Shadow Of The Colossus

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a game by SCEA
Platforms: Playstation 4, Playstation 3, Playstation 2
Editor Rating: 8.2/10, based on 3 reviews, 4 reviews are shown
User Rating: 7.9/10 - 24 votes
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See also: Puzzle Games, Action Adventure Games, Games Like Dragon's Dogma
Shadow Of The Colossus
Shadow Of The Colossus
Shadow Of The Colossus

In an era where the PS2 was the mac-daddy of all consoles, iconic games were flying off the shelves left and right. Developers were providing games that were elevating every existing genre. However, there were few studios that had the nerve to step out of the box and create something truly conceptual and unique. Team Ico were a studio renowned for creating experiences like this as the had none with Ico. However, it was in 2005 that they would create what is still to this day, their magnum opus. We are of course, referring to the wonderful Shadow of the Colossus

This game plays unlike any other in truth. However, if were to draw comparisons, the art style would be much like Ico or The last Guardian. The combat and climbing aspects are somewhat like the Uncharted series. Then the horse riding through vast open areas wouldn’t be unlike games within The Legend Of Zelda series. This game is a huge debating tool in discussing if games can be considered art and we are here to tell you why in our review of Shadow of the Colossus.

A Profound Silent Narrative

The most striking and profound aspect of this game comes through the silent storytelling through the actions of the player. The main goal is to rescue your love by killing the Colossus giants of the realm. These hulking beasts are fearsome but when you come upon them, they seem like docile creatures who do not seek to fight you. Which makes it all the more gut-wrenching when you have to take them down. With each strike, you question the morality of your actions and that in a nutshell is the profound power this game has a silent storytelling device.

The gameplay itself is also captivating too. Not just due to the intense and action-packed battles with the Colossus, but also due to the lulls in between. The player will be given time to think, time to question your actions and time to take in the breath-taking scenery that engulfs the player.

A Captivating World

The environment that the player traverses during this quest is truly a sight to behold. The visual quality even back in 2005 still holds up very well to this day. The character models, environmental assets and colossi models are all rendered to perfection. Plus, even in hindsight, the earthy colour palette and the grainy, washed out look offers an aesthetic that is still rather becoming in a nostalgic sort of way. Akin to the way that Silent Hill looks like in the harsh light of 2021. The only real drawbacks we witnessed in regards to how this game plays is the camera which can be a real pain at times, especially during battles with the colossi. Plus, as an experience, we think that it does end rather abruptly and perhaps a few more battles would have elongated the experience without having it overstaying it’s welcome.

The Verdict

When you think of games that can be referred to as masterpieces, Shadow of the Colossus is definitely in the conversation. Due to the profound nature of the game, the unique gameplay aspects, the intense and spectacular combat scenes, the dramatic twist at the end and a whole variety of other positives, this game is a representation of how to create something timeless within the gaming industry. We think that the control issues and the camera issues are enough to stop this game being awarded a perfect ten but in truth, it’s on a knife’s edge.

9.5

This game is a timeless classic that should be enjoyed by all. Shadow of the Colossus is a gaming essential now and forever.

Pros:

  • A profound and powerful narrative
  • An incredible landscape to explore
  • Surprisingly right horse-riding controls
  • Breath-taking combat scenes

Cons:

  • The in-game camera is a pain at times
  • Game is perhaps slightly shorter than it could have been

Download Shadow Of The Colossus

Playstation 4

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Playstation 3

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Playstation 2

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

The PlayStation 2 is still to this day, the best-selling video game console of all time, and it's also one of the greatest and of all times. Amazing franchises, great original titles, thousands of games to choose from, the PlayStation 2. With the best titles from the Silent Hill series, the start of God of War, two of the best Metal Gear Solid titles, and many more. It goes without a doubt that the PS2 catalog is one of the best there's ever been. Shadow Of The Colossus is one of the most incredible and original titles of the PS2 and that's saying a lot. But what do you have to do to be regarded as one of the best games on one of the biggest consoles of all time? Well, let's talk about it.

A colossal title

Shadow of the Colossus is the spiritual successor of the cult classic Ico, but that doesn’t mean they are directly connected so don’t worry about that. This title takes place in a desolate land, where our hero will have to traverse far and wide to accomplish the mission and resurrect his beloved Mono.

Not much information is given to the player about the entire plot, but it's just enough to keep you going. Wander, our hero travels with his loyal horse Agrom who will be his only friend and ally in this adventure. He is tasked to destroy the colossi and is also guided by an entity known as Dormin. They advise Wander on what he has to do to get Mono back from her cursed end.

