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In October 2005, a video game was released that pushed the limits of the Playstation 2, a console then in the last years of its supported life. That game was Shadow of the Colossus. I never owned a PS2, and so I never directly encountered the game in its original run. Recently, however, my girlfriend received a PS3, and so I’ve been delving into the console’s library via my library. It turns out that a couple of years ago Shadow of the Colossus was given the high-def treatment for a PS3 re-release. I hope that you’ll all forgive my not writing much over the last week, because my free time has been devoured by this gorgeous game. 

Jaw-dropping.

This is the first enemy you encounter.

You play as Wander, a young man who has journeyed to a forbidden land to resurrect a girl named Mono. Your only companion on this journey is Agro, your loyal horse. Upon arriving in a temple, Wander speaks to a being of great power who offers to revive Mono. In order to do so, Wander must destroy the sixteen statues that line the temple, but it is impossible for him to do so directly. Instead, he must seek out and defeat the sixteen colossi represented by each statue.

As the writer over at New Gamer Nation so eloquently said, “It was and still is an awe-inducing game, littered with memorable moments from start to finish due to its grand scale and design.” The first foe, Valus, pictured above, is by no means the largest of the sixteen colossi that our protagonist, Wander, sets out to defeat. Each colossus is a unique puzzle to solve, combining platforming elements with combat.

There is an unshakable feeling of loneliness throughout the game, emphasized by the soundtrack and the sheer scale of the world, empty but for the colossi (and a scattering of lizards and birds). A somber tone pervades the entire game, and I felt a true sense of awe and sorrow as each colossus fell by my hand. I won’t say anything regarding the rest of the plot, but I will say this: I have never been so emotionally invested in a video game. What Wander is willing to do for Mono’s sake brought me to tears.

If you own a PS3 (or a PS2, and you can snag the original version), you owe it to yourself as a gamer to play Shadow of the Colossus. Trust me.

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