Parents need to know that “Shadow of the Colossus” is a remastered version of an adventure game originally released in 2005. The game focuses on a young warrior trying to defeat 16 gigantic monsters with a bow and arrow and a sword. Finding and correctly targeting the weak points of the monsters sprays black blood from its wounds. A character also winds up getting impaled by a sword and shot through the leg with an arrow. Players may find themselves frustrated by the controls, which can be a bit stiff, especially compared to other modern adventure games. Otherwise, there’s no inappropriate content to be found in the game.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
“Shadow of the Colossus” (PS4) takes place in a mysterious land, and starts with a young man named Wander riding his horse Agro towards a remote temple with the body of a dead woman with him. As soon as he gets to the temple, the reason for his journey is clear: Wander hopes to bring the woman back to life, and seeks any ritual or power he can find to manage his task. In the temple, he discovers a spirit that tells him to bring the woman back, he has to track down and kill the 16 Colossi that roam the wilderness of this realm. Using only a bow and arrow, a sword, and your wits, you have to use the mysterious clues the voice gives you to find these monsters, then figure out what their weaknesses are and figure out a way to bring them down to fulfill your mission. Can Wander bring the young woman back? What is the significance of these creatures, and why do they need to be destroyed? Over the course of the adventure, you’ll discover some of these answers, and uncover many additional questions about the tale. Along with 4K upgraded visuals and enhanced gameplay features, including a photo mode, this version of the game includes a number of unlockables, including additional weapons and outfits, concept art that compares the original to this new version, as well as multiple difficulty levels and secrets.
IS IT ANY GOOD?
Much more than just a simple update of a classic adventure, this visually updated tale brings this striking story to a new generation with updated visuals to captivate and amaze players. “Shadow of the Colossus” is one of those games that digs its hooks into you as soon as you start the game. You’re only given minor details and sent to slay the 16 Colossi to fulfill your quest, all of which tower over you by hundreds of feet. You don’t know why they’re there, why they need to die, or how you’re going to kill them, but that adds to the mystery and the setting. What’s more, there’s no horde of enemies to fight through or minor foes to cut down. The world is virtually empty save you and the beasts you’re hunting, which makes the showdowns incredibly intimate and powerful. You’ll find yourself going through a range of emotions over the course of the game, which can be beaten in about 10 hours.
Regardless of your emotional journey, this game looks amazing. Its graphics are eye-popping on the PS4, especially with it being playable in 4K. The fact that the initial shrine has more detail than the entire original game speaks to the care and the attention paid to making this remastered game an experience you need to play. The controls can still be a bit frustrating, but it’s incredibly worth putting up with those legacy issues for the stunning gameplay found here. If you haven’t played “Shadow” before, you have to play this game. If you’ve played it before, play it again — it’s a haunting, magical experience.
RATING AND CONTENT
Recommended for ages 13 and older
Quality: 5 out of 5
Positive messages: 2 out of 5
Positive role models: 3 out of 5
Ease of play: 2 out of 5
Violence: 3 out of 5
Sex: 0 out of 5
Language: 0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, and smoking: 0 out of 5
Consumerism: 1 out of 5 (Are products/advertisements embedded? Is the title part of a broader marketing initiative/empire? Is the intent to sell things to kids?)
Platforms: PlayStation 4
Developer: Sony Computer Entertainment America
Release date: February 6, 2018
ESRB rating: T for blood, violence