If you are roughly the same age as me & played video games, then the chances are you will have owned a PS2. If you did, then you may or may not have played the Team ICO classic Shadow of The Colossus. I came across the game quite late in the PS2's life-cycle, I think I picked it up maybe a couple of weeks before I upgraded to a PS3 on launch day - hence I never got round to finishing it. I felt really bad about not finishing the game because it was such a celebrated title, and what I did play of it was fantastic.
Luckily though, Bluepoint Games have fully remastered this classic for PS4 in glorious HD & following the overwhelmingly positive reviews, I decided to pick this up & finally play through it in full. Check out the launch trailer below:
Shadow of The Colossus tells the story of a character called Wander who enters a forbidden land in search of a cure to bring his girlfriend, Mono, back to life. In order to restore her life, he makes a deal to defeat 16 beings known as Colossi that are spread throughout the land. And with that, you are set on your way - with nothing but your horse (Agro), a sword (which acts are your compass) & a bow.
The gameplay starts from a central point - the temple where you begin your quest, and from here you must make your way across the sprawling, barren, but beautiful landscape in search of the Colossi. This is where the game really differs from other titles; there is no levels, towns or dungeon that you need to explore & there is no enemies other than the Colossi. Using your sword to guide the way (you hold it in the air and it shines a light in the direction of the Colossi), you make your way across the landscape, often traversing bridges & obstacles that will lead to a remote location where you discover the giant Colossi.
The Colossi battles each serve as a cross between a traditional boss battle & a puzzle, usually requiring the player to figure out the giants weak-spots, and how to get to them. This would typically involve finding a way to scale the beast to reach these glowing weak spots & whilst they start relatively simple, as the game progresses they do become quite challenging! The battles are incredible, and offer some of the most rewarding moments I've ever experienced in gaming & the soundtrack that kicks in when you finally get on a Colossi is such a memorable track.
With being a re-master there is a few drawbacks; the controls can be slightly shonky (although not as bad as the original) and they do take some getting used to - the amount of times I forgot to hold R2 whilst climbing & fell to my death was unbelievable. The camera can be a nightmare at times, but it's something that you just get used to eventually.
Visually, the game is spectacular & offers some absolutely breathtaking scenery. Whilst not as vast & certainly not as populated, it reminded me somewhat of last years Game of The Year - The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild. It offers for some fantastic moments to use the in game photo mode - a feature that now seems to be standard for most Sony 1st party releases. Check out some of my screenshots below:
Overall, I'm delighted that I decided to finally play through this game. It is a true classic, and one that I feel all gamers owe it to themselves to play. It was such a thrilling experience from start to finish - and such a nostalgia rush to when I first played it back in 2006. I wonder if similar will be done to Team ICO's first outing, ICO as I never played that game at all & also it has given me appetite to play their game that spent years in development hell - The Last Guardian. You can pick this game up for less than £20 now & for the satisfaction I took from it, I certainly feel it is money well spent.
You won't play many games like Shadow of The Colossus & it gets 4.5 out of 5 from me.