Magic Reborn: Seven years later, ‘Shadow of the Colossus’ still among the best platformers

George Treviranus, Design Director

Initially released on the PlayStation 2, fans can once again relive the joy of tackling one of the best action platformers in the history of gaming. The game is largely the same, featuring the story of Wander as he conquers the 16 colossi of the Forbidden Land in order to rescue the woman he loves, Mono, by tapping into the power of Dormin, a mysterious entity said to have the ability to revive the dead.

Among the many great things “Shadow of the Colossus” offers, it has a sense of mystery that most games overlook. Players don’t know much about the colossi, their origin, or even the background of Dormin. The game immerses the player in something mystical and hopeful, but is equally as dark. It’s truly great to revisit this title on the PlayStation 3 as it puts into perspective something that most mainstream games have adopted religiously: being too explicit. Games franchises as Mass Effect, Halo and even the more popular Call of Duty and Final Fantasy, all use a very strict “tell everyone everything” rule that takes away from the gaming experience. Upon striking down the colossi of “Shadow of the Colossus,” there’s an inherent emotional impact involved that immerses the player more and more as they progress throughout the story. Not to mention the main characters fading health as he travels to take down these beasts.

Traveling with nothing but a sword, bow and arrow and your trusty stampeed, Argo, you travel the vast open world searching for the colossi to slay. Make no mistake: “Shadow of the Colossus” has one of the most expansive open worlds in any game. Despite not having played the title in almost four years, it is still quite breathtaking. Not to mention easy to get lost in. Sometimes it is fun just to run around looking for things to do – when there really never is, apart from the main storyline.

Despite the rough learning curve, once you’re used to the gameplay controls, it’s a cakewalk. The physics involved make it extra hard to take down your foes, but in some ways, the added challenge is a good thing. The sense of scale is evident of that alone.

“Shadow of the Colossus” is truly a masterpiece action platformer. Finally being able to get trophies over PlayStation Network is a reward that most gamers will cling to. Not to mention the behind the scenes extras, showing the making of the game.

The gameplay elements of Shadow of the Colossus are very much the same, but look and play even better in high definition. The game is worth far more than $19.99 and gamers are doing themselves a favor to re-experience this colossal adventure.