Let me set the scene it’s February 17th, 2006 and a young (16-year-old) Graham Day is at HMV and has picked up a copy of Shadow of the Colossus. Not much was known about the game at the time it just looked cool and it was the spiritual successor to the much-beloved Ico. After playing it I was deeply moved by the gameplay, the subversion of the hero saves princess story and the innovative content when dealing with each colossus. This game was so well received by gamers across the globe that a high definition version was released on the PlayStation 3 with trophies and 3D support in 2011, but I’m not here to discuss that version nope I was lucky enough to receive a review code for Shadow of the Colossus from Sony Computer Entertainment and I can’t wait to let you know whether it’s worth your time.
The last couple of years remastering videogames has become the new trend and I was interested to see what Bluepoint Games brought to this latest rendition of Shadow of the Colossus. What the team have brought is a clear love of the original title as this latest version is an almost exact replication of the original game down to how you command your horse Agro to how you increase your stamina and health with the fruit of the land and the lizard tails. Not only that the score of Shadow of the Colossus is heart-poundingly effective when you’re battling each of the 16 colossi, a particular favourite of mine was the Colossus which was flying around the desert as the player and Agro have to perfectly align their partnership to battle this flying beast and bring it crashing to the ground.
On the topic of the colossi they all look stunning and as you can see in the images I took from the game through the use of its new photo mode the level of detail given to them is exceptional. Each colossi’s design is unique and none of their respective battles felt like a retread when I took them all on but that does bring me to the one, fatal, flaw of Shadow of the Colossus.
If you have played either of the previous versions of Shadow of the Colossus then this will be a somewhat boring experience for you. It’s a real shame that innovation couldn’t have been brought into the battles themselves because once you figure out how to defeat any of the colossi the fights become jokes even on the harder difficulties. Add to this that I personally still remembered how to conquer the majority of these beasts and the length of the game is quite short being easily finished in a day, I clocked in 8 hours of gameplay on my first run-through. There are a lot of extra features such as a Game+ mode which adds further playthroughs with increased difficulties and a bevy of bonus content to unlock as you delve further into this adventure.
Shadow of the Colossus is a strange beast, gamers of this current generation are in for an absolute treat because this is a one of a kind game which was so ahead of its time when it was first released 13 years ago. On the other hand, many veteran gamers like myself might feel like the €40.00 price might be a bit too much to walk down nostalgia lane unless of course you are an avid fan of this game and what it did to the gaming landscape when it showed up and you want to see how pretty the colossi look as they spew black stuff from their heads.