You ever wonder how little you are, in hindsight? Well you’ll feel even more tinier because today, I’ll be writing a colossal Shadow of the Colossus review!
I really loved this game when I got it. I’ve never played the original PS2 version or the PS3 version. I didn’t have an idea this game even existed until I bought it last January (sorry SotC fans). But yeah, I loved it, even though I almost threw my controller in frustration.
Let’s break down why I love this game…
Shadow of the Colossus is an action-adventure game developed by Bluepoint Games and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment for the PS4. It is a remake of the original game for the PlayStation 2 using ultra-high definition art assets. Bluepoint led the remake, who also developed the earlier PlayStation 3 remaster, with assistance from SIE Japan Studio. The developers remade the assets from scratch, but the game retains the same gameplay from the original game aside from the introduction of a new control scheme.
The game plays in a third person perspective, and is basically an open world adventure game, except that the whole map is barren, save for birds, amphibians, fish, and the titular Colossi.
There’s no HUD, save for your health bar that only appears when you take damage, and a yellow “grip-meter” as I’d like to call it. I would let you decide what it’s for.
Fight controls play out as standard as it can get, but you won’t fight anything other than the Colossi, and a simple hack and slash won’t cut it. 😉
Colossal Plot and Setting!
The player controls Wander, some guy who makes it his sole mission to resurrect a dead maiden named Mono, after she was presumably sacrificed because she was cursed. That’s it. That’s the story.
No backstory is given during the course of the game. The only mission you have is to resurrect the dead girl. You will be aided by a mysterious entity known as Dormin, who is taking the form of a black smoke.
They will instruct you to kill the 13 Colossi living in a place called the Forbidden Land, where, uhh, entering is strictly forbidden, apparently. But Wander is so stubborn that he goes in anyway. What a mad lad.
But why was Wander, uhh, wandering to the Forbidden Land? Well apparently the Dormin, who resides there, are capable of reviving the dead, hence his mission of reviving the dead girl. We don’t know why he cares so much about resurrecting her, but I’m with the conclusion that the power of boners is stronger. *wink wink*.
At first look, you won’t understand why it is called the Forbidden Land. The only way in and out of the land is a long-ass bridge that connects to a large plateau on the other side, with the other end of the bridge going to a temple called the “Shrine Of Worship”.
The land itself is a beautiful, diverse range of mountains, lakes, desert, wasteland, and caves. Really, you can practically experience all the seasons in this one place.
Now, with a landmass this big, it’s tedious to walk and run about, so Wander is aided by his trusty steed named Agro, a black horse that is basically your ally and companion in all this. You will ride Agro all across the Forbidden Land, in search of the titular Colossi, which brings me to..
The 13 Gho–Colossi!
The 13 Colossi. This is what makes this game epic.
Since I am no spoiler boi, I will only show you the first 2 Colossi you’ll encounter in the game. It is up to you to find the others. 😉
Okay, so these are the guys who the Dormin wants you to hunt down and kill in order for them to resurrect your precious princess.
The Colossi are, err, colossal, titanic beings that live in the Forbidden Land. There are humanoid Colossi, and there are animal Colossi, and they look like stone statues with fur, walking around their home or just sleeping about. They range in different sizes, from the “meh just about 10 feet in height” Colossus, to the “holy s**t it’s a flying mountain!” Colossus.
Although they are terrifyingly intimidating due to their enormous size, the Colossi are gentle giants. They will just leave you alone, and will only attack when provoked, which you need to do.
They are dotted around the whole map, and half of the task is to find out where they are located. You will do this by pointing your sword in the air and a beam of light will narrow down a Colossus’ location for you. All you have to do is follow said beam. Some Colossi are harder to get to than others, requiring skills in platforming, and puzzle-solving.
Once you find out where they are, an epic cutscene plays, usually with them waking up or entering the area, in awesome fashion, mind you. Once you see them, you can just see how colossal the developers have made them: awe-inspiring and downright terrifying. You will see just how little you are.
Now this is the fun(but hair-puliing, at times) half of the task: You have to slay the Colossus. This requires strategy and cunning, as you can’t just swing your sword at it, lest you want to get crushed.
The battle usually consists of two parts: first, you have to think of a way to climb the Colossus to access its weak point. This usually involves having them slam or stomp the ground so you can climb their arm or leg, or have them destroy the surroundings so you’ll get leverage to be able to climb them. Think outside the box!
Once you climb them, you have to hold on for dear life as the Colossus tries to violently shake you loose. Once you manage to climb up to its weak spot, which is a blue glowing rune, you have to stab it with your sword until it dies. Some Colossus have more than one weak spot which changes position around its body. Hold on!
Once a Colossus dies, a cutscene plays with somber music, depicting the Colossus’ grand fall to the ground, dying. Then you’ll also “die”, and be transported back to the Shrine Of Worship, where the dead girl you brought in is located. Then the dead Colossus’ statue in the shrine is destroyed, signifying its death. Then the Dormin will instruct you to kill the next Colossus, which you’ll have to find again. Rinse and repeat.
Seriously, the Colossus’ death scene is one of the more sadder moments in video gaming for me. Coupled with the sad music and epic death scene, you can’t help but feel bad about what you did. Ah, video games.
Overall, this game is a masterpiece. Very good visuals, very good music, simple but complex gameplay (get it?), this game really delivers. And to think I didn’t know about it until January. Silly me!
The only downside, for me, is the lack of backstory. Like, who is Wander? Why is he wandering around the Forbidden Land? Who is Mono? Why is she cursed? Who sacrificed her? Why is Wander easily trusting of the Dormin? ….
I’m nitpicking a bit there, but that doesn’t takeaway from the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed this game!
Why are you still Wandering around here? Get the game!
You can get it from Amazon as well!
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Did you enjoy my take on this game? Leave a comment below and let me know what you think! Also don’t forget to share this post! Thanks for reading!