The remake of Shadow of the Colossus
In Shadow of the Colossus, beating one of the bosses doesn’t have any triumphant bursts of music ringing out and a sense of accomplishment swelling in the breast of the player, but rather prompts a sort of uncomfortable self-reflection.
How the Game Play Unfolds
You will be playing a slender, awkward young man who arrives in a forsaken place as pretty as a picture, carrying a limp woman on his saddle. After you place her on an altar in the empty cathedral, a bodiless voice swears that she can be restored to you if you are able to find and kill the 16 colossi incarcerated on this cursed land.
These enormous creatures, thousands of times bigger than you, are bird-beasts, uncoordinated ogres, lumbering lizards, and equine enormities. Figuring out just how to scale them is part of the challenge, and driving your sword into them once you have managed to do so somehow feels savage, and disconcertingly uncomfortable. Defeating these creatures is not designed to make you feel good. You are not destroying them in order to save the world, or even test your skill — you are murdering them in order to bring back someone you love.
The Inversion of Video Games’ Tropes
This reversal of one of the founding tropes of video games was groundbreaking back in 2005, when Shadow of the Colossus first got released. It has now been remade for PlayStation 4 players, and its severe architecture and sorrowful colossi look resplendent in the ultra high-def format alongside a trope that still unsettles you.
The Remake No Easy Task
Remaking Shadow of the Colossus for modern tech cannot have been easy to do, with the unforgiving light of HD risking its flaws being exposed. On the PlayStation 2 dense fog hid landscapes that were to large for the tech to render, and frustrations about the basic movement and camera controls could be overlooked in the light of the sheer ambition the game presented. It is a task that has been ably done, however, and players will not be disappointed. It’s as slick and sophisticated as the online pokies NZ has to offer, and overall, it is a job well done.
An Extraordinary Sense of Scale
Fumito Ueda, the Creative Director for Shadow of the Colossus, is well-known for the loneliness hinted at in his games. Their barren landscapes, flawed anti-heroes, blanched colours, and the absence of the traditional power-driven fantasies that power games’ narratives are how he made his name.
Ueda’s games give players space to reflect, space to get lost, and the time to feel the melancholy so intrinsic to the story being told. 13 years after its initial release, Shadow of the Colossus still remains one of the most extraordinarily beautiful games to ever have been created, but its impact is still one of sheer scale. The extremely large size of not just the dramatic ruin and the beautiful, doomed colossi, but the grief of the task at hand and its complex themes of faith, longing, death, and the destructive selfishness of anguish will ensure this game remains an all-time favourite.
Shadow of the Colossus was released on the 6th of February 2018.