The good news is, the Ancient God you found can totally bring your beloved back to life. The bad news is, his payment for doing so is 16 massive corpses.
“Shadow of the Colossus” is a remake of the beloved Playstation (PS) 2 game, and all of the classic elements have returned. You’ll find yourself roaming a sizable landscape on your horse, searching for giants so you can stab them to death. These giants, the titular Colossi, represent many things at once; they are bosses, puzzles, platforming sections, story progression and basically the only thing to do in the game. The game revolves around climbing these huge creatures and beating them by attacking their weak points. There are some collectables scattered across the world, but there are no side quests or mini-games to distract you from your goal of felling the mighty creatures.
Each Colossus is unique, both in terms of appearance and how you kill it. This makes each one exciting to encounter and challenging to fight, not to mention majestic and memorable. The rush you feel when you finally find the next massive opponent is surpassed only by discovering its weakness and implementing your attack. When you find yourself desperately clinging to the arm of a 97-foot-tall goliath, your whole body flapping as it tries to shake you off, you feel an intensity very few games can match.
As if the game’s unparalleled battles with Colossi weren’t enough, the game is also a masterpiece of art and sound. The story is sparse, but engaging. It tells a simple, haunting story through subtle clues and minimal dialogue. The atmosphere is beautiful and majestic, yet tinged with sadness, and the music adds to the experience perfectly: It changes from a soft, elegant tune to a boisterous explosion once you grab onto your prey and start climbing.
It’s a shame then that the game has so many little annoyances that can ruin the flow it builds so well. It wasn’t uncommon for the quest to find the Colossus to take longer than the actual fight itself. The fights can involve a lot of waiting too; from waiting for the giant to stop shaking so you can finally attack, to waiting to get up after a particularly hard hit, to waiting for the Colossus to do the one specific move that you need them to do.
There is also a set order in which you must face the Colossi, which means there’s no way to save one for later if you’re stuck. And not every Colossus is a winner, with some ranging from disappointing to infuriating.
When it works, “Shadow of the Colossus” is unrivaled. The feeling you get when the soundtrack blasts and you hang for dear life onto a creature 20 times your size can’t be found in any other game. The beautiful art, memorable bosses and haunting story make this game truly worthy of its reputation. This makes it all the more tragic that it’s many small issues and annoyances can cause players to quit in frustration or leave a major blemish on an otherwise masterpiece.
Game: “Shadow of the Colossus”
Developed by: Team Ico, Bluepoint Games
Rating: 4/5 Stars