Between the likes of the God of War Collection and Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection, developer Bluepoint’s rightly earned the reputation of being the masters of remasters. But with Shadow of the Colossus’ impending PlayStation 4 remake it’s taking its work to an extraordinary new level – and the results are mesmerising to say the least.
If there were a video games hall of fame, you’d find Fumito Ueda’s brilliant boss rush nestled somewhere alongside Tetris, Super Mario 64, and Resident Evil 4 – it’s one of the greatest games ever made. And in this new-gen version it has the visuals and performance to match the original’s ambition, delivering a quite sensational spectacle.
The colour palette has changed, which will no doubt cause controversy; gone is the oversaturated ethereal bloom of the PlayStation 2 version, replaced by a more mythical fantasy fog. We were sceptical of this alteration prior to seeing the demo up close, but the results are staggering – the original’s mysterious ambience is still intact.
The difference is that the game can now stand toe-to-toe with the PS4’s absolute best and not look out of place; Sony had the game set up adjacent to Horizon: Zero Dawn and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy during our hands on, and you wouldn’t know from a cursory glance that Shadow of the Colossus has ties to 2005.
The gameplay has changed ever so slightly, too. No longer is jump mapped to the Triangle button – it’s been moved to the more logical position of X. The dodge roll, as far as we can tell, has also been reassigned to Circle; the original game mapped it to the awkward R1 and Triangle. Other than that, you still have to manage your stamina bar – the gameplay is much the same.
That said, we did notice that Agro – protagonist Wander’s loveable horse – feels a little less wild to control, but that may just be our memory playing tricks on us. We only got to fight the first colossi, the furred club-carrying behemoth. As you’d expect, the battle adopts a familiar rhythm: stab its leg before climbing onto its head and brutalising its brains.
Shadow of the Colossus is a special game because of the emotional response its fights portray: are you the bad guy here? That whole vibe is very much intact in this remake, and it’s quite incredible how faithful it is to the source material despite being, ostensibly, a brand new game. We’ll obviously need to test the campaign out in its entirety, but we smell a 10/10 approaching.
Are you in agreement that Shadow of the Colossus is one of the greatest games ever made? Are you looking forward to this PS4 remake? Call for your horse in the comments section below.