Thursday 21 February, 2008
After my second session I am still impressed with this game. I’ve heard before that this game is the closest thing to a work of art in games and I’d say that’s a fairly accurate description. Every colossus is like a level, and each one has something different. The environments, for one, are unique and beautiful. One “level” is themed around ruins half submerged in a lake. Another takes place in a field of grassy hills. It was a pleasure discovering what was around the next corner.
It wasn’t all good though. For one, it was sometimes confusing as to how to kill the monsters. I realize they are puzzles and the fun is figuring out what to do but once or twice I spent a long time doing something completely wrong. It seems like the game sets up wrong paths, which I can see the benefit of having. It makes the game feel less linear that way, but it did cause me to think I was on the right track and lead me to continue to try doing something I couldn’t because of it. Another thing was that some monsters required you to think of something really strange that most people wouldn’t. For instance, the third monster(spoiler alert!) required you to stand on a metal disk and make it hit the disk with its club, causing its wrist armor to break, allowing you to climb up. I did not think of that at all and kept trying to climb its club and jump over the wrist when it raised the club back up. It was sheer luck I happened to be on a metal disk one of the times it attacked. These are not major flaws, though they do take you out of the mood somewhat. It was important for me to mention the downs to be fair, but I hope I don’t deter anyone for playing this game, I’d definitely recommend it.
It’s obvious that a great deal of work was put into creating the atmosphere of this game. The appeal of the game comes largely form the curiosity the game instills throughout. The developers designed the game to draw on the player’s desire to explore and discover. Other games do the same but in a different way. Other games give you shiny things to collect, upgrades and points but Shadow of the Colossus does it much more covertly. The game almost seems like it wants you to like without noticing.
Breaking the game into 16 “levels” was a nice touch. I remember playing Ico and feeling like it just went on forever there’s no distinguishable break points aside from save points. Have the game segmented gives you a sense of accomplishment throughout, and makes feel like you are actually progressing.
The developers did a lot of unique and interesting things with this game. The monsters, for example, are bosses, but they’re also levels in themselves. You can get more life and more grip to on to things longer, but for the most part your character stays the same. I think they did this to keep your focus off of the character.
This is a game you recommend to people not because it was really fun but because you feel you it will better them in some way, not that it wasn’t fun. The game clearly tries to touch you on a deeper level than most. All the aspects work together to that end.
The I can see how this kind of thing may not appeal to some people. This game requires you to be drawn in by the atmosphere. If the mood doesn’t grab you, there’s little chance you’ll like this game