Shadow of the Colossus PS4 Remake Is Exactly What We Hoped for
When game developers discuss their biggest influences, Shadow of the Colossus is bound to come up. This beloved PS2 game released just a month before the Xbox 360 hit shelves, and capped off the sixth console generation with an instant classic. More than a decade later, Bluepoint Games has rebuilt the entire game for the PS4, and the results are stellar.
On our sister site IGN, Shadow of the Colossus (2018) earned an “Amazing” score of 9.7/10. The fundamentals of Fumito Ueda’s design hold up well, and reviewer Marty Sliva thinks very highly of the numerous nips and tucks made for modern audiences. Even 13 years later, Colossus deserves the same level of praise as the original outing.
Over at Metacritic, Colossus enjoys a 93/100 aggregate score based on a total of 68 reviews. Fourteen outlets (including Destructoid and The Telegraph) gave this remake a perfect score while sites like ShackNews and GamesRadar handed out 80/100s at the bottom. There’s no doubt that both Bluepoint and Sony are thrilled with this initial critical response.
Since Sony owns Shadow of the Colossus, it’s no surprise that the 2018 release is a PS4 exclusive. However, there are three different implementations here that we need to consider. First, the original PS4 and PS4 Slim run the game at 1080p30 – plain and simple. If you’re on the PS4 Pro, you get to pick between 1080p60 in performance mode or 1440p30 in the high-res mode. And thanks to the exemplary anti-aliasing and motion blur implementations on offer, the image on screen looks superb regardless of which resolution or frame rate you’re seeing.
Over at the Digital Foundry, John Linneman thinks that this is “one of the best remakes of all time.” Nearly every aspect of the original game has been revisited, and given the attention it deserves. From the core geometry to the lighting to the water physics, Bluepoint has turned this classic into a legitimately modern experience.
Because the original game pushed the PS2’s aging hardware so hard, it featured a notoriously terrible frame rate. Long sequences would be stuck at 20fps, and dips into the mid-teens turned it into a slideshow. The PS3-era remaster – also from Bluepoint Games – bumped the resolution and frame rate significantly, but this is the first time Colossus has ever been able to hit 60fps. After analyzing hours and hours of gameplay, Digital Foundry only found a handful of torn frames. As such, it’s fair to say that the frame rate remains almost entirely locked for the base, performance, and high-res modes.
It’s also worth mentioning that this update goes beyond the visuals and frame rate. The control scheme has been updated for modern sensibilities, and the team even threw in the classic controls for super-fans. Better yet, it seems that the input latency that plagued the original game has been solved. That’s not to say that you’ll never accidentally slip off a colossus, but the frustration level has been dialed way back. All said, it’s clear Bluepoint has turned in an excellent finished product.