Grab your horse, it’s time to venture back into the forbidden land. Shadow of the Colossus is back and being remade and rebuilt for PS4, many years after being remastered in HD for the PS3. The PS2 classic remake was revealed at this year’s E3 to an extremely positive reaction. The chance to play through this game in 4K PS4 graphics has fans and first time players excited.
Bluepoint Games, the developers behind most remasters and remakes, have taken on the bold task of making Shadow of the Colossus better than ever. They are determined to keep the same gameplay feel from over 10 years ago with only a new control scheme. Whether the rebuilt graphics can rekindle the charm of the original version is the biggest question people have.
The UK release date for the Shadow of the Colossus remake is the 6th February 2018 for PS4, coinciding with the worldwide launch of the game.
There is also a collector’s edition, but unfortunately it’s only available in the US, which is a shame as it comes with some cool extras for just a small price. It’s also unfortunate that there will be no extra content such as the eight Colossi that were cut from the PS2 version. Perhaps they could be released as future DLC but no comment has been made from Bluepoint regarding that.
For those who have never played Shadow of the Colossus or need reminding about the story, players take control of a young man named Wander. The game begins with Wander entering a forbidden land on his trusty horse, Argo, carrying the lifeless body of a girl named Mono. Not much is known about Mono, besides that she was put in this state by a now disembodied entity known as Dormin.
Wander’s mission is to restore the life of Mono, but to do that he needs to venture across this vast open world finding and defeating sixteen massive beings known as Colossi using an ancient sword that he stole. This is certainly no small task. To make things more difficult for poor Wander, with each Colossus that is defeated a fragment of Dormin enters his body. Over time, players will see the hero’s body deteriorate. Wander is well aware of what happens to him, but he continues his journey willingly, sacrificing himself to save Mono.
As is expected, this PS4 remake looks like a million bucks compared to the PS2 version and PS3 remaster. You can watch a comparison video below to see the amazing artwork for yourself. The rebuilt graphics look incredible with the gorgeous open world looking more clear and detailed than ever. The Colossi have never looked so menacing. Shadow of the Colossus on PS4 definitely shows off the power of the console. Bluepoint have done a great job with producing graphics which are of PS4 standard quality.
For PS4 Pro owners, there are Performance and Cinematic modes available to play the game in to further enhance the graphics. Performance mode offer more frames per second and more motion fidelity while Cinematic mode is basically the 4K mode giving lucky players 1440p graphics. Fans who own a Pro should have a truly great experience playing through this classic again.
Shadow of the Colossus graphics comparison trailer
As mentioned earlier, Bluepoint Games have tried hard to make sure that Shadow of the Colossus plays exactly the same as it did back on the PS2. The only differences are a new control scheme and small improvements on certain mechanics. For example, the bow & arrow aiming has been improved to make it easier for players to chop down the Colossi. There are better animations also to suit the game’s performance on PS4. Clunky PS2 animations would have looked very out of place. Regarding the new control scheme, the PS2 control scheme is available to switch to, named ‘classic mode’, which is great news for fans who want the ultimate nostalgic experience.
Shadow of the Colossus is an action-adventure title but it has also been described as a puzzle game because each Colossus that Wander battles has a weakness that needs to be exploited before it can be defeated. Colossi battle areas vary between cliffs and ancient structures. In this game, there are no towns, no characters to interact with and no other enemies. The aim of the game is simply to find and defeat sixteen Colossi in this big open world.
Argo plays an important role throughout the game not just in transportation, but also in battle. Some battles will require Wander to constantly be riding Argo who really proves his worth as a trusty steed. It’s the kind of companion relationship that Team Ico are famous for. However, Argo can only get his owner so far. Certain environments need to be scaled by Wander in order to reach a Colossus or to gain an advantage during battle. Don’t expect every encounter to be the same is the main message here.
Of course, the classic soundtrack which is beloved by critics and fans alike remains untouched in the remake. The heartstrings of players will be pulled and tense battles will be intensified. This game wouldn’t be the same without it.
Bluepoint Games’ success with remasters and remakes looks set to continue triumphantly. Remaking a classic like Shadow of the Colossus is no easy task, but the stunning graphics and the untouched enjoyable gameplay show that they seem to be on the right tracks with another great job. Fans and first time players have plenty to look forward to. For further information on the game, check out the gameplay video below featuring comments from the developers.
There is a staggering amount of PS2 games that players are clamouring to get the remake treatment, such as Colossus’ spiritual successor Ico. It would be great to see Bluepoint make more wishes come true. They have made a solid start however, so come February players will be happily reigniting their old rivalries with the Colossi.