‘Shadow of the Colossus’ PS4 review: Colossal eye candy

Logan Ansteatt

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From the moment the opening cinematic began, “Shadow of the Colossus’” visual splendor had me enchanted. This remake of the 2005 instant-classic PlayStation 2 title pushes current-gen hardware to its limits, all the while telling a sneakily captivating story.

The PlayStation 4 is home to multiple exclusives that border on the edge of photo-realistic. Naughty Dog’s “Uncharted 4″ and “The Lost Legacy,” Guerilla’s “Killzone: Shadow Fall” and the terrible to play but gorgeous to look at, “The Order: 1886″ have all pushed the boundaries on what gamers can expect from graphics.

While “Shadow of The Colossus’” art style isn’t photorealistic, the game still appears like a painting in motion.

The remake contains a new photo mode, a feature I rarely care for, but when combined with the various filters that change the color scheme and tones of the game, make for the most stunning images I have ever seen in a game. Just look at this unedited photo from the game’s opening with the “vivid” filter applied.

But the visuals aren’t the only draw. Wander’s quest to save a young woman’s soul is one that pulls the classic “make the player feel bad for killing things trying to kill you” emotional trope. The difference here is that it works.

With every beast you find, every puzzle solved to scale these behemoth bosses and every kill on the majestic colossi, your feeling of accomplishment is overshadowed by a feeling of grief and even remorse. You begin to wonder if you’re the villain. You want to stop the process of slaying each colossus and removing each totem from the temple to rescue a soul that maybe shouldn’t be saved, but you’re already five colossi in and you need to see this to the end.

The only thing that hindered my journey is the control scheme. Your trusty steed Agro still controls worse than the sticks of butter called cars from “Grand Theft Auto IV” and the idea of mapping movement to holding down triangle is simply barbaric.

But these dated mechanics are overshadowed by the by the only thing bigger than the colossi, the story.

The emotion creeps up on you like a deadly spider. You think you’re just solving puzzles and killing these grand bosses but you’re really asking a deeper question about morality. This is what made “Shadow of the Colossus” more than just a game that took out all enemies but the bosses.

This is an instant classic that has been enhanced visually while maintaining an emotional impact. While I would have liked to see a modernization of the movement scheme, Shadow of the Colossus still stands tall and casts a mighty shadow as one of the best games ever made. It is a worthy purchase for PlayStation fans old and new.

4.5/5 Sails

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