Shadow of the Colossus PS4 review

Jan
30

Shadow of the Colossus PS4 review

Shadow of the Colossus, like its predecessor Ico and successor The Last Guardian, is an artist’s game. Its creative lead, Fumito Ueda, is an artist and animator with an instantly recognisable style: cracked stone, bleached sunlight, smoky shadows, frail limbs and pale, unfocused, unreadable faces. The three games are notable for their minimalist design, and they are no small feats of engineering, but it is the art that makes their worlds of innocence and ruin so indelible.

In the case of 2005’s Shadow of the Colossus, it is the art that inspires awe and sorrow in equal measure as you explore a desolate landscape on a quest to slay 16 stone giants. The game is effectively little more than a boss rush, but it has a rare delicacy of mood as well as epic scale.

So this PlayStation 4 remake is a risky undertaking. The developer, Bluepoint Games of Austin, Texas, is the undisputed master of remasters and has even been here before, having made the Ico & Shadow of the Colossus Collection for PlayStation 3 in 2011. But this isn’t a remaster. This is a remake, rebuilding the game from scratch using new technology and all-new, much more detailed art. Ueda wasn’t involved and everything he and his team made for the original game has been redrawn and embellished to satisfy our hunger for fidelity. In a literal sense, this is an artist’s game remade without the original artist and containing none of the original art. Could its spirit survive such a process?

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