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Shadow of the Colossus

Developer: Japan Studio Publisher: SCE
18 October 2005
Shadow of the Colossus - cover art
Glitchwave rating
4.26 / 5.0
0.5
5.0
 
 
2,235 Ratings / 12 Reviews
#30 All-time
#2 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 12
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
GB 7 11719 65396 7 SCES-53326
Show all 12 releases
2006 Japan Studio SCE  
DVD
FR 7 11719 65416 2
2006 Japan Studio SCE  
DVD
DE 7 11719 65426 1 SCES-53326/GER
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 Japan Studio SCE  
Blu-ray
RU 7 11719 35347 8 CUSA 08809/RSC
2018 Japan Studio Bluepoint  
Blu-ray
CA 7 117195 170710 CUSA-08034
2018 Bluepoint Japan Studio  
Blu-ray
XNA 7 11719 51051 2 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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(written mar 4, 2018)

What a chilling sight the unfamiliar is. Foreignness is one of the sturdiest pillars of fear, the stepping stone of anxiety and intimidation, bubbling over into xenophobic hostility. The unknown is the invisible hand that guides all wars, the paradoxical motive for and deterrent of nuclear holocaust.

It would be wrong to call Shadow of the Colossus a horror game, despite the conceptual boogeyman it presents. but “unsettling” is the perfect word to describe director Fumito Ueda’s quasi-prequel of ICO. When taking control of Wander, a warrior(?) saving(??) a girl named Mono from the clutches of doom(???), the player becomes literally unable to settle into the landscape he treks. Half of the game is riding the horse, Agro, in a windy silence, letting the player think while reminding that their thoughts are all they have here. Only until Wander comes across a colossus, incomprehensible beasts born from the earth, does he find purpose, but little presence, within Ueda’s world. He leaves no mark except for the final stab in the colossal craniums; no more than a pesky insect with unrelenting venom.


When the player feels Shadow of the Colossus, they feel emptiness. Stairs and pillars are tripled in size. Feeling the pierce of a sword in mossy flesh is a rough and ugly experience. Everything about Shadow of the Colossus screams “you shouldn’t be here,” but the words fly past Wander and land on player’s ears. Riding horseback across chasms of dirt and scaling coats of colossus fur become one in the same action: a provincial rape far worse than any political pillage. This is Shadow of the Colossus‘ narrative, not meant to center around the player but to invade them. The game wouldn’t continue if not for the inky tendrils that pierce Wander’s heart.

Critics have debated the complicity players have in playing Shadow of the Colossus, but there seems to be little choice for player’s to agree or disagree with the game. I believe Shadow of the Colossus to be a story spoken through play, but spoken nonetheless. It’s a story meant to be felt around, get a sense of it’s scope, not for immersion but to read deeper into the tragedy. Even then, Shadow of the Colossus isn’t afraid to admit that, at the end of the day, it’s pretty damn cool to fight the colossi, and provides extra difficulty and time attack modes post-game; a dissonant design choice, sure, but that appreciation of design is something many games with this bleak of a tone opt out of.

Now for the meat on these once-ancient bones: Bluepoint does a remarkable job in this remake. There’s no question that this is the definitive version of Shadow of the Colossus, it looks and plays more beautifully than ever, but there’s a part of me that can’t help but feel something is lost in translation. I played the PS3 version to prepare for this remake, and I find myself almost missing the bleached muddiness, the emptiness left by a lack of rendering ability of the original. The remake adds meticulous detail to every inch of the world, but sometimes luscious scenery doesn’t quite seem to fit.

There’s much to be said about the preservation of game history, but I digress. What matters is that even when given a brand-new facelift, Shadow of the Colossus can still stand on it’s own monstrous legs as an epic tragedy told like no other.
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keublitz 2022-12-10T04:51:54Z
2022-12-10T04:51:54Z
100
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Just end it, it's perfect EXTREMELY influencial game. Like i play it and just think about other games that SOFC influence. Incredible non word story, world characters design, music, gameplay ideas just everything. Thanks Mr Ueda!
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Kabaret 2022-06-03T18:16:25Z
2022-06-03T18:16:25Z
5.0
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THE game
It's perfect.
A incredible masterpiece and one of the reasons why videogames are also art.
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AngeloT2001 2022-05-26T02:40:08Z
2022-05-26T02:40:08Z
5.0
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MASTERPIECE
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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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Catalog

