It cannot be understated how unique Team Ico's "Shadow Of The Colossus" was. It was a game made up of boss fights scattered around a vast world with no regular enemies, bonus objectives, or other non-playable characters to talk to. This probably sounded like a disaster on paper, but "Shadow of the Colossus" gave players an emotionally charged journey juxtaposed with some of the most exhilarating boss fights in gaming history.

Why remake a classic?

When it was announced that "Shadow of the Colossus," one of my all-time favorite games, was getting a full-on remake for the PlayStation 4, "blasphemy" was the first thought that came to my mind.

I won't deny that the original has its flaws, because it most certainly does. The controls are still kind of clunky, the camera isn't always helpful, and the framerate had a tendency to chug during the more intense moments.

I'll concede that these flaws could be a deal breaker for most players and that's why I applauded the PlayStation 3 Ico Collection by Bluepoint games for addressing most of the problems that the original release had. After that, a remake just seemed pointless to me. However, after getting my hands on the demo at PlayStation Expo 2017, I finally see the reasoning behind this. This remake seeks to eschew all the elements of the original title that don't hold up and retain those that do.

"Thy next foe is.."

The preview gave players the choice between the first, third, or thirteenth colossi.

For the sake of this preview, I chose my personal favorite -- the thirteenth one. Despite not having played the original in years and the different controls for the remake, it felt as if time had not passed. The atmosphere and tranquility in wandering around the valleys, forests, and deserts is bolstered by the updated visuals and improved framerate. When I finally found the flying Colossus, I jumped on him from my horse and held onto his wings for dear life as he tried to buck me off.

On more advanced hardware, this fight that I had so many years ago almost felt new. With no technical limitations to take me out of the world such as limited draw distancing, chunky framerate, or muddy textures, I was able to fully lose myself in this world and in this battle. Purists of the original title can rest easy as the basic gameplay of jumping, climbing, and exploring remains intact.

Release information

If you haven't played the original and want to know what the fuss is about, this seems to be shaping up to be the definitive way to play. "Shadow of the Colossus" for PlayStation 4 is slated for release on February 6th, 2018.