Shadow of the Colossus Review: A timeless PlayStation masterpiece, now in 4K on PS4 Pro
Shadow of the Colossus is, in our mind, probably one of the defining games of the PlayStation 2 era.
Although that big black box might be more fondly remembered for more bombastic games like Metal Gear Solid 2, GTA: San Andreas or Final Fantasy 10, it says quite a lot that Sony has seen fit to re-release Colossus not once, but twice since it's original release in 2005.
The reason for this is simple. Director Fumito Ueda's second directorial outing is nothing short of a masterpiece, worthy of every generation's attention.
Colossus could have, after all, been quite easily thrown into the PS Now library with every other PS3 game. It could have been just another PSN digital download available on the store.
Instead, it's rightfully been remastered, much in the same way that a classic painting is restored, all to ensure that such a fantastic work of art stands the test of time for everyone to enjoy.
The latest incarnation though is unquestionably the greatest of them all and while past outings were undeniably majestic, the game has obtained an even more beautiful and thanks to the support of the PlayStation 4 Pro and the subsequent 4K HDR output it offers.
Remarkably, a game that was coded and released over twelve years ago, today, in 2018, stands pretty much shoulder to shoulder with some of the best and most visually spectacular titles which Sony has to offer.
If you thought Horizon Zero Dawn or either of the recent Uncharted releases were exceptional to look at, just wait until you feast your eyes on Colossus. And yes, there's even a photo mode.
For those of you who haven't yet experienced the wonder that this game has to offer, here's a quick recap.
The game takes place in an ancient world and focuses on the journey of Wander, a young warrior who sets out on a quest to bring a young girl, Mono, back to life.
His quest eventually leads him to a dilapidated shrine, where an ethereal omnipresent entity promises to bring his deceased loved one back to life, should he fell 16 gigantic beasts which roam the vast and often breathtaking world around you.
Determined to complete his mission, Wander sets out on his trusty steed Argo, armed with nothing more than a wooden bow and a mythical sword.
Those of you familiar with the game will know where the story progresses from here, with Wander taking down the magnificent colossi one-by-one, and transporting himself back to the Shrine with every kill to learn the location of the next golem-like beast.
But it's worth noting, that even if you have played this game before and know precisely what's in store for you, you certainly won't be prepared for just how great this game looks and feels.
Little has changed with regards to gameplay in the twelve years since launch, you still need to identify each creatures specific weakness, before exploiting it and felling it through a combination of platforming, puzzle-solving tasks.
All the while clinging to the creature for dear life as it attempts to shake you off.
To those wondering, the exhilarating thrill of taking down each beast that first astounded players so many years ago, still feels just as fresh even today. This might be your third run-through of the game, but you can be sure that you'll still have goosebumps when you deliver that final blow.
Part of that has to do with how tremendous the game looks as well. Remarkably though, nothing has changed. Shadow of the Colossus may have been recreated from the ground up, but it's still based on the code from the original PS2 game.
Leading up to release, developers Bluepoint made a point to praise "the technical prowess of the original developers" obviously because code which was intended to run the PS2 game was running as smooth as you like on the PS4.
Like we said before, a masterpiece.
But Bluepoint should also be praised for their tremendous work. The studio has a history of remaking old classics, having remastered the likes of Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection and the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection.
But in Shadow of the Colossus, the studio has taken its abilities to the next level.
What we're trying to say, in a roundabout way, is that Shadow of the Colossus is (still) a flawless, must-own game.
It might be a remaster of an age-old classic, but it feels, for all intents and purposes like a brand new game.
Had it not been released those many years ago, it could easily be counted as an early game of the year contender. The fact that it's not strictly 'new' will probably discount it from such conversations in 2018.
Those of you who've already completed the game, maybe twice if you went back to experience the game on PS3, get ready for another reminder of why this is arguably one of the best games ever made.
And if this is your first time embarking on this adventure, then prepare to experience a masterpiece that will live long in the memory.
SHADOW OF THE COLOSSUS IS OUT NOW
THE VERDICT – 5/5
– Reviewed on PlayStation 4 Pro
In a year packed with incredible new exclusives, with angry demigods wielding large axes, superheroes swinging between rooftops and Rockstar's next big AAA adventure, Shadow of the Colossus stands amongst the best of what 2018 has to offer.
• Looks incredible. Some of the best visuals you'll find from modern consoles
• Feels as fresh and original as it did back in 2005
• Fighting the colossi still gives you goosebumps
• Photo Mode
• The new standard for modern-day remasters
• That damned horse is still a bit wonky to ride
- PS4 News
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