Sony’s answer to The Legend of Zelda series, Shadow of the Colossus is an action-adventure for the mature gamer.
Originally released in 2005 for the PlayStation 2 by Sony, Shadow of the Colossus was later updated for HD and released in a two-pack with Ico in 2011 for the PlayStation 3. It is currently available as a downloadable game on the PlayStation network. In this game, you assume the identity of Wander and have your faithful horse sidekick, Agro. Wander has brought his deceased lover’s body to the temple in Shadow to revive her. You make a deal with some overhead spiritual being made of light that she will be brought back if you kill the 16 colossi that occupy this land. What ensues is a journey of discovery and the most epic of boss battles. There are no NPCs to talk to in this game: no henchman, towns, or monster filled dungeons. Just you, Agro and 16 boss battles.
There is a high art style feel to the game, as well as a dark Zelda-type vibe. There are a lot of light versus dark motifs going on. You use sunlight to show you the way to the next enemy, and when you vanquish them, they release a dark energy. You are encouraged to explore in this game partially because the fruit you find in trees and lizard tails you gather will increase your maximum life and stamina stats permanently. Each colossus you battle is massive. To defeat them, you will have to pay attention to their abilities and your surroundings. Many claim Shadow of the Colossus to also be a puzzle game for the ingenuity you will need to take down the colossi.
The control scheme at the beginning feels slightly random. As you get further into the game, the game play controls make good sense. They are streamlined so you can focus on the task at hand. You get a unique sword that you can point under the sunlight that will show you which direction to find the next colossus. In battle, you can use it the same way to find a vulnerable spot. The bow you start with comes in handy pretty much the ways you would expect. Lastly, you will be doing a lot of climbing and holding onto things in Shadow. The scale of things you deal with actually gets very daunting. You feel emotionally involved during a battle and drained afterwards due to how intense the fights get. The exploration you go through to find the next big baddy are welcome after a few encounters.
Shadow of the Colossus | Strategy Video
Here is our TCG video strategy for taking down all the colossi in Shadow followed up by our full walkthrough.
Shadow of the Colossus | Rating
Shadow of the Colossus stands on its own in this genre. It seems like a very influential game when you look at hardcore action rpg’s like Demon’s Souls. When you finish the game, you unlock hard difficulty and can go back to do timed trials that unlock powerful items. This game seems simplistic at first. It wants you to learn by experimenting or with trial and error. The visual style and musical score are epic. The only two negatives I find with this game are that 1) figuring out how to kill some of the colossi can get very confusing if you do it on your own, & 2) some of the controls, like climbing, can be inconsistent. I think it is good for normal mode, but for the timed trials and harder difficulties I can see it being annoying. Overall, this game is fun, replayable, stylish, and beating a colossus feels rewarding.
Shadow of the Colossus | Recommendations
Fun games that are similar to Shadow of the Colossus: Ico, Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls I, Dark Souls II, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.