Arguably amongst the greatest games ever created, Shadow of the Colossus is a critically acclaimed title that defined a generation and has yet to be replicated. Unless you count the remaster and of course the latest remake. Bluepoint Games revisited their original remaster almost 7 years later to remake every asset in the game in 4K resolution and immense detail. Was this necessary, or did they break something that didn’t need fixing?
For those uninitiated with the concept of Shadow of the Colossus, you are Wander. A young boy who is trying to resurrect a female companion named Mono. He enters the forbidden land and makes a deal with Dormin an unseen being who asks him to defeat 16 colossi in order for his wish to come true.
You spend the majority of the game traversing the beautiful environment in order to battle the aforementioned colossi. These “journeys” get more and more complicated as the game progresses. The only direction you are given is by raising your sword to reflect the sunlight. Where the reflection focuses is the direction you must travel. Similarly, the further you get into the game, the harder the colossi become.
Battling the colossus is not only a matter of button mashing and inflicting damage. The first puzzle is how you mount the beast, and the other is managing your grip meter to inflict the killing blows to the weak-points. Each colossus has multiple vulnerable spots and if you play it on hard mode there are even more.
The remake focuses on fixing the minor grievances most people had, namely the frame-rate. Thankfully I can report it is a solid 60 frames per second in the 1080p mode. You can select the 4K mode, but frames are reduced to 30. However, some people will happily make the trade for the visuals. Which also look stunning, particularly when you compare screenshots from the original game and even to those of the remaster. Grass and fur is astoundingly beautiful and the canyons and cliff faces have individual boulders throughout. It is difficult to appreciate fully until you see the old footage, but even so is still one of the best-looking games on the PS4.
A further feature added is the photo mode, this grants you the ability to inspect the visuals even more and scrutinise every asset. You can adjust the angles and even apply filters. A nice feature to have for those who want it. There are some issues that have not been fixed; the camera still swings wildly and gets stuck in odd spots and the physics of climbing the fur on the colossi is a little spotty. Nothing that can’t be overlooked.
Finally, the controls have been addressed. 4 options are given. The classic is still there for those who want it, and some modern layouts for newer gamers. I selected the modern controls, and it took a while to re-adjust, but I managed to get it down and it is much better. X is now jump and the R2 trigger is used to hold onto the beasts. A welcomed change indeed.
After completing the game, you now have the ability to “New Game+”, this allows you to carry over your health and grip meter into a new game with the option to change difficulty or select a “mirror” mode. A simple option but makes a surprising amount of difference.
For fans of this game this is a no brainer, and for those who never played the original or the remake have the best version of the game. What wasn’t broken remains, such as the soundtrack, layout of the world and design of the bosses, but now It runs smoothly and looks stunning on top off all this. The addition of the control options makes the game much more accessible Bluepoint Game took a masterpiece and made it better, I can’t wait to see what classic they take on next.
- Replay Value