Tuesday, January 30, 2018

"Shadow of the Colossus" PS4 Review

A technological marvel when it was released for the PS2 late in the system's life cycle in 2005, "Shadow of the Colossus" has now graced each of the last three PlayStation console generations.

Following a 2011 PS3 remaster that kept many of the originals outdated problems intact, the PS4 recreation easily captures the title as the definitive version by injecting much-needed quality-of-life upgrades such as a silk-smooth autosave, more intuitive camera, streamlined traversal, combat and horseback functions as well as a healthy load time speed-up thanks to the customary mandatory install.

Even better, the settings are customizable. You can opt for a 60 fps, anti-aliasing performance mode or a traditional cinematic mode that pumps out 4K visuals at 30 fps on the PS4 Pro.

Technical jargon aside, the real draw here is the distilled version of the deceptively simple saga that cuts through technical limitations of the past to cut to the core of the true vision that Team Ico had 13 years ago. Unburdened by the shackles of bothersome limitations, you are free to roam the countryside as the lovelorn Wander, on his obsessive quest to bring his lost love back to life by slaying several hulking beasts who prowl the realm.

At the time, the moral grey area in which the storyline delved was shocking and disturbing. The passing years have jaded gamers to the point where the buried revelations no longer pack such a jarring impact, but that doesn't dull the sense of conflicted regret you feel as you delve deeper into the darkness that awaits.

About the only complaint I can muster is that this elegant, devastatingly beautiful remake of one of gamedom's all-time greats didn't come along with its spiritual predecessor, "Ico," which was also remastered on the PS3 in 2011. But if we have to choose one of the two, "Shadow of the Colossus" is the easy choice. No matter how many times you've played through the game -- and if you've yet to take on the achingly gorgeous saga, shame on you -- you now need to take it on at least one more time.

Publisher provided review code.

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