Shadow of the Colossus Review: Stands the Test of Time, A Masterpiece
It is hard to believe that Shadow of the Colossus originally released 13 years ago. It is without a doubt a timeless masterpiece. It came back to life in the form of Shadow of the Colossus remake.
No matter what you call it – remake, reboot, remaster, it is everything and more. Even though it is over a decade old, its re-release showed that it can still hold its ground against some of the best modern-day titles. Credit goes to Bluepoint Games for reviving so many good childhood memories.
What’s great about this game is that its core design has aged very well. It is probably the best game to ever release in the action-adventure genre. The freshness provided to this classic brings out and highlights its so many great features. The improvements you see aren’t there to hide the game’s flaws, each improvement is there to enhance various aspects. If you are harboring decades of affection for this game than you have already played it. But for those who haven’t, it is a fairy-tale, a twisted one.
Our brave hero wants to save the fair maiden by performing heroic feets, taking down gigantic monsters. The main narrative revolves around death, love, sacrifice, without ever directly riding the plot. Your goal is to save a fair maiden from her cursed fate but exactly how far are you willing to go?
16 giants must be sacrificed to bring life to the fallen maiden. 16 Colossus must die for the maiden!
Guided by an enchanted sword, the brave man navigates the Forbidden Lands to hunt down these beasts. You are never distracted away from the main plot, each kill will get you closer to the main goal.
There is a definite sense of progression after slaying each colossus. As you head into each battle, you are simply in awe over the amazing job Bluepoint Games has done. Butter smooth framerate, 4KHDR support for the Pro, high-res textures, improved lighting and character models, what else could we expect from a classic in the modern era?
PlayStation 4 Pro players can experience the game in 4K 30FPS or lock it at 60FPS on 1080p. Each graphical enhancement compliments the wind running through the tall grass, light shining through the valleys. While the graphics bring this game to 2018, the stuffy controls, and the uncomfortable camera will take you back to 2005. Shadow of the Colossus retains all of those mechanical issues from 2005’s release.
But thanks to a number of tweaks and new control scheme options, you can adjust gameplay to your liking. PlayStation 4 version makes things more user-friendly. With these mechanical problems, you are asked to tackled enormous beasts. For newcomers, it would take some getting used to. Since story elements are thin and widely spread out, the only real progression in terms of the story comes when you take down a beast; which is why the vast openness of the Forbidden Lands often feels empty.
Coming face to face with the Colossus is an overwhelming experience. Even though they can squash you like a bug, there is a strange calmness to each encounter. You never panic, you’re simply in awe over the transcendent creatures. It’s humorous to think a tiny person can take down something of that stature. It reminds me of a story I heard as a child, explaining how an ant can kill an elephant by entering through his nose. You’re an ant, climb up the beast and find a weakness; this pretty much sums up Shadow of the Colossus.
Poke the beast with your sword at the right time and right place on his body and he’ll go down. The process may sound repetitive but it really isn’t, which is what makes Shadow of the Colossus so special. Each encounter is different and requires pattern study and most of all, environmental awareness.
The goal is to climb up these creatures and trust me if you haven’t played this game before you may end up breaking a couple of controller in rage. Tactics and procedure to climb up each of the Colossus are unique. Figuring the details out is a task, let me tell you. Your stamina drains as you make efforts to climb up while attacking its sigils drains the health bar of the beast.
As you get close to success and your stamina drains, the tension rises. It’s one of those games that leave a lasting impression. Those who loved The Witcher 3 would know that once you are done with that game, in your head you keep thinking and remembering each encounter and aspect of it. The experience is similar here, you end up remembering and admiring the game once you are done; it leaves an emptiness inside that makes you want to experience it again for the first time in order to feel to those emotions again.
However, going back to face the beasts isn’t as engaging as the first time but there are other elements you play around with and have fun.
Developers have added a new Photo Mode so you can pause the game at any point to take pictures; and edit them using filters, shaders, effects etc. I am sure we’ll see some great images on social media soon.