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Shadow of the Colossus

Developer: Japan Studio Publisher: SCE
18 October 2005
Shadow of the Colossus - cover art
Glitchwave rating
4.27 / 5.0
0.5
5.0
 
 
1,827 Ratings / 11 Reviews
#32 All-time
#1 for 2005
A young boy travels to a far forbidden land in order to restore the life of a girl. To do so, he is tasked by a celestial voice to slay sixteen beings known as the Colossi. Armed with only a bow and a sacred sword, he ventures throughout the expanse on horseback to fell the mighty creatures one by one.
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Releases 11
2005 Japan Studio SCE  
DVD
XNA 7 11719 74722 2 SCUS 97472
2005 Japan Studio SCE  
DVD
JP 4 948872 150972 SCPS-15097
2006 Japan Studio SCE  
DVD
FR 7 11719 65416 2
Show all 11 releases
2006 Japan Studio SCE  
DVD
DE 7 11719 65426 1 SCES-53326/GER
2006 Japan Studio SCE  
DVD
GB 7 11719 65396 7 SCES-53326
Shadow of the Colossus Greatest Hits
2006 Team Ico SCE  
DVD
XNA 7 11719 74722 2 SLUS 97472
2011 Japan Studio Bluepoint  
Blu-ray
JP 4 948872 730716 BCJS 30071
2018 Bluepoint Japan Studio  
Blu-ray
XNA 7 11719 51051 2 CUSA-08034
2018 Japan Studio Bluepoint  
Blu-ray
CA 7 117195 170710 CUSA-08034
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Title
This game is the golden standard of how to develop, encourage, and sustain an emotional attachment to the characters by the player. Ignoring the truly epic gameplay, ignoring the setting, ignoring the "what the hell is going on?" questions this game never answers, at the core of this game is a love story. It's not a mushy, candy-coated love story, nor is it a overtly sexual, exaggerated kind of love that a game like Mass Effect has in spades. The love story in Shadow of the Colossus is not that.

Here it is downplayed. It's low key. It's almost in the background at times, and yet, it's front and center all the time. Alfred Hitchcock was a genius, and his supposition that character actions trump everything, including dialogue, as the single best vehicle to communicate intentions and emotions of the characters, is evidence of his genius, and Shadow of the Colossus is evidence he was right.

For behold, "The Wanderer," and fittingly enough, the game fails to communicate even the name of its main character to the player, speaks very little during the game. His relationship with the girl is explained in this game's predecessor, Ico, but the grandest thing about this game is that you do not need to play the previous game to understand their relationship.

It's clear from the outset that this girl means something to "The Wanderer". There is the cold reply by "The Wanderer" of "It does not matter," when he is told he may die by trying to revive the girl, and there are subtle hints about the nature of the setting this game takes place in being "a forbidden land," hinting that "The Wanderer" is desperate to revive her, but their relationship is most explained in cutscenes.

Case and point, immediately after vanquishing the first colossus, "The Wanderer," after regaining consciousness in the temple, rises, merely glances himself once over, then hastily moves to examine this girl. He anxiously approaches her, clearly fearing for her own safety, even though he was off waging war against a being that could easily have killed or maimed him in a glancing blow. Again, it's low-key, but how effortlessly this game communicates such a pure, unadulterated form of love between these two without dialogue, and merely on actions alone is sublime. Communicating this with words does not do it justice. You truly have to play this game to understand how impressive it is.
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Wpnfire 2016-04-07T00:21:17Z
2016-04-07T00:21:17Z
3.0
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Painful as the FPS rate can be, the original Shadow of the Colossus is still a better experience than the remake, which kinda misses the point of the game by adding dozens of meaningless collectibles. In this game, the various vistas of the Forbidden Island are their own reward. Galloping across the empty gameworld in search for the next Colossus not only provides a respite from the action, it also gives you the opportunity to reflect on your actions, the story, and the nature of the world. The scenery in the original is clearly demarcated between "interactable" and "non-interactable," while the remake is a (very pretty) mess of textures to get stuck in. And there's the lighting, which in the original can be quite harsh, but in the remake is uniformly overcast and dull. Anyway, I could also talk about how SotC is an achievement of atmosphere and makes for a very contemplative video game with a bunch of boss fights that range from okay to great, but I mostly wanted to take the opportunity to say: play the original.
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screechdreams 2021-10-10T08:54:00Z
2021-10-10T08:54:00Z
4.0
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Corajoso na sua estrutura, brilhante em sua atmosfera e filosoficamente profundo, é uma experiência sem pares na história dos jogos.
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gabrielctps 2021-08-04T03:58:06Z
2021-08-04T03:58:06Z
5.0
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We're on a Horse Ride to Nowhere
So this is a rare hot take from me, but since this game made me waste a perfectly fine evening, I needed to vent. So, what did I get to do in my hard-earned free time that could have been used to watch a film, read etc?

