The word “experience” really is an apt descriptor for Shadow of the Colossus. At a certain point, it ceases to exist as a game you play and becomes something you experience.
The narrative (which isn’t a very accurate word, there’s not a lot of talking) is simple: A wanderer on horseback brings a young girl’s body to an ancient temple. The wanderer knows the legend of the Colossi. If they are defeated, they grant power great enough to bring people back from death. His path is clear.
This is their story.
How well crafted is it? There are niggling bits that I could mention that are simply limitations of the media. * To mention them would be like complaining about a stellar movie that I watched simply because it is always the same no matter how many times I see it.
As games go, Shadow of the Colossus is beautiful. The music, the landscape, the story, the mechanics are such that I was driven to complete it. That does not happen often. It’s that good.
The sense of accomplishment and elation after defeating a Colossus is unparalleled. However, that celebratory feeling is laced with doubt. Is this the right thing to do?
There is a very poignant moment near the endgame which nearly had me in tears. I had to pause the game and compose myself before continuing on.
This is one of the most emotional games I have ever played. Please do not miss Shadow of the Colossus.
Minor camera issues. I mention this because I feel that I would be remiss if I did not bring it up. After having completed Shadow of the Colossus, I realize now that when I was fighting with the camera trying to look at something else, it was actually pointing me at what I should be paying attention to. It was a not so subtle hint that I was ignoring. In fact, the last Colossus would have been much simpler (and not a two hour confrontation) had I just paid attention to what I was looking at. Thank you developers.