Archive for the Impressions Category

Rinse and Repeat: Shadows of the Colossus

Posted in Impressions with tags , , on February 9, 2009 by zolthanite

I finally got around to playing the game, which some people have hailed as being epically amazing on all fronts. I’m about halfway through, and things are starting to get kind of… repetitive.

I realize I’m playing a PS2 game, so I’m not going to nitpick about graphics/physics not making sense or something stupid. But the game really, truly does feel like a tech demo and a proof of concept. It does not feel like there’s an actual “game” that I’m playing.

The biggest issue is I can’t figure out what the story is. Ostensibly, I’m off to kill colossus #8, so I should be approaching the midpoint of the game. But averaging 30m a colossus assuming you can find it (My current issue with #8 is I have no idea where to go, or how to get there) and figure out how to kill it (Which, to be fair, isn’t usually THAT hard to do beyond timing and managing grip, but for #6 I found myself trying to climb his arm when there was a way to hide and climb his beard instead), that’s about 4 hours of play where the only thing you have to go on is “There’s a girl that needs a soul and this being will give it up if I kill these 16 colossi”. If the game is going to advertise revolutionary story techniques on the box, I kinda need a little bit more than that after 4 hours of play.

I will say one thing though, and it’s something that I find sorely lacking in mainstream development. The biggest plus about the game is it’s an example of making a high-level control mechanic and using that in a game (Portal), and not making a game first and adding the controls second (I wonder if that’s how Metal Gears are made). WAY too many games AAA games are doing this now, which is funny as the games coming out of DigiPen and high-profile flash games are usually based around the mechanic first. The game is by no means bad, but I’ll finish it up before I actually write a full scope of things I enjoy about the game.