This one’s huge.
When trying to describe this game to people, it’s sometimes hard to make it sound as interesting as it is. Admittedly, even when I was first told about it, it just seemed silly. It’s a game composed of travelling long distances to find bosses and defeat them. There are no smaller enemies, no lives and no upgrades. It’s just a boy, his sword, his bow and arrow and his horse. The whole game is spoken in a fictional language where the main character seldom speaks. Mostly just grunts, not unlike Link. Even the bosses have weak points that glow and use just have to stab them.
But this game has scale. The environments are varied, creative and absolutely stunning. The bosses themselves are levels in their own. Every single boss is unique and challenging in completely different ways. You fight them on different terrains – land, sky and sea – and often the bosses themselves are their own terrains. Finding their weak points and exposing them often requires specific vantage points and special timing is required to hit them. They are these unimaginably gigantic creatures that are very literally as big as buildings. You literally have to navigate your way across them by holding onto their fur, running across hard parts, jumping from limb to limb and the only thing you have to maintain is your balance/grip meter. Some bosses are less challenging than others, and like many games, the last boss is ridiculously hard.
I mentioned Link earlier for a reason. While the main character either doesn’t speak at all or just has very little to say, I still felt a connection to him. He fucks up and has to face the consequences to bring back his love even if it means sacrificing everything. Tangent alert.
I’m going to rant for a moment about Zelda. The game undoubtedly has fantastic gameplay, amazing scale and often pushes the limits of its console, but I have never felt a thing for Link. He’s a twat and I’ve never really felt he ever had anything to lose. He’s just embarking on a huge journey to save his childhood love.
In Shadow of the Colossus there are no side quests, there’s a direct story with a beginning, a middle and an end. I never felt distracted and always felt that I was further accomplishing something great. All this without an outspoken character, any character upgrades or even fighting through legions of minions. It’s an incredible experience that I don’t think anyone will ever be able to live up to again.
If you haven’t played this game, you should. It’s huge and immersive even when it sounds like it shouldn’t be. I often say that everyone should play a game that I’m excited about, but I haven’t played this game in almost five years and I can still remember how great the experience and journey was. It was emotional, exciting and sometimes stressful. Amazing.
See you all Monday