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The Shadow of the Colossus remake is one of the more eagerly anticipated PlayStation titles of the year. After all, how can you not love the original game and its epic battles against building-sized monsters?
Now that the review embargo has lifted, what are reviewers saying about the title?
The prominent gaming website bestowed an “essential” badge on the game, saying that developer Bluepoint makes the game “feel excitingly modern”.
“It is an authentic labour of love, this release, and it improves Shadow of the Colossus in real ways. It runs better, it’s easier to enjoy, it’s more beautiful. It’s bigger, which in this game really counts for something. But it’s vital that Bluepoint has preserved the game itself absolutely unchanged, because Shadow of the Colossus has poetry and economy that you rarely find in games,” Eurogamer’s Oli Welsh explains.
Polygon (9.5 out of 10)
The website’s Chris Plante notes that the game looks like a modern title, but retains the “mechanical defects” of its predecessor, such as the control scheme and “fussy” camera.
“Colossus’ emptiness feels commercially brave by today’s standards, when games of this size are stuffed with filler and filching: countless side quests and in-app purchases to recoup investment by bleeding players of their resources,” Plante remarks. “In 2005, Shadow of the Colossus’ world was, compared to the colorful worlds of its contemporaries, solemn and lonely. In 2018, it’s like a quiet vacation. What a relief to play a game that demands neither more money nor time.”
The reviewer also concluded with a possible takeaway for studios.
“As wonderful a game as this is, the lesson mustn’t be that we need more games that look like this Colossus — rather, that we need games that feel like it: a decade later, pushing against what we expect from games, warts and all.”
Critical Hit (8.5 out of 10)
Looking to local publications, Alessandro Barbosa over at Critical Hit also had plenty to say about the title. For one, the reviewer noted that the visuals are certainly up to scratch compared to other current-gen titles. However, controls were a different matter, specifically pointing to the horseback moments.
“Controlling Agro is a chore, with the controls for controlling horseback riding never feeling comfortable or even reliably responsive. It’s sometimes a frustrating give and take, with Agro getting into a blistering stride to only be restricted to a slower-than-a-walk trot in more environmentally bustling areas.”
Nevertheless, the reviewer notes that Shadow of the Colossus is still Team Ico’s greatest title.
“Shadow of the Colossus is every bit the captivating, emotional and unique journey today that it was 13 years ago, and the great attention to detail Bluepoint has given this passionate remake keeps all the most important elements intact.”
Metro (9 out of 10)
The UK’s Metro also had plenty of praise for the remake, noting that the visuals are “amongst the best ever seen” on Sony’s current-gen console.
“Quite apart from the game’s own intrinsic qualities this is a superb remake, by a developer that clearly understands the original game perfectly. The changes to the controls are just enough to avoid frustration and yet still retain the character of the original,” the review reads. “The visuals are equally without fault, with a standard PlayStation 4 running everything at a steady 30fps. Although a PS4 Pro has the option of either boosting the resolution to 4K or increasing the frame rate to 60fps at 1080p.”
Those who played the original and were left wanting in the gameplay department will still be disappointed, Metro noted. Nevertheless, it went on to call the title a “stunning recreation” of one of gaming’s classic titles.