Shadow of the the Colossus

I recently bought and finished Shadow of the Colossus.

It was an incredibly engrossing experience and easily the best game that I have played in a long time. The art direction is top notch and the gameplay is fluid and innovative.

The entire game is focussed on seemingly impossible battles with a series of giant creatures of ambiguous composition (they look ancient, spiritual, animal, and artificial all at the same time).

The battles are confrontingly visceral and really communicate the mindset of the main character. Because of this, I actually found the game a little hard to play at first. However, I perservered and it was very rewarding.

My only real criticism of the game is the difficulty and pacing. Most of the colossi were incredibly easy, but the final few were quite difficult. I spent around 3.5 hours on the first dozen or so, 2 hours on the second last one, and then 2.5 hours on the last one. That’s not very balanced!

A possible spoiler (but not really) after the jump.

Conclusion: Highly, highly recommended

I don’t think that I am giving anything away for saying this, but it looks like it could actually be a prequel to ICO. (Anyone who has finished the game should see why.) If so, I like that they didn’t market it as such. It’s very different in style and may have been misinterpreted if thought of as just an ICO prequel.

6 thoughts on “Shadow of the the Colossus”

  1. Spot on with the ICO comment.
    On the website (a remarkable website in its own right), there is a reference to the game ICO as `another tale’.
    If I am not mistaken there are cut-scenes from ICO on the SOTC website in the same place.

  2. oh and this:

    Fumito Ueda: I didn’t intend the boy to be the same as in ICO. Yes, users have thought that Shadow of the Colossus is a prequel to ICO, and that’s my idea as well. I wanted to make it so the imagination is up to the user.

  3. Neat 🙂

    The gamplay style is very different between the two games though. I read somewhere that described Ico as “a puzzle game with action elements” and Shadow as “an action game with puzzle elements”. I think that sums it up quite nicely.

  4. Yeah, I’d agree with that. I liked ICO and it’s hair pulling frustration with some obscure puzzles….. SOTC is much more action oriented. Perhaps a bit of Zelda horse riding thrown in for good measure.

    I played SOTC at Nick’s place and I did enjoy the first hour of it (including the first 20mins of CUTSCENES!). I think I better get it before they run out of the cool special box version. 🙂

  5. Arrgg! Look what you did…. I ended up getting it yesterday. 🙂 Still getting use to the camera ‘controls’…. A little frustrating, but fun overall.

    I took almost 40 mins for the 3rd one. I’m starting to get the drift of the clues now. 🙂 No way I could do the next 8 or so in 2.5 hrs…


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