The living world

The vast world in Shadow of the Colossus is quite empty and bare, but exactly that is part of what helps to build the incredible environment and atmosphere. Traversing from one colossus to the next one can be a lonely ride, but it's exactly what the Wander is feeling. There's an entire atmosphere of loneliness and sorrow throughout the land in Shadow of the Colossus.

The world being a character of the game takes on a whole new level of meaning in this title. Especially after you are face to face with a giant living building such as the Colossi. These guardian-like creatures are shaped like all kinds of animals and creatures. And even though it's what you have to do to bring back Mono, the moral implications of killing these seemingly pacific creatures grow stronger as you see them suffer.

Shadow of the Colossus has everything it takes to be a masterpiece, and it is one indeed. Not only is artistically stunning, but the entire adventure experience, the gameplay, the soundtrack, and even the narrative, as vague as it is, are incredible.

With top-notch visuals, the giant Colossi do stand out, these amazing creatures all feel alive. And what's more, the animations are some of the best in the entire PS2 catalog. Seeing the rock-structure-like creatures move so fluently gives the exact sense of awe it should. It's a creep, it somehow feels as if they are some force of nature. You'll have to learn how to defeat them by attacking their glowing weak spots, but it won't be easy, and each colossus is entirely different.

9

This game is not for everybody as it may seem to be quite slow at first sight, and there's no fighting beside the colossi. The story can be quite confusing too, but once you get into the experience, there's no escaping it. It's a beautiful game full of epic moments, excellent gameplay, an incredible soundtrack, a touching story, and much more.

Pros:

  • Incredible art
  • Excellent visuals
  • Great gameplay
  • Nice narrative
  • Fulfilling
  • One-of-a-kind experience

Cons

  • Slow pacing
  • Confusing plot

From the sublime to the simple, it's hard to sum up a game that has so little and yet so very much to share. Essentially comprised of sixteen boss battles, Shadow of the Colossus is an excellent little gem from the wonderful minds that brought us Ico, one of my personal favorites. Be warned though, with adventure comes hardship, and in the case of this game, that hardship is a certain level of frustration and aggravation that might prove too much for some. But the reward is great, great indeed.

Armed only with a magic sword, a bow, and your trust horse Agro, you'll spend most of your time in this game riding over the lush, verdant, dank, murky, foggy, and all about stunning terrain, guided by beams of light reflecting from your sword. As the sword leads you through the terrain, which is absolutely vast and stunning, you'll be directed to the Colossoi themselves, which are yet another of the game's truly visual delights. They look alive, and unfortunately in some cases, very sympathetic. I suppose, in the end, what I'm trying to say is that even if this game is limited by what the PS2 can do (after all, we're less than a month away from the launch of the Xbox 360), it still looks beautiful.

Control wise, the game has something in the way of issues. Each boss fight is a bit of a puzzle, using the terrain and your intellect to get to the Colossoi's weakpoints, but actually getting there can be a little annoying. In the open terrain, the camera has a tendency to give you a very cinematic, but also very limiting view, that doesn't quite help in navigating the world at large. While your character can do a lot on a Colossus, they're the equivalent of fighting a sixty foot tall bucking bronco, and sometimes just keeping your character on top of one can be a pain.

That said, with a simple interface, very very light narrative, and some of the best boss fighting I've ever seen, I loved Shadow of the Colossus. It has a few drawbacks, and it is definitely for those of us that are total cinematic gameplay geeks, but if you can stride past the frustration, you'll find a great game waiting for you.

It's the next game from the guys behind cult hit Ico, so expectations and oversaturated light effects have both been set to maximum. A young boy, having lost a loved one, brings her inert body to a temple. There, he is given a task: defeat the roaming colossi to bring her back. So, sword in hand, the boy hops on his horse and sets off to slay the towering beasts.

Epic, enthralling, and otherworldly. The boy starts his quest at the temple in the center of a massive wasteland. You ride on horseback, hunting colossi and dismounting for a brief platforming section before facing each one. Once a colossus has been spotted, it must be taken down. Raising the sword identifies the colossus' current weak point, which changes and moves during the battle. The colossi themselves are huge, multi-tiered environments, with platforms, fur, limbs, weapons, wings...and they don't like the little boy climbing on them one bit. The dynamic feel of a boy struggling to take down creatures dozens of times his size is incredible, and the way the colossi buck, twirl, thrash, and swat at their interloper makes for good drama and good gameplay.

The game's artistic vision pushes the PS2 hardware to the limit-yielding some choppy, sluggish visuals and collision problems. Luckily, the developers still have a few months to fix it....

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