NetGuide NZ - Shadow of the Colossus

Warning: This story was published more than a year ago.

Shadow of the Colossus

Publisher: Sony    Developer: SCE       Released: 17th February 2006      Players: 1      Rating: 12+         

I’d love to play Devil’s Advocate and say how bad this game is – just in contrast to the dozens of great reviews this game has received. But the truth is, it’s impossible to fault Shadow of the Colossus. From the creators of Ico (one of the best PS2 adventure games to date) this game pulls you in with gorgeous graphics and immerses you into one of the most compelling storylines ever seen in a video-game.
The story of Shadow of the Colossus is wrapped in mystery when you first begin. All you know is that your girl, Mono is dead and that you are in a forbidden land filled with danger. A dark character Dormin claims he can bring the girl back to life if you kill all the Colossi (giant creatures) that roam the land. On top of the graphics and cinematics, the music and sound production of this game is, at times, mind-blowing.
These huge Colossi that you must defeat range from different creatures like massive flying millipedes through to hulking bear-like giants – each with their own weaknesses and methods of attack. The animations are absolutely brilliant and mainly responsible for how lifelike the world and its creatures look. The other half is the more technical side: the textures, design, and modeling. The environment is huge, the design and sense of scale is flawless in both the world you ride in and the Colossi themselves; it really feels like this world and these things are very organic, very big, and very real. The majority of this is done through subtle graphical and gameplay tricks. The fur and grass effects are both cleverly designed and ingeniously executed. Couple this with a huge, open-ended streaming landscape for you to explore, and you’ve got a game that graphically looks very nice and is quite impressive.
The thing that’s interesting about Shadow of the Colossus, a game that consists purely of huge and epic bosses battles, is that I don’t even consider them to be the game’s strongest point. The battles are intense, the design is grand, it is a very engrossing experience each and every time - but the moments where this game truly struck a chord with me is in its few moments of story. Most of it is implied and not told, which makes for a very unique overall experience.
Shadow of the Colossus is something else. It is a game unlike any other out there, a truly unique and special experience.

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