Shadow of the Colossus – Review

Shadow of the Colossus

(Sony Interactive Entertainment for PS4)
By Mike Delano

Wading through still black water, under cover of mist, as I approach the curved stone walkway that ascends to the top of the moss-covered canopy. Racing through sand dunes on horseback as I sling arrows skyward toward the underbelly of a flying colossus. Waiting for just the right moment to mount a winged colossus and get in a few sword strikes before I’m thrown off to plummet into the drowned ruins below.

These are all moments that every gamer, and anyone with the slightest interest in the artistic power of video games, should have. These moments are nestled among many others in Shadow of the Colossus that are just as memorable. They will take permanent residence in your brain as soon as you experience them. Moments of hope, of harsh violence, of freedom and many simply of contemplation as you explore this somber world.

This 2018 remaster of the 2005 PS2 original does an incredible job of making the game feel at home on modern screens. The at-times finicky gameplay and design quirks from more than a decade ago remain intact because they are intrinsic to the overall experience, but the visuals now pop with such crispness that this unforgettable dead world feels even more alive than it did upon its debut.

Shadow of the Colossus is an all-time classic, and this excellent remaster provides a vital opportunity to play it again or discover it for the first time. As a game, it’s timeless, but it still has something to say in the context of today’s game scene just like it did when it first released. In 2005, it was an antidote to quick time events, open world bloat and other superfluous things that were draining the energy from games. In 2018, it arrives as a reminder that games don’t have to mete out satisfaction to players in terms of loot boxes or 10-year service plans. You can be floored simply by what is on the disc when it’s a complete vision with this much heart.