Shadow Of The Colossus Review – Spoiler Free
Shadow Of The Colossus is a newly released exclusive game on the PlayStation 4 console which is a remake of a much loved game of the same name originally released on the PlayStation 2 in 2005. Shadow of the Colossus on the PlayStation 4 was developed by Bluepoint Games and JAPAN Studio.
The game has you play as young man named Wander who has the goal of resurrecting a young lady named Mono. In the process of doing so, Wander visits some ancient ruins where a God like entity tells him that if he can take down a variety of Colossi around the world in which he lives, that possibly he can save young Mono. The game’s story is pretty much that and from that point on, you venture out into the world and come across your first colossus and then eventually many more.
I had never played Shadow Of The Colossus on the PlayStation 2 or its remake on the PlayStation 3, so this is my first experience with this game, I know many out there would likely be big fans of this title and would be eagerly awaiting its release so they can play it again, possibly for the third time and relive some old nostalgia with it. But for me, playing through the game had none of that. What I can say about it as a first timer with this, it seemed to me to be quite similar to The Last Guardian which also released recently on the PlayStation 4, also as an exclusive title. If you happened to have played through The Last Guardian and enjoyed that experience quite a bit, then Shadow Of The Colossus will certainly peak your interest and I’d feel comfortable recommending it to you.
But if you haven’t even played The Last Guardiian, what can you expect from Shadow Of The Colossus? I guess the best way I can describe this game, is that although there is a certain story to it, much of it is heavily gameplay focused. This isn’t a game that is going to be telling you what to do in much of the levels, with only a few hints here and there. There is more than a dozen Colossi in the game for you to take down and these are massive creatures spread throughout the large open world of the game. They won’t even at first be on the map for you to find, you’ll have to figure out where to go and there’s no instructions, or limited ones for you to know how to take them down. As a gamer I felt that when compared to much of the modern video games out there which seem to hold your hand as you progress through the levels, with obvious lines to follow. Shadow Of The Colossus is a little different in that you’ll have to actually use your brain in certain moments to figure out what to do. It’s not a game you can mindlessly rush through, it’s more like a slow exploration of an unknown world filled with unknown challenges to encounter. There’s some good stuff in that, but also at times, I myself was completely lost with what to do and that can be quite frustrating and it happened a lot to be honest.
The open world of Shadow Of The Colossus is a beautiful one to explore. It’s filled with long grass, mountain landscapes and forest areas which you will explore during your time with the game. There’s a photo mode in the game which lets you take picture at any time, or easily you can just screenshot a lot of things you see. I felt that graphically everything looked beautiful in game and I was playing on an original PS4 (not the fancy pro version).
The colossi you encounter all look visually stunning too, it’s a very nicely presented game overall. The only downside I feel in that world, was that although the grass looked great and Wander and his horse looked great and the trees looked great. There’s not much else out there to see. It’s all nature and you’re pretty much the only person there the whole time, there’s very little wildlife as well. When compared to something like Horizon Zero Dawn which is also a PS4 exclusive, that world was filled with life and things moving around, in contrast Shadow Of The Colossus is an empty world and as a player running around by myself, it felt like a lonely experience.
The gameplay component is the most challenging side of the game. Your character is always underpowered and never really reaches a point where he could ever just brute force any of the colossi. The colossi that you do fight act as sort of bosses in the game and each of them offer a different challenge for the player to overcome. Each colossi and the overcoming of each of them is like a small puzzle in their own way and the way to defeat them isn’t always straight forward. It’s nice that there’s hints quite a few times, but prepared to be a little lost along the way. But luckily we live in YouTube age, so there’s tonnes of guides out there should you get stuck.
Overall Shadow Of The Colossus is an interesting game experience. It provides gamers with a challenging world to explore, filled with difficult to overcome enemies which can’t be beaten so easily. The game has a variety of puzzle like bosses to defeat and it’s nice to have to think how you would approach a task from time to time and it feels rewarding knocking down each of the Colossi as you go through the game. The feeling is even more rewarding if you were stuck for some time and then all of a sudden had a light bulb moment for what to do. The game is graphically beautiful and looks even better on the PS4 pro than it does on the original console that I played on. But the only downsides that I can see with the game is that the open world does feel quite empty at times, with very little things happening in any of the environments which left me as the player feeling lonely. Also some of the challenges and even just trying to figure out where to go can be frustrating at times, which might hamper some players and their experience with the game. But overall Shadow Of The Colossus is an interesting new title in the PS4 library which offers a challenging experience for players.