At PSX last week I had the chance to try out the Shadow of the Colossus remake from Team Ico. I’m a big fan of the original game, but I don’t think it’s aged particularly well. As such, I believe Shadow of the Colossus is the perfect game to receive a remake, ideally with better controls and updated visuals. I’m happy to say that I was quite impressed with the build I tried out, though I noticed some minor visual downgrades that I hope will be addressed in the full release.
Though I had the choice of battling one of three Collosai, I chose the first Colossus due to its iconic status. I thought it would serve as the perfect comparison to the original game due to the simplicity of the first Colossus (it doesn’t swim or fly or do anything crazy). So after choosing my Colossus and fumbling around for a while to find the staircase leading to him, I set about riding towards the gentle giant whom I would soon slay.
Immediately I noticed that running and riding Agro (your horse) feels a lot better. When replaying the original game for comparison’s sake this week, I found movement to feel a bit weighty, while horse riding felt quite stiff. The remake addresses this with smoother movement when on Agro, and what felt like less fidgety climbing. Otherwise the gameplay felt almost identical. Climbing the Colossus was challenging but fun, and stabbing its weak points is as satisfying as ever. They weren’t enormous differences, but they don’t really need to be. These small changes will go a long way in making Shadow of the Colossus feel more fit for the current generation.
The visuals were impressive overall, but it seems as though some of the subtle atmospheric visuals are missing. The original Shadow of the Colossus had a lot of dust, smoke, and beams of light that added quite a lot to the atmosphere, making the world feel more alive (and in some ways, more dead). I couldn’t find this level of detail in the demo, so I’m really hoping the full game reintroduces these small features to make the tone as accurate to the original as possible.
I think the Shadow of the Colossus remake is definitely on the right track. Outside of the missing atmospheric details, everything about the game is present and improved upon. While I can’t say this definitively until Shadow of the Colossus’s release, I think his remake could be the perfect way to introduce a new generation to one of the most important and artistic games ever made.