I played SHADOW OF THE COLOSSUS this week because my daughter had a copy of the 2018 remake for PlayStation 4. She bought it because she’s studying video game design in college, and the original 2005 version is considered a classic, influencing many games that came after.
Critics loved the remake but I have to wonder how much nostalgia influenced that reception. SHADOW OF THE COLOSSUS enchanted young players a decade ago, so they grew up to write about the game with rose-colored glasses.
Having no nostalgia of my own, ignorant of exactly what place it holds in the annals of video game history, and not being a 12-year-old, SHADOW OF THE COLOSSUS quickly grew boring and repetitive for me. Climb up the hairy back, stab the glowing tattoo. Over and over and over. The beasts try to shake you off so you have to hold on, but you only have so much grip strength. When that runs out, you either have to find a place to rest or you fall and have to climb again. That’s about it.
There doesn’t seem to be much else going on in SHADOW OF THE COLOSSUS but expansive vistas with a whole lotta nothing. No characters to talk to, no chests to open, no explanations, no lore. I never even found out the protagonist’s name or why he wanted to revive the dead girl so badly he was willing to be bathed in black brain juice.
The colossi probably get more challenging, and they are really cool to look at, but considering how far I have to travel to each one — on the worst horse-riding simulator ever, with an impossibly clunky camera — I have zero interest in finding out.
SHADOW OF THE COLOSSUS is rated “T” for teens, due to blood and violence.
~ J.L. Hilton
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