Team Ico has been one of my favorite developers for quite some time. I fell in love with them deep into the PlayStation 2 era with the original Shadow of the Colossus. And then swooned again during the PlayStation 3 era with the HD remaster of Ico. I will admit after hearing about the from the ground up remake of Shadow of the Colossus I was a bit nervous. The Last Guardian was not critically or financially acclaimed and I did not know too much about Bluepoint Games who was helming the remake. I was scared that the world Team Ico had created, which was so unique and a joy to play around in, had lost its luster. Thankfully Bluepoint Games understood and loved the original version and they poured every ounce of heart and care into this remake.
Bluepoint Games really hit the nail on the head with this remake. The rebuilt world looks exactly as it should, just in super high def with amazing graphics! The cut-scenes are still as moving as the first time I saw them. Only now they are gorgeous and Oscar worthy. It was a trip riding my horse over that bridge again to save the love of my life by destroying beasts that could kill me in one fell swoop. Watching the opening cut-scene again on my giant television really was a sight to see, I couldn’t believe how well the developer had done; and that was just the opening scene of the game.
The controls, in my opinion, didn’t change at all. I was riding Agro with Wander and I didn’t stumble or stutter at all with the PS4 controller in my hands, it felt natural and perfect, just like I was in my twenties again! In fact the controls were a bit more responsive and smoother as I slayed these giant beasts. I no longer ran Agro and myself off the narrow bridges like I use to, nor did I mess up my arrow shots or boss fight stabbings.
I took down the first 5 in a matter of an hour or so due to the fact that the controls were just that little bit better. So if you’re an old hand at the game, it may go by too quickly for you. However, if you’re new to Team Ico’s world then it may take a bit longer as you gasp in awe at the magnificence.
I’m sure that many gamers are feeling tired of remakes and upgrades, and I was beginning to agree. I mean, how many times do I have to buy Ratchet and Clank, but this version of Shadow of the Colossus sold me on their continuation. I was beginning to suffer from remake syndrome until my chubby little hands began to play as Wander again. This remake was not a quick cash grab, this was a remake built with love and it makes me even more excited for the Resident Evil 2 Remake. If remakes continued to be made with THIS much love and respect then there is no reason to remake some of our favorites. However if it is a quick cash grab like the PS3 collections from last generation, then I’d just rather not.
For newer gamers who have never slayed a Colossus, this is where you should start your journey as Wander. This is a slower game, but it is basically sixteen different boss fights. No filler here, just pure boss slaying, which makes you feel like a badass. If you’ve played this game on the PlayStation 2 and the PlayStation 3 those two versions were not as epic as this one. Seeing this land in epic ground up HD makes this the definitive version to play.
If you want to see what came before The Last Guardian, then you need to pick this game up. Keep in mind though the basis for this game came from a completely different era in gaming and you may have to get use to the pacing and controls. I will tell you it will be worth it, true gamers need to beat this game at least once, it is that important to the industry.