselves. It’s not all perfect though, as controlling your horse is still as fidgety ever. But then again there’s not many games that has great horse controls.
Now to talk about the game itself. You play as a man named Wander, riding into a forbidden land on his loyal horse Agro, in the hopes of reviving what appears to be his love- Mono. To do so, Wander is tasked to kill all the colossi in this forbidden land if he wants to achieve his goal.
From here the game will follow a familiar pattern of you searching for each colossi and hunting them down. By raising your sword, you must point it in the direction where the light gathers, and then set off for your hunt. Once you’ve reached your destination, you’ll meet your target, and the battle will begin!
As much love as this game has received, there is one main criticism I have with it. I just wish there was more to it in between the actual battles. You are essentially following the light until you arrive to the fight, but until then, it’s not all that exciting.
I just wish there was more variety along the way, maybe some decent platforming areas or puzzles to solve on your way to each colossus. That would also extend the life of this otherwise short game. I had these thoughts over 10 years ago when I first played it, and I still feel the same now.
If there’s one thing everyone can agree on, it’s that each and every colossus is absolutely breathtaking! Most of them are gigantic, and you’ll need to be standing pretty far away from them in order to see them fully. All their designs are carefully done and well thought out.
This is because their designs are integrated into how you defeat each one. Even though this may seems like an action game, it really is more of a puzzle game. There is a completely unique way of defeating each one, and trying to work out how to do so is half the fun.
On each colossus is a glowing weak point you’ll need to find, climb to, and attack with your sword in order to defeat it.
While solving the puzzle of each colossus is fun and satisfying, the game does even more to make each battle exciting. The beautiful musical score really lifts and gives each fight that ‘epic’ vibe. Combine that with the way the camera swings around, and its motion blur, really gives each battle a strong cinematic feel to it.
Once you’ve overcome the colossi, there may be a feeling of satisfaction, but also a feeling of sadness. These colossi are such majestic beasts, and you are the one invading their land and killing them to revive one person.
Under the exterior of all the action taking place, this game is an emotional one. It is ultimately a story of love and sacrifice. What would you do for the one you love? What immense efforts would you go through for them? That’s what this game asks and it does a brilliant job of asking.
The game’s ending is also one you’ll never forget and rounds up the story well.
It’s certainly not a long game at all, but every minute you spend on it is special. If you’ve played this game before, it’s worth picking up again. If you’ve never played Shadow of the Colossus before, now’s your chance!