Rderoos Shadow of the Colossus 2023-02-04T21:32:08Z
PS2 • GB
2023-02-04T21:32:08Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
toppen Shadow of the Colossus 2023-02-04T18:09:56Z
2023-02-04T18:09:56Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Gotale Shadow of the Colossus 2023-02-04T13:45:05Z
2023-02-04T13:45:05Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
JeramyJcb Shadow of the Colossus 2023-02-04T10:35:42Z
PS4
2023-02-04T10:35:42Z
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
DrMantisTobogganPhD Shadow of the Colossus 2023-02-03T18:42:24Z
2023-02-03T18:42:24Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
jsobel Shadow of the Colossus 2023-02-03T17:51:28Z
2023-02-03T17:51:28Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Symbiat Shadow of the Colossus 2023-02-03T09:37:09Z
2023-02-03T09:37:09Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Domcreator Shadow of the Colossus 2023-02-03T00:27:45Z
2023-02-03T00:27:45Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
dim_04ka Shadow of the Colossus 2023-02-02T09:19:28Z
2023-02-02T09:19:28Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
josephrobert Shadow of the Colossus 2023-02-02T04:10:09Z
PS4
2023-02-02T04:10:09Z
5.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Rippeul Shadow of the Colossus 2023-02-01T22:09:13Z
2023-02-01T22:09:13Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
epiliftt Shadow of the Colossus 2023-02-01T15:15:52Z
2023-02-01T15:15:52Z
5.0
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 (96) Loading...
  • DavidthePearce 2022-11-13 20:30:57.245931+00
    Surprised there isn't discourse on the original vs remake given I would argue Bluepoint changed the art style as drastically as they did for Demon's Souls, which is a major point of contention for that game (though personally I like all four games).
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  • otonhm 2022-11-20 17:40:42.367669+00
    I think the PS3 remake is not as disrupting to the atmosphere and style of the original as the PS4 one. The PS4 remake looks somewhat plastic and clean in all the wrong ways and gets it very wrong. The PS3 one still is able to capture the magic of the original, I think. At least it was a very impactful experience for me. Still wish I could play the PS2 version though, its use of fogginess is similar to what the Silent Hill games did (which were also botched in a remaster lol).
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  • otonhm 2022-11-20 17:52:55.032396+00
    Oh well just realized the PS3 one is considered a remaster while the PS4 one is the remake, so maybe that's why. But still, the barrier between remaster and remake is not very clear so point still counts. I usually take these two words as being interchangable anyway lol
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    • ThrashingFairy 2022-11-29 12:22:29.256256+00
      The PS4 version was made by Bluepoint, whom also blandified Demon's Souls the same way.
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  • otonhm 2022-11-20 18:04:06.463914+00
    Also, The Wanderer looks weird as hell on PS4
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  • MZZNN 2022-11-22 10:15:39.609451+00
    simply a goated game
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  • notscrumpyjack 2022-12-05 19:21:38.008022+00
    Is this better on original platform consoles, like original release, or does it make no difference? Just casually playing through the PS4 version and so far all I love is the art and atmosphere. The mechanics, yes sadly I am a mechanics person depending on the game sometimes, aren’t doing it for me. Should I be more patient in my approach? Doe s this rendition come off the same as its originals or is this one inferior? Thanks.
    reply
    • what0519 2022-12-07 05:44:53.493733+00
      It is pretty much the same with some streamlining of mechanics like collecting and controls, but the janky physics are mostly the same. The jank is a consistent speedbump you have to take in order to have fun with the epic boss fights. For pure fun-factor, this might not be the best game. For the feeling of being a god-killer, there’s nothing like Shadow of the Colossus. The sense of scale is what should be focused on. Plus, the story works extremely well in sync with the gameplay.
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  • Kmarksman 2022-12-29 00:14:45.532456+00
    better than most games rated here on glitchwave
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  • Fowlawneeshafow 2023-01-16 02:52:31.500225+00
    honestly one of the few times where I have a really hard time recommending any one version over another, and they all have merit. Play whichever version appeals to you.
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