Shadow of the Colossus

April 26, 2006 · Print This Article

Shadow of the ColossusInnovativeness and ingenuity are two words that many video game developers seem to leave out of their vocabularies when working on games. Most studios stick to time proven methods and concepts that produce near carbon copies of past games. Granted, these game are fun to play, but after a while this age old process of making games ends up making these titles boring and unappealing. For this reason, it is necessary to honor a developer who can step in and successfully develop a game that breaks through these overused boundaries and instead makes for itself a new path for making its game. This is where Shadow of the Colossus enters.

Sony Computer Entertainment has produced what can only be considered one of the most unique and artistic games ever created with Shadow of the Colossus. It is truly amazing that while most developers think all original ideas have already been used up, Sony has found a way to make a game that is unparalleled and unprecedented. But enough of the formalities, let’s discuss why this game is so truly amazing in its own right.

The premise of the game is rather simple: mythical giants, the colossi, roam the earth. Due to the circumstances, which indeed are rather bare in Shadow of the Colossus, the hero of the game, a young man, must proceed to dispatch 16 colossi surrounding a temple where he has brought his dead love. According to the game, this is the only way by which the hero can save his love and bring her back to him. Strangely enough, this is basically all you ever learn of the storyline in the game, but it is really all you ever need to know.

From there the character proceeds out into the barren world to fulfill his task. What he is presented with is one of the most beautiful and artistic worlds ever to present itself in a video game. Shadow of the Colossus offers a beautiful world that has been perfectly designed with beautiful scenery on a massive level. While special effects tend to be bare, the artistry and beautiful environments still make the game a gem in graphical terms.

As far as the gameplay itself, it can indeed be considered rather repetitive. The character never levels up and his inventory is basically unchanging. He embarks on his trusty steed armed only with a simple sword and a bow and arrow, which he’ll keep until the quest is complete. From the temple, the character journeys into the massive, barren world in search of each colossi. One by one, the character must combat and defeat each of the sixteen colossi, return to the temple, and proceed to journey out and dispatch the next one.

There are no enemies in between, and overall, the game is rather empty save for the massive enemies that tower hundreds of feet above the character and shake the earth with each step. The musical score coincides with this perfectly, offering no music in between the battles. The only sounds that accompany the character are the sounds of the wind and of the water, contributing to the barren, empty feeling of the game.

However, empty is not a word that can be used once the battle has begun. From there, the true beauty of the game begins. The musical score, a delightful one, kicks in and motivates the player to defeat the massive creature that is present. The game centers around these colossi battles, since they really are the only things that ever happen in the game, and each one is different and equally as challenging. Each colossi must be defeated in a unique way and each looks and acts differently. Some fly, some plod around on the ground, some are bigger than others, and each attempts to kill the hero in different ways. For this reason, each colossi requires creative thinking to kill it. The battles are incredibly challenging, to say the least, and can be downright frustrating at times as the player tries to figure out how to defeat each colossi.

While this might seem repetitive and boring, this design is actually the true beauty of the game. The game floods players with innovativeness and artistry that can’t be found in any other game. It’s simplicity in design yet the fact that it requires so much thought to defeat each colossi make it one of the most fun and challenging games that has ever been designed and created. Granted, there could have been a few more things thrown in to improve the game in many gamers minds, the fact remains that Shadow of the Colossus is simply one of the most fun and impressive games ever made and ever gamer should try it out.


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