Name: Shadow of the Colossus
Developer: Bluepoint Games
Publisher: Sony Japan
Platforms: PlayStation 4
Reviewed on: PlayStation 4
Acquired: *A self bought copy of this game*
It’s been a long time since my first encounter with Shadow of the Colossus (on the PS2), and finally I got my hands on the remake for the PS4. Is it possible to improve on perfection? Does the gameplay keep up after so many years? Only one way to find out!
You play as Wander, a young man who has come to this forbidden land to resurrect a girl called Mono. To fulfill this, he needs to kill 16 colossi, so the gods will listen to his wish to resurrect the girl.
What has to be said, though, is the fact that the story is very minimal, and doesn’t make too much of itself. However, it is one of the best stories I have played in a game. I honestly don’t want to say too much about the story (you know, spoilers and all), but it is very japanese – so if you enjoy the japanese style in stories, you’ll certainly love this one as well.
This game looks simply stunning, Agro (the horse) looks magnificent, the world looks almost perfect, and each colossus are stunning! However, both Wander and Mono looks a bit out of place, as they haven’t gotten the same stunning looks as the rest of the world.
The developers have made the rest of the game look top-notch, and it’s definitely one of the best looking games I’ve played on the PS4. The fact that they have redone every single texture is obvious. The game is also available in 4K (or 60fps) on the PS4 Pro.
I’ll start of by stating the obvious; holy smokes this game has some amazing gameplay! Every single fight is different, yet familiar. The feeling once you take down a colossus is fantastic, and frankly, just riding around on Agro is quite amazing too! Although most of the game is focused on defeating the colossi, you have some other stuff to do. Like collecting fruit and lizards, and visiting shrines. All to make Wander’s health and stamina rise. This, however, is all optional, and personally I preferred not building up so much stamina as it would have made the game too easy, taking down colossi should be difficult in my opinion.
What I especially like though, is the stamina system. Wander can’t hold on to a colossus for too long before getting tired and falling back down again. I know what you’re thinking “This will make climbing each colossus impossible”, but no, each colossus has several resting points, where Wander regain some stamina before moving on. And here comes the very clever part, once you’re at the colossus’ weak point, you obviously need to stab it. However, the colossus will try to shake you off, and therefore you have to find the perfect moment to strike. You can either go for a fast strike, and not do so much damage each time, or you can build up strength and take more of the colossus’ life each time. However, build your strength too long and the colossus will manage to shake you off, don’t let your strength build enough and you’ll have to stab the colossus hundreds of times before it dies. I simply love this mechanic! It’s fun, it’s tactical and it just works perfectly.
Unfortunately the controls still feels a little weird to me, just as in the first game. I mean, they have improved slightly, but they’re still not responsive enough, for my liking. Once you’ve gotten into the flow with the controls though, they work well enough. The grabbing is intuitive, and so is the swordplay. Actually, I especially like the swordplay, as it has a tactical aspect, which I mentioned under gameplay.
As your progress with stamina and health is carried over between games, the replay value in-between games is high. Even during the first playthrough the replay value is quite high, as you can redo all the colossi and try to kill them in a shorter amount of time. This is also required in order to get the platinum trophy, but it’s not too hard to achieve those requirements.
If you haven’t played Shadow of the Colossus before you simply have one thing to do – go out and buy it! Shadow of the Colossus shows how game can be art, and it is a true masterpiece. Actually, it’s almost to the point of which I’d advise you to get a PS4 just to play this game. This obviously also goes if you played the original on the PS2, but if you did, I assume you’ve already bought it. The only complaint I have is that the controls could be better, at least when it comes to controlling Wander’s movement. Yet, simply put; this is a must buy.
Excellent replay value
The world has a great feel to it
The controls could be better
Wander could look better
Replay Value: 9/10
Total Score: 9/10
Amazing *Almost everything is top notch, most likely a must have*