Shadow of the Colossus Review

The first issue is that the game’s barren lands really are barren. There’s nothing to do in the game but hunt down the next colossus, and getting there can often be a chore. The sword’s beacon shines straight to the colossus’ location, but you’ll often have to work to find the path to that location. There are times where you’ll need to locate a canyon, bridge, or other access point just to get near the area where the colossus resides. Other areas will require you to perform platform game style jumps and shimmies – no easy task thanks to the game’s controls. Finally at times you’ll travel through shadows, rendering your guide sword useless. I felt like I spent far too much time scouring empty lands in an attempt to find a route to the next colossus. There’s nothing else to do while searching, so it can sometimes feel like an eternity between colossus fights.

They just keep getting bigger.
Shadow of the Colossus also suffers from some control issues. You’ll use a horse to travel the lands providing you with a much needed speed boost. However this comes at the price of some control difficulties. Spurring your horse to go charging in a straight line across a plain is relatively easy. On the other hand, changing direction and steering in general is a lot harder than it should be. You’re not that much better on foot, mind you. The ledge grabbing mechanism seems spotty, and it is entirely too troublesome to pull yourself up onto a ledge with any consistency. Jumps are hard to align so that you can see where you’re going you’ll find yourself doing a lot of falling. In a game where the ledges and platforms are pretty high off the ground, this leads to a lot of dying as well.

Lastly, Shadow of the Colossus suffers from that age old problem, camera control. The camera consistently gives you bad angles of the action, it is tricky to change the angle, and the camera swing speed is far too slow, especially when trying to get a look at the colossus you’re fighting. You’d think that with all of the effort that went into making the game look so fantastic some of that effort would have been directed towards creating a camera that let you see what you’re doing on a consistent basis.

The game is obviously all about the colossus fights, not even bothering with adding any other encounters or creatures to its world. It’s like a 16 round boss progression with long and overly quiet stretches in between. The colossus fights are certainly exciting, but their puzzle-like nature minimizes the replay value. Shadow of the Colossus is by all means a recommendable game, but with a few changes it could have been one for the ages.

In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 88%.  Shadow of the Colossus is experienced as much as it is played.

 



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