Shadow of the Colossus Bluepoint Games / SIE Japan Studio

SHADOW OF THE COLOSSUS

What's Old Is New Again

by Oscar Portillo

When Shadow of the Colossus was announced for ps4, I was a little apprehensive. What did they have planned? What were they going to do to this beloved game?  Why so quickly after the Playstation3 remaster? In a generation where every other game is a remaster or re-release, did we need another? After playing the original on the Playstation 2, twice to completion, and the remaster on the Playstation 3, could I wander the forbidden lands one more time? The answer is oh hell yeah!

  

The story is the same as always, a young man takes his fallen maiden to try and save her from a cursed fate. The young man goes on horseback and enters an broken down castle, and is confronted by a mysterious being, with the ability to resurrect the dead.  The being will resurrect the young lady, but in return the man must vanquish the only inhabitants of the forbidden lands, which are sixteen Colossi. Some as tall as mountains and as powerful as a battering ram.

  

As you begin your journey you can tell right away the visuals are of today's standards. Graphically, I imagine this is what Fumito Ueda envisioned when making the game back in 2005. I was immediately hit with the depth of scale. From the valleys down below, the giant bridge, to the colossi themselves. The hair on the giants is very detailed or the wind rushing through the lands, you can almost feel it. What unfortunately has not made the move to 2018 are the controls and sometimes the camera. You have access too a new control scheme but it still feels archaic to today's standards. While I get this might be part of the “charm” it would have been nice to see the controls truly revamped. The camera during some battles is very frustrating as well.  Blue Point Games definitely did not just do a remaster and called it a day. They recreated the game from the ground up, using the Playstation 2 codes. With support for 4K HDR on the Playstation4 Pro, this makes the Playstation 3 HD remaster version look dated and bland. A nice feature that is added, is the auto save feature. No longer do you have to save manually at the shrines.

Shadow of the Colossus Bluepoint Games / SIE Japan Studio

The world is just breathtaking

What's old is new again, when it comes to Shadow of the Colossus. In the age of mini maps, health bars and at times way to many on screen prompts telling you exactly what to do. It is refreshing to have the minimal of items on the screen. And the minimal of directions, just a sword to reflect the sun to show the way. You have one goal, to slay the beasts, no collecting mindless items, no side quests for just the sake of doing the side quest. No micro transactions or loot boxes to try to nickel and dime you, I think this game broke the mold back in 2005, in 2018 Shadow of the Colossus is like a nice vacation from the norm. What a concept, to play a game that doesn't require more money or countless hours of collecting repetitive items.

 

We have to mention the photo mode as well. With the touch of the d-pad down the game goes into photo mode. Similar games like uncharted and mad max have this welcomed feature. Everything from positioning, zoom in and out, post fx filters are at your disposal to create pictures that can be shared. It might be a little bit of a mood breaker to go into photo mode, but when the world looks that good how can you not stop and take a few snaps.

 

I am glad this game exists, especially today. In every way that it matters Shadow of the Colossus remains a masterpiece. The moment I hear the opening score I feel like I am meeting up with an old friend and we are about to reminisce about old times. Whenever anyone asks if video games are art? This is the game I point to. This is how remasters should be done, brought up to today's standards without diluting what made the original so great. I understand that it might not be everyone's cup of tea, but I do think everyone should at least try it if they can. 

VERDICT:

All that being said, I am giving Shadow of the Colossus a MUST PLAY. There's just no doubt about it.

So did you go back and take on the Colossi? Let us know in the comments below: 

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