Well, let's see, the game opens with at least 10 minutes worth of cutscenes that mostly just show a guy riding a horse. With a complete disregard for narrative economy of any kind, all of these animations tell you next to nothing about the characters, the world they inhabit, the situation they're in etc. You're just riding a horse through some nice architecture. And then ride it some more. Up and down. To the left and to the right. Then after dropping a couple sentences of inscrutable lore, the game sends you on your way.

Once the cutscenes are out of the way, a hope flickers that the game will finally give you something to do, but hoo baby, there's more horse-riding in store for you! I happened to choose the wrong direction to ride on the fucking horse - hardly my fault given the fact that the game makes zero effort to teach you the mechanics or give you any indication of what you're supposed to be doing - and ended up just going around a very pretty, but absolutely barren world for 20 minutes. And hey, exploration is great, I love games that give you freedom and an exciting world waiting to be discovered. What I don't love is having to endlessly push one button to scroll through - once again, very pretty - CGI landscapes with Nothing. In. Them. Every scarce object on the map that I tried to check out was just an empty bunch of pixels. I tried to climb some building at one point, promptly fell in the lake, and it took me so long to swim back to shore that it was easier to restart the game.

Having restarted, I went in the opposite direction from the initial temple, and discovered that yeah, turns out that some brief tutorials and the first thing that you can do is actually this way. Why was I allowed to do a 20-minute detour through a world with nothing in it? Well, because this game is a flawless work of art, of course. So initially I was happy to finally discover the tutorials and something to do, but that quickly faded too, because what I learned from this section was that: a) The game has some of the worst controls I've seen in a videogame b) What you get to do in the game is clunky, inscrutable, and unbearably boring. It was nice to see a big ol’ kaiju stomping around, but after stabbing it in the weak spot about 20 times, achieving nothing, and falling from the fucker a dozen times because the climbing controls are maddeningly bad, I closed and uninstalled the game.

So that was my experience with the timeless masterpiece that is Shadow of the Colossus. Granted, I'm not the biggest fan of artsy games, and mostly play games for fun. But I really do enjoy the art of game design, the mechanics, the inventive ways of telling the players about the world, the level design, the challenges, the strategies etc. Shadow of the Colossus showed me none of those things. If it was an anime, “The Arrival”-like wordless graphic novel, a film, hell, anything other than a game, I would have gladly stuck with it and probably loved it. But we are rating games here, and as a game it is poorly designed, boring, unengaging, and obtuse. I’m sure I will catch a lot of flack for rating this lower than some “Headshot 7: Bazooka of the Undead Warlord” bullshit or whatever, but I’ve seen what I’ve seen, and I ain’t never riding this frigging horse ever again.
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ac_church 2021-07-28T09:18:20Z
2021-07-28T09:18:20Z
1.5
1
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Austere but unique adventure game.
"Shadow of the Colossus" is quite impressive for a Play Station 2 game remaster. In this game, you pretty much get to search and defeat 16 huge creatures known as Colossi. Your arsenal is only made of a bow and sword, but each creature requires completely different strategy. The game felt more like a puzzle/platform game than a Monster Hunter kind of adventure. You don't get to level up, improve your equipment nor learn new skills. You just follow the light reflected by your sword to find the Colossus, keep dying until you find the right strategy, and go for the next one. Wander is alone all the time, there is no plot in between, and each area offers nothing but a couple of collectibles. It's a straightforward and stripped-back game, but at the same time surprisingly deep in the way it lets you approach the enemies. The art direction and the whole world surrounding you are also beautiful in their simplicity. I can definitely see how it influenced "Breath of the Wild".

