I’ve been contemplating playing this game for a while but never picked it up when it originally came out on the PS2. I heard that this was supposed to be a sequel to Ico but I believe they changed their minds when they produced this game. I always had another game that I was buying at the time and I never made a note to get it. If I’m honest I have a terrible habit of picking up games and not doing any research because I think it’s more fun to learn more about the game as I go along. That is essentially how I’ve picked them unless they are free on PS Plus!!
My partner was asking me what I wanted for my birthday; then I knew what I wanted because I heard it was coming out on the PS4 . I then took the decision and it was time to play this. My birthday arrived and my partner had gotten it for me. I honestly couldn’t had put the disc into the PS4 quick enough and then waited patiently for the update which felt like forever. Now it was time to play…. Shadow of the Colossus.
I just couldn’t describe how eerie the story was in Shadow of the Colossus. The character I came to known as Wander came to The Forbidden Land to bring back to life a girl called Mono who was sacrificed because she was believed to have a cursed fate. He speaks to Dormin an disembodied entity in the Shrine of Worship who has powers to revive the dead. In order to Dormin to do the Forbidden Spell, Wander must defeat all the Colossi in the Forbidden Land. Wander and Argo (his faithful horse) must use the Ancient Sword which reflects in the light to point them towards the Colossi in the Forbidden Land.
Shrouded in mystery Shadow of the Colossus gives little to no detail about the world or the back story. What made Wander go to the Forbidden Land to revive Mono? What is Wander and Mono relationship e.g. lovers, brother and sisters, etc? What was Mono’s cursed fate? I felt after completing the story some of my questions were answered about the world and the Shrine of Worship but not about Wander and Mono. I never felt like this before about a game where I felt like I was missing something important the entire time. It was only until I completed the game that I found myself going on the internet to try and out find more.
The Colossi you had to defeat were all unique and well designed for the game. I have to say it took some time to defeat them and you had to use the environment to help defeat some of the Colossi. I like how you had traverse up the Colossi to reach the weak areas and in order to kill them – no Colossi you could treat the same as they all had different techniques to defeat them. I would also have to say be patient because sometimes it’s not always worth going in for an extra attack and also use the weapons available they will help with some!! In total there were sixteen Colossi I defeated to complete the game which really didn’t take me that long to do.
There is an option to do Time Attacks in New Game+ which involves you going to the various Colossi statues in the Shrine of Worship and praying at them. It then brings up on screen the Colossi and the time you have to beat to defeat each Colossi. If you defeat them before the time is up you have a reward for every two you beat. These will aid you when you play through the main story line again and aid you to defeat the Colossi. You can get different items/abilities depending if you do Normal+ and Hard+ – I strongly suggest you do both. They are really challenging and the amount of time I screamed, raged quit and got so angry was unbelievable.
Overall I really enjoyed the story but I felt it was a really short story which in total took me nearly 9 hours to finish. That being said there were lots of things you could do like collect items and find shrines in the area which I had to find out along the way. I also appreciate that after defeating the Colossi there isn’t much way to extend the story without it feeling like it was force-ably extended. Time attacks were fun and really challenging but I felt I had to wait a little bit before going back to it because after completing the main story I couldn’t face doing another play through that soon. It was so much fun getting new items that aided you to kill the Colossi after completing so many of the Time attack on Normal+ and Hard+.
Bluepoint Game did a fantastic job of remastering this game – they literally remade this game and they are well known for remastering classics games like God of War. Although I never played it on the PS2 from the comparison pictures they have kept the effects the original game wanted to originally achieve but equally improved it for the current console capabilities. I only wished I had the PS4 Pro because it would have been beautiful (still is) to see it in 4K. I just couldn’t believe how they managed to capture the essence of a beautiful yet desolate world. The graphics look so much cleaner and sharper in the PS4 but I could imagine myself playing it on the PS2 and thinking it was like the best thing ever.
PS2 Graphics PS4 Graphics
I have to talk about the musical composition in this game I mean when I watched the Prologue at the beginning of the game I nearly cried. I hate to admit it that I nearly cried before even playing the game. The orchestral soundtrack to me gave the impression of eerie world and the decay of the land. It really set the scene for the game I’m lost for words on how fantastic it is and how well it went with the game. The Composer is Kow Otani and I believe this was the original soundtrack from the PS2. He has done so many orchestral scores for animes like Gundam Wing. He is definitely worth checking out and I will leave a link to the Prologue below. Sometimes you just need to watch and listen for yourself to appreciate the beauty of it.
To conclude my review of Shadow of the Colossus I honestly wish I picked this game up sooner. It has since been voted Players Choice on the Playstation Blog for February 2018 and to be honest I can obviously see why. I am currently obsessed with this game and I have to say that it is currently my favourite game that has come out this year. I wish the story was longer but that could just be because I enjoyed it to much. I would love Bluepoint to remaster Ico because Shadow of the Colossus was supposed to be a sequel to Ico so it would be great to understand how it may of linked into this game.