Community Review: Shadow of the Colossus

There's no doubt that the Shadow of the Colossus remake is visually very appealing. The better question, however, is whether you can take a game's visuals too far.

For this week's Community Review, it makes sense to cover the Bluepoint's remake of Team Ico's masterpiece. But what I'm curious about - and having missed the original, I didn't get to experience any of this at the time - was whether the latest remake retains the essence of wonderment and mystery that the PS2 original or PS3 versions had.

Something that's been nice to see, mind you, has been the gushing reception to the game's performance. Chris noted in his review that the E3 demo of the game suffered from a choppy frame rate and the original scheme hadn't aged well. But the implementation of a slightly more modern system (X to jump instead of triangle), plus some much-needed optimisation, has worked wonders.

Shadow Of The Colossus: The Kotaku Review

It's strange to think about it now, 12 years later, but there was a time when I wondered if Shadow of the Colossus was going to be any good.

Read more

There's obvious merit in re-releasing a 2005 game for audiences in 2018. But some of what made Shadow of the Colossus were the limitations of the PS2 era. It lent the game a sense of wonderment, of awe. Or put another way, climbing colossi seems a much bigger accomplishment when you can see a lot less of it to begin with.

For those who picked up Shadow of the Colossus, how have you found it? And for those who remember the original, or played the PS3 re-release, how does it compare?


    I find the controls to be a bit janky, also it's harder than I remembered :p

      Agreed on both points.

      Really struggling with the camera, too; I know the artistic reason why Ueda has it auto reset behind Wander, but fuck it's annoying when you're trying to track a lizard, or examine the environment for whatever reason. I'm way too used to free camera now.

    I have the PS2 and PS3 versions, so I'll hold off on this version for a while. Having said that, I'm very interested to read what others think of the remake (especially from those with previous versions).

    I replayed the PS3 remaster over the weekend and, while the environmental textures are a little dated, Wander, Agro and the Colossi still look good (IMO the fur on the latter wouldn't be bettered until Far Cry 4).

    I played the PSVR demo of Last Guardian recently (great), which made me keen for some more Team ICO. Replaying SOTC was fun, Ico is next, and then another replay of Last Guardian (this time on the Pro - yay!).

    Long live Fumito Ueda!

    Only played the original game once, and currently up to the 4th Colossi in this one.

    It seems on par for Team ICO with wonky controls. After trying to play 24hrs apart, I forgot that holding Triangle made Agro move, so I sat there trying every button until I google'd the answer.

    Rediscovering the strategies for each Colossus is a really cool experience, they each feel like a massive undertaking to bring them down which is great. The world is simply stunning too, I can't wait to explore it all and move further on in the game.

    I played the original and I'm loving the remake. I didn't get around to playing the PS3 version so this is my first time since 2005.

    While the controls are somewhat more intuitive (allegedly), movement still feels very dated. Dude does a lot of jerky dancing. But the central mechanic of Colossus-climbing still feels every bit as perfect and desperate and terrifying as it did two generations back.

    I think the element that has aged most poorly is the "twist", which just doesn't seem as revolutionary in 2018. Regardless, this is an amazing game that is fully deserving of this resurrection. I envy people who are experiencing this journey for the first time.


      Yeah, the 'jerky dancing' can get a little annoying; I guess realism was the goal.

      Ditto on envying those playing it for the first time.

    If you're not using Triangle to jump cut your thumb off heathen!

    But in all seriousness for years I've claimed SotC as my favorite game or at least up there. But I always felt weird saying it as it took my along time to finish it and I only played through it once. This remake is proving to me that no it is and its not helping my urge to get a SotC tattoo if I can ever settle on what exactly.

    I love the kept the same physics in it yeah its floaty and weird but its true to the original. Agro's animations look exactly as they did in the original only better. I kinda miss Wanda's floppy run walk he had so the inverse kinematics would work. I love the bloom is gone so you can see so much more of the world, though I do wish the game had come with a Ps2 Filter so I could flick back to how it was.

    I just love this game so much and I'm just really glad the remake turned out as well as it did.

    This is my first time playing it. I am.glad theres no skill tress to level up and all that bs.

    I find the controls a bit wonly especially when riding agro, probably because the last game I rode a "horse" in was Horizon Zero Dawn.

    The colossi are awe inspiring. And i am always a little overwhelmed when I first come upon them. I finished 3 of them so far.

    I found it quite surprising when I had a look at the comparison images in the gallery section that compared the old visuals to the remakes. It's obvious how far Bluepoint have taken it, but I had forgotten how big of a difference the visuals are. It's funny how your memories holds something to such a high standard. There may be a few little trade offs regarding the atmosphere comparing the PS2/PS3 versions to the remake, but if there are I think it's been well worth it!

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