TL;DR, quick fire reviews without the fluff.
There really is nothing quite Shadow of the Colossus. There are no waves of mobs, no levelling up, no gear to collect, just sixteen Colossi to battle – and even those battles are unique, each being memorable and extremely satisfying.
The battles against the Colossi are massive cinematic encounters and their scale, as well as that of the world you’re in, is captured fantastically well. Wander, the player character, feels tiny in this massive world, making victories that much sweeter.
Shadow of the Colossus is not an upbeat game. There is a desperation in the main character, an emptiness to the world and a forlorn sadness that permeates the game. It’s an atmosphere expertly crafted, both visually and though an outstanding use of music.
The camera in Shadow of the Colossus is terrible. It’s difficult to control, sits in shitty positions and often makes the game genuinely harder. It’s absolutely fucking horrible.
There are other frustrations in Shadow of the Colossus as well. The controls are very average, even if there are a number of mapping options, and Argo your horse obviously comes from the same stock as Roach from the Witcher. These issues, coupled with the occasional poor choices in Colossus mechanics made me put the controller down in frustration more than once.
After a long introduction the story throughout the game is paper thing. You pretty much just go and kill the Colossi because a voice in the sky tells you to. That’s in stark contrast to the ending, which is one of the best conclusions to a video game I’ve had the pleasure of seeing. It’s a shame that more of the story could be told on your journey, but the payoff is truly exceptional.
Shadow of the Colossus is a good game, but an outstanding experience. It’s not for everyone, but for those that like it will love it, as we did. It comes highly recommended and we give it four out of five beards.