I never really enjoyed Shadow of the Colossus. I tried playing the original PlayStation 2 version, and it turned me off so much I never tried picking it back up. It’s not that I think it’s a bad game. In fact, I’ve always appreciated its design and aesthetic, but it’s so clunky on PS2 that it’s not worth playing.
Now that I’ve committed video game sacrilege by criticizing a Fumito Ueda game, I’m excited to say that the Shadow of the Colossus remake for PS4 corrects the flaws that the original release had (framerate being the most noticeable) and comes with fresh new graphics that make the game just as gorgeous on PS4 as it was (at the time) on PS2.
One of the first things I want to point out about Shadow of the Colossus for PS4 is that it includes the option to prioritize framerate or resolution for PlayStation 4 Pro users. On PS4 Pro you can choose between Cinematic, which will present the game in 4K HDR with a target of 30 fps, or Performance, which targets 60 fps at the expense of high-resolution. If you’re playing on an original PS4 or PS4 Slim, you’ll get 1080p downsampled from 1440p which should still look excellent.
As far as the gameplay and story, everything I’ve encountered so far is the same as the original version. You still play as Wander, who must take down 16 colossi to appease the entity Dormin so it will return the soul of the maiden Mono. It’s a heady and melancholy journey across a beautiful landscape which is populated only by the sixteen colossi you’re fated to kill.
I always hated the idea of killing the colossi, and it’s an even sadder act with their forms being remade in UHD. Each one is rendered beautifully, and the attention to detail and faithfulness to the original game is extraordinary.
One of the side effects of the increased framerate, improved controls, and a revamped camera is that taking down the colossi is considerably easier. Without having to struggle against choppy visuals, horrible, imprecise camera controls, and laggy, mushy controls, the climb to the colossi’s weak points in a lot less frustrating. However, this game isn’t so much about the challenge as it is about the spectacle, and the later colossi are still tricky to face.
I’ll continue playing through the Shadow of the Colossus remake and have a full review ready on January 30. I still need to see if there’s any added or changed content besides the visuals and take out a few more colossi. So far the game has quelled any issues I had with the original version, and I’m happy to say it’s won me over.