You know, there’s a reason for the high definition re-releases of both Ico and Shadow Of The Colossus being so late to the party, but it’s hard not to assume it’s purely for marketing purposes. Releasing the pair as late as possible (to drum up hype for The Last Guardian) is a smart idea, but technically at least it’s a little bit tricky to see just where all that precious development time has gone to.
Atmosphere still might not be done as well anywhere else.
Naturally, it’s now much, much smoother in terms of frame rate, and this is a huge thing as anyone that played the original would know. Shadow pushed the PlayStation 2 beyond its limits, but what was once a crawling, juddery mess is locked at 30 fps – it makes a big difference, especially on horseback and half way up one of the numerous titular colossi. The frame rate holds up in 3D too, which at least provided some depth to the visuals.
The old UI is an eyesore, though – at least at this stage; remnants of the PS2 version are echoed in poor low resolution typography and ugly menus, and new features (like a 3D slider) are shoehorned in – but it was never a title that really needed anything more than the most basic of overlays. What still rings true, above all these niggles and issues, is the art – it’s still picture perfect and although technically dated, the character designs are exemplary and utterly wonderful.
The gameplay is still a real pleasure.
But yes, it is a re-release. This isn’t a remake by any stretch – the visuals are better but not by a massive leap – but if you go into this just expecting a stunning game that aspect won’t disappoint. And as a refresher for The Last Guardian, this and Ico (arguably the better of the two here) are must haves. We look forward to the final version of the game, and bringing down those colossi.