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Shadow of the Colossus PS4 Review

A return to a PS2 classic

Shadow of the Colossus was one of the games that astounded audiences when it first released for the PS2 in 2005.

The technological achievements and storytelling with little to no dialogue made Shadow of the Colossus a Game of the year contender. It was another new step forward for video games.

Shadow of the Colossus’ main attraction was being able to fight monolithic creatures known as Colossi. Players would have to climb on their fur and rigid surfaces to defeat them.

Defeating a Colossi felt incredibly good fifteen years ago. An HD version was released for PS3 as well, but is this remastered version of a PS2 classic worthy of a replay?

Shadow of the colossus PS4 Review

Concept

A lone traveler embarks on a long journey on horseback carrying a wrapped body as its cargo. He travels through valleys and forests to reach a desolate land once thought forgotten.

Shadow of the colossus PS4 Review

Nothing lives there anymore.

As he approaches the center of the land, he comes across a bridge that takes him to a pedestal. He lays the woman on top, asking for the gods of this lost land to revive the cold body.

Shadow of the colossus PS4 Review

The gods respond with assisting his desire if he defeats 16 mammoth statues known as Colossi spread throughout the landscape. With his only weapons being a sword and bow, he sets off.

Shadow of the colossus PS4 Review

Design

Your objective is simple: find and defeat all 16 Colossi spread throughout the kingdom with the hopes of reviving the woman you love.

The silent protagonist only has two weapons, a simple sword and bow to aid him in his quest.

Shadow of the colossus PS4 Review

As you embark on your quest, players use the sword available under sunlight revealing the location of the next Colossi. A thin gleam of light guides players across deserts, forests, and decaying ruins.

Shadow of the colossus PS4 Review

What sets Shadow of Colossus is the Colossi, mammoth size structures that tower of the main protagonist.

The moment that players encounter the Colossi appearing is magical. They are skyscrapers compared to you, making players feel tiny and insignificant.

Shadow of the colossus PS4 Review

Players must figure out how to take down each Colossi. If you take a while to figure out how to take down a Colossi, the gods will speak to the Wanderer, revealing a hint.

Shadow has more than a handful of “Wow!” moments.

Shadow of the colossus PS4 Review

It is not difficult to find the Colossi, and the journey to each of them is enjoyable. To make traveling more manageable, the Wanderers rides his horse, Agro.

While at times the AI for the horse is excellent, in some confined areas, it isn’t. Forest surrounded by trees can cause the horse to move in the wrong direction of the player’s input.

Statues can be found spread throughout the world. Approaching one allows players to save progress. Fast travel is also available when you visit them. The button layout is unconventional and takes time to get used to.

Lizards grant stamina 🦎

When you see a colorful little lizard moving around, shoot its tail with the bow! Pick up the lizard tail with R2 to increase your stamina meter.

Shadow of the colossus PS4 Review

Aesthetics

The interface has been improved. Players can now customize how the key elements will appear on the screen.

Shadow of Colossus looks excellent. It is a step up from 15 years ago. The graphics are the most notable upgrade from the previous iterations.

Shadow of the colossus PS4 Review

Riding the horse through a forest as the sunlight seeks into the trees is something that requires appreciation. Sceneries are beautiful; there’s no denying that the waterfalls look majestic.

Shadow of the colossus PS4 Review

One of the unique characteristics of Shadow of Colossus is the scale and dimension of each of the structures. Buildings, cliffs, and waterfalls all look stunning on the new HDR settings.

The orchestrated music makes a return and fits perfectly into the epic battles that players face.

Value

Players now have trophies that they can collect, which were not available for the PS2, giving more incentive for replays. Speedruns and time attack modes are found on the menu.

You compete for the best time against other players around the world. Completing challenges grants players items to receive less damage and deal more with the Colossi.

Seven-nine (79) gold coins are scattered across the land. Collecting all of them will give the players a cool sword! ⚔️

Verdict

Shadow of the Colossus is one of those remarkably minimalist and beautifully orchestrated Japanese titles.

It’s one of those games that if you never played before, nows the best time to try it out. You will be receiving the same enjoyable experience that players feel when it hit the shelves years ago.

It has received a significant visual update but still retains some of the ragdoll movement from two generations ago. The grip and jump still feel like it could have been refined even more.

This doesn’t take away from the way the fact that Shadow of the Colossus for the PS4 is great. You still feel an overwhelming experience of awe and wonder when transversing the landscape.

For first-timers, it’s an experience that must be felt if you own a PS4. It’s been a part of the Sony exclusive library for years. For returning players, it’s still an enjoyable ride to relive once again.

All in all, this is the best version available to purchase.

Shadow of the colossus PS4 Review

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Closing Thoughts
What’s excellent about Shadow of the Colossus is the fact that it’s a Japanese made game that’s not an RPG. Most Japanese companies, apart from Nintendo, focus on RPG elements, and this is a refreshing take that is more on the lines of a Zelda title but much more simplistic. It’s not as fantastical as the universe of Zelda; it’s more down to Earth. It’s just a bow, a sword, and a horse.
Concept10
Design8.5
Aesthetics9.5
Value8
Positive
A remastered version of a PS2 classic
Updated graphics
Improved control layout and accessibility options
Negative
Clunky ragdoll movement from two generations ago
The camera needs improvement
9
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