Shadow of the Colossus review
Outstanding beyond believe.
Wow. Yep wow is the first word that springs to mind when playing Shadow Of The Colossus (SOTC).
Sony's attempt to offer it's customers a more original game pays off yet again as they definitely hit the nail on the head with this gem.
Colossus means huge, massive, very very big and the foes in this game are exactly that.
SOTC is from the makers of ICO and that is evident from the very start.
You play a nameless teenager in a desperate struggle to resurrect his sweetheart. (possibly the same duo you played with in ICO except now they're older) His journey to bring his love back to life leads him to a temple at which he lays her to rest atop a cold hard stone alter. Voices from the temple explain to him that she will be brought back to life if he could kill 16 colossi.
And so it begins.
From the very start a massive landscape is open for exploration. No need to unlock anything, it's all there from the very start. A huge land may sound boring, but I guarantee that you won't be disappointed. The graphics are so stunning it almost feels like the game is running in a Playstation 3.
Massive cliffs, stunning waterfalls, dense forests and old ruins are just some of the tourist attractions to be seen on your travels.
16 colossi roam the area and you must find and kill them.
With such a massive area you're gonna need a guide. That guide is your sword. If you hold your sword up in the air in a sunlit place the light reflected from it narrows if you're facing in the direction of the next colossus. An extremely ingenious way of integrating some sort of radar within the game without actually having a radar.
In order to reach the colossus though you're gonna need transportation. That's where your trusty horse Argo comes in. By far the best 'side kick' I've ever seen in a game. Forget Dexter, forget Tails, forget all sidekicks you've every seen in a game as this Horse spits in their faces with a grin. He's not just a horse, he's your friend and companion throughout the game. His AI is incredible. He does exactly what he's told exactly when he's told. He comes when called, he helps out during battles and he's there to serve you and no one else.
As the title suggests you're gonna be in the shadow of colossi. That's no understatement. These guys are massive. Think Godzilla with King Kong on his shoulders. When you first encounter one your jaw will drop. You'll start thinking 'How the hell am I gonna defeat that thing?!'.
The earth trembles with every step they take, the sun gets blocked as if there's an eclipse...yet you have to defeat it with just a sword and a bow and arrow. That's when it becomes fun.
Each Colossi have weak points located in strategic places on their body. You need to stab those weak points with your sword. Not an easy task when the weak point is on the top of his head. That's where the puzzle aspect comes into play. You need to figure out how to get to the weakpoints. In other words you'll need to physically climb the massive beasts. Most Colussi have fur or hair on their body, you can climb the hair to get higher up, perhaps the beast has a necklace or belt, well that's where you can rest for a second to regain your grip strength. You see the wanderer is just a normal guy. He can't hold on forever especially when the beast is shaking vigorously in an attempt to get you off. Therefor platforms located on the beast give you a chance to regain your strength before carrying on.
Once you beat a colossi you simply search for the next one. No enemies in between, no stupid side quests. He's there to save his girl and that's all he's interested in. That's all that matters. That might sound boring but it's not. It's original.
Not to mention that every single Colossus is completely different from the last. It doesn't become repetitive.
SOTC is an extremely emotional game. Throughout the game you'll feel angery, excited, joy but above all you'll feel sadness and loneliness. Here's why:
After defeating a Colossus very sad music plays, you almost feel sorry for the beast. After all, he didn't provoke you, he was simply minding his own business doing his own thing when all of a sudden some little punk jumps on his back and starts stabbing him for absolutely no reason. The very first Colossus doesn't even get to see you. He was just out for a walk perhaps on his way home. The excellent music certainly plays with your emotions.
Of course Silence is also a sound. When roaming the land on your horse only the bustling of the wind can be heard. Suddenly you feel alone. Really alone.
Some complain that it's too short and while it is possible to finish it withing 10 hours it's highly unlikely you'd even want to finish it that quick. It's just so beautiful. It's meant to be cherished. After completing it you could always try again on Hard Mode and try find all the hidden secrets or do the Time Attack Mode.
SOTC is by far the best game I've played this year. If you're sick of Halo, Burnout etc then get this for a welcome relieve and change of pace.
About the author
- Hardest Colossus? 22
- Bug in Sotc HTA 0
- Game Analysis--Scene by Scene 63
- What Shadow of the Colossus lacked 1
- Argo dead 31
- Introduction Thread 76
- Dormin: Good or Evil? 89
- need help for reaching the 17th colossus (dormin) 17
- Time Attack (Stamina?!) 2
- Names? 9
- 3rd Colossi In Hard Time Attack? 0
- How Shadow of the Colossus inspired Guillermo Del Toro 1