If you have ever heard of “Shadow of the Colossus,” you know that this short, five hour game has been widely known as a nostalgic masterpiece. Ever since its original release on the PlayStation 2 in 2005, this game has been forever loved.
“Shadow of the Colossus” is about a young man named Wander who carries a woman named Mono to an ancient temple. Mono has been sacrificed, and in order to bring her back to life, Wander must defeat 16 beasts, known as colossi.
The remade PlayStation 4 version was released Feb. 6 and compared to the original, the graphics are incredible. The entire game consists of Wander traveling across a vast expanse on his horse, named Agro, to kill the colossi.
The places, landscapes, environments and the views you encounter are breathtaking. It’s an unbelievably beautiful game and that is one of the many reasons why people have raved about it for more than a decade.
Along the way, there are shrines to encounter. Praying at them gives you a respawn point and a blue-tailed lizard to increase your stamina. There are also fruits that grow on trees that you can shoot down and eat to increase your health. However, if you climb to the very top of each of these shrines, you are gifted with an unreal view. I suggest taking a screenshot.
In the beginning, the colossi are easy to kill. You use a weapon known as the Ancient Sword to find the colossi and their weak points. As you defeat more colossi, they become increasingly difficult.
However, not every colossi is killed the same way. Killing each one is like solving a new puzzle. For example, Valus, the first colossi, is fought by stabbing the back of its leg which makes it kneel, giving you a chance to climb up. Yet, Quadratus, the second colossi, is killed by shooting the bottom of its feet, making it fall and then climbing on its back.
Aside from the cool mechanics and the incredible scenery of “Shadow of the Colossus,” there are still frustrating flaws.
“Shadow of the Colossus” has the worst, most unresponsive controls I have dealt with in years. The most frequently used action is climbing, but there have been multiple instances where Wander will literally go the opposite direction you want him to go. Also, if you’re not positioned in exactly the right spot, Wander will either get stuck or fall.
Another control problem is when trying to fight the colossi. To properly kill them by hitting their weak spot you have perform a charged attack with the Ancient Sword. The only problem is that the colossi shake, which makes it more challenging, but some shake to the point where it’s almost impossible to kill them. Eventually, Wander will either fall from low stamina or from the endless convulsing. Occasionally, Wander’s body will start to swing even before the colossi begins to move.
Wander also has a frustratingly long knockout time. Anytime Wander is dangerously hit, he’ll lay on the ground for what feels like forever. Realistically, it’s only about seven to eight seconds, which is long enough for the colossi to hit Wander again, which can throw you into knockout-limbo.
Probably the worst part about the game is Agro, the horse. Agro is undeniably difficult to control. She starts off slow and eventually picks up speed. However, if you run into anything, no matter how small, Agro will abruptly stop. It takes forever to move around the obstacle and to proceed to your destination.
Turning left, right or around with Agro is just as complicated. Also, when it comes to slowing down, don’t expect Agro to stop in an instant.
Despite the clunky, rage-inducing controls, the scenery, story and ending all make up for it. Overall, “Shadow of the Colossus” is an experience not worth missing.