I remember when I was a lot younger playing the original game on my old PS2. It was a game that helped redefine the medium as not just mindless entertainment, but as a new art form. It was a simple premise with some astounding execution. Sure, there were some flaws, but the game did what it set out to do. I don’t hold it as one of my favorites, but it is a good time. Now Sony has come together to remaster it. Does it measure up to the original, or is it just another game with a pretty paint job? Let’s talk about it.
Like I said, the premise is simple. A young man takes a girl who has died to a distant land, where he heard there is a powerful force that can bring her back to life. The force says that if he wants to resurrect her, he will need to kill 16 colossi. That’s it. I honestly like that. It doesn’t force a whole bunch of unnecessary backstory in there. You learn all you need to know, and then the story plays out.
The first thing to say about this game is the visually it is a marvel. The effects have been brought forward with astounding clarity. It’s unlike anything else you’re going to see. On the PS4 Pro you have the option between visual fidelity and 60fps. With the visuals cranked up, this game looks unbelievable. The marketing all pimped out how great this looks and they weren’t kidding.
It also has this mode where you can take stills of scenes for screenshots and you can mess around with the visuals of it. That’s kinda cool. Caught myself playing with it for some of the epic views in this game. Got to have a lot of fun with that. It’s something you can completely miss, but for those who want it, it is a nice distraction.
What you need to know is that this game is not only a very simple premise but there are NO bells and whistles. This game’s entire premise is about killing the colossi, and that’s all you are going to do. I am glad they didn’t have this be a full-priced game. It feels worth it for the price they asked for. If you are looking for a game that will give you countless hours of entertainment, you’ve gone to the wrong place. If that’s a deal-breaker for you, stop now.
Since this game is essentially 16 boss fights, the challenge comes from finding the weaknesses of these monsters and then exploiting it. Each boss is unique. Everyone has their favorites. Mine are the ones involving flying. Both the giant bird and the giant sky serpent are phenomenal battles. I like how they really amped up the visuals of the boss you fight in the water by making it glow in places. Kinda wish they had done that for some others, but beggars can’t be choosers.
Here’s where I get into my biggest gripe with the game – one reason I was genuinely apprehensive about this was that I was REALLY hoping that they would fix some of the control issues from the original game that did NOT age well at all. The biggest being the handling of the horse. That thing will fight with you the entire time. And I’m sorry to say that they didn’t address that hardly at all. They made mounting the horse easier, but that’s about it. It genuinely feels like all of their shift on this was to focus on the visuals and not on the gameplay elements that really do show this game’s age. That is a problem, and one that keeps bugging you as you have bosses where you have to depend on your horse and it is still fighting you. Very frustrating.
Overall, this isn’t a masterpiece by any measure. It’s a fun game that you can put on to marvel at the visuals and have some fun killing creatures vastly larger than yourself. I don’t hate it, I don’t love it, but it’s fine. Kind of a short review, but I don’t really have anything else to say. It’s good. It’s a perfectly fine game that didn’t recapture the magic of the original, but was fun to play.
7 out of 10