What is it?
Shadow of the Colossus on PlayStation 4 is the second remake of a PS2 classic that originally released in 2005. Both its first remake on PS3 and this latest version have been developed by Bluepoint Games, a studio well-known for remaking classic titles.
You play as a young boy named Wander, who wishes to restore life to a young girl. In order to accomplish this seemingly impossible task, Wander, equipped with a bow and sword, must travel a vast expanse on horseback to track down and defeat 16 beasts known as colossi. Each colossi has a specific weakness that must be identified and exploited before it can be defeated.
Is it any good?
For the last thirteen years Shadow of the Colossus has eluded me. I missed its original launch on PS2 (because I never owned the console) and when the title was finally re-released on PS3 I picked it up, played it for 30 minutes and never touched it again. Now, after 13 years, I’m finally giving it the time it deserves and I couldn’t be happier.
If you have been waiting, like me, to experience this game at the best possible moment, now is the time. Bluepoint Games has rebuilt Shadow of the Colossus from the ground up in order to create the ultimate definitive edition, and if you take one look at the official comparison trailer below (comparing PS2, PS3 and PS4) you’ll see just how far the game has come.
It’s absolutely astounding and I feel lucky to play the majority of this game in its fully remastered state. The frame rate is consistent, the controls feels easier to use and the in-game camera feels a lot more responsive. Its world, too, looks crisper and is packed with so much more detail than ever before. However, beyond its amped up graphics lies a brilliantly puzzler that requires you to experiment with different tactics in order to take down each of its 16 behemoths. I won’t give anything away, but expect some challenging gameplay set to the backdrop of a beautiful and powerful soundtrack. There’s also photo mode, so you can take stunning snaps of the game as well.
So, is it good? No, it’s even better.
Anything bad to report?
No matter how many times it’s rebuilt to look prettier and play better, it doesn’t fix the game’s sparse open world and limited content. Beyond the 6-8 hours of hunting down colossi, there’s very little to keep players coming back. Nothing else populates its huge open map; no additional objectives, no extra enemies and nothing else to interact with.
Should you buy it?
If you’ve already played this game before (even if you’ve played it on PS2 and PS3) I’d strongly suggest picking up this definitive edition, as its graphical overhaul needs to be appreciated first-hand. If this remaster will be your first exposure to Shadow of the Colossus, you couldn’t have come at a better time. It’s also a bargain at its current price of £23.