This week’s addition to the ever growing PlayStation Plus Instant Game Collection is amongst the best that has and ever will be available through the program, Shadow of the Colossus HD.
A selfish young boy carries the lifeless body of the girl he loves to a forbidden land with the hopes and desires of bringing her back to life. He is tasked by an unseen voice with murdering 16 towering colossi if he wants any hope of resurrecting his one true love. With his trusty horse, he rides off to battle, but as the monsters fall one by one, he begins to wonder if killing these reclusive beasts for his own selfish gain is the right thing to do.
Has there ever been a game like Shadow of the Colossus before? Not that I can think of. Combining the platforming of its spiritual predecessor, ICO, and boss fights on an unparalleled scale, SCE Japan and Team ICO created a very unique game which requires puzzle solving, twitch timing, and a lot of patience and planning. Climbing to the weak points of some of these beasts is no easy task with the horse, the environments, the platforms, and even the colossus’ movement patterns all to keep track of.
Watching them fall is not easy either. There is a huge emotional investment in each battle before the beasts finally topple lifeless to the floor, no longer the majestic creations they had been for a millennium.
Beyond that, nothing. The game is strictly boss fights and an open-world free from any other encounters. Roaming the vast land, hunting rare silver tailed lizards, picking fruit for health bonuses, or just simply existing in this kingdom manages to create the feeling that the boy is small and alone with not another being for hundreds of miles.
Shadow of the Colossus is a true masterpiece. A classic made only better with the power of the PlayStation 3 running it and allowing it not to look like a slide show like it did after its PlayStation 2 release. It’s will be available on the PlayStation Store for free. Happy hunting!