The only letdowns are the camera and the awful control systems. It might have been the average for Play Station 2, but as this is a PS4 porting I wish they brushed up things a little. World exploration felt a bit lacking as well, as the game arbitrarily decides which surfaces you can climb and which you cannot. I got on top of a lot of hills and mountains not even sure if it was due to a bug or the game actually wanting me to do so.
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manicure 2021-07-18T05:49:20Z
2021-07-18T05:49:20Z
80
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100% complete campaign
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Play The Remake
If you've read my review for Shadow of the Colossus (PS4), then you know that I absolutely adored my playthrough of the remake. Of course, I was interested in trying to play the PS2 version of the game and now that I have, I can absolutely say that the remake is the best way to play this game.

Shadow of the Colossus (PS2) is still a magical experience. It isn't much different from the remake. All the story bits are the same, the bosses play out the same, the excellent music is the same, etc. However, there is issues that plague this game that I'm so happy the remake fixed.

The graphics aren't that bad. For 2005 standards, they are really good. However, they are a bit too bland and lack attention in some places namely the shading and color.

The controls are a huge issue. My goodness, they weren't kidding when they say the controls aged horribly. The camera is a mess and due to the horrible controls, I find this game a pain to play.

The original game is very important in video games. It proved to many people that video games are art. That said, the game is great. But the remake trumps it in every way and if I had to recommend anything with this game. It would be the remake
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Catalog

dannymason_1 Shadow of the Colossus 2022-05-23T02:14:24Z
2022-05-23T02:14:24Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
rynikand Shadow of the Colossus 2022-05-22T19:57:33Z
2022-05-22T19:57:33Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Lornz Shadow of the Colossus 2022-05-22T11:42:27Z
2022-05-22T11:42:27Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
sluggo_tunez Shadow of the Colossus 2022-05-22T11:07:57Z
2022-05-22T11:07:57Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
pensiero97 Shadow of the Colossus 2022-05-21T18:53:23Z
PS3
2022-05-21T18:53:23Z
5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
jonspoon Shadow of the Colossus 2022-05-21T01:50:20Z
2022-05-21T01:50:20Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Smoogerz Shadow of the Colossus 2022-05-20T21:24:06Z
2022-05-20T21:24:06Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Anberis Shadow of the Colossus 2022-05-20T13:39:06Z
2022-05-20T13:39:06Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Tarlemagne Shadow of the Colossus 2022-05-20T10:25:22Z
2022-05-20T10:25:22Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
MR1500 Shadow of the Colossus 2022-05-19T19:12:08Z
2022-05-19T19:12:08Z
0.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
LifeIsStress Shadow of the Colossus 2022-05-19T10:46:34Z
2022-05-19T10:46:34Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
SpicyNuggets Shadow of the Colossus 2022-05-19T01:39:09Z
2022-05-19T01:39:09Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Content rating
ESRB: T
Player modes
Single-player
Media
1x DVD
Also known as
  • ワンダと巨像
  • В тени Колосса
  • View all [2] Hide

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  • Previous comments (71) Loading...
  • WispyOne 2022-03-14 17:15:00.656973+00
    Is this game perfect? No.
    Is this game even THAT good? Probably not.
    Should everyone who likes video games play this game? Yeah.
    It's just an experience you need to have.
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  • DavidthePearce 2022-03-20 04:04:47.008278+00
    Is this game perfect? Yes.
    reply
    • samred 2022-04-09 16:45:40.371025+00
      this tbh
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  • AidanAlva 2022-03-23 15:31:58.958027+00
    Truly brilliant for its time- I used to spend hours just admiring the world and art. The gameplay, though? Hell no. Aged horribly. Being shook around on a colossus for a full minute during which you can provide no real input is just busted. The spectacle prevented it from being noticeable back in the day, but it definitely prevents the game from being perfect.
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  • ParchedPinemarten 2022-04-03 21:39:09.436045+00
    it's a 4/5 game for me, but i have no qualms with those who declare it as one of the greatest games of all time - i can understand that sentiment.
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  • hopeascendchaos 2022-04-14 04:10:14.733767+00
    more people need to talk about that last colossus encounter. probably one of my favorite feelings and atmospheres captured in a game
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  • ThePsuedo 2022-04-17 11:13:54.509192+00
    The greatest ending
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  • lno579 2022-05-22 01:13:53.523141+00
    a game begging for you to call its bluff. most people don't
    reply
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