Shadow of the Colossus Preview -- Up Close and Personal

This game needs to be seen in motion in order to be appreciated, so come on in and check it out.

Ever since those first tantalizing screenshots of Shadow of the Colossus (then known as Wanda and the Colossus) materialized, we've been anxious to learn more about this visually stunning game. It's the story of a young man tasked with defeating more than a dozen different gigantic monstrosities with little more than his bare hands, all in order to restore a young woman back from the dead. This is a cinematic action adventure game that pretty much speaks for itself once you see it in action. So without further ado, we invite you to watch our exclusive video preview of Shadow of the Colossus to find out why we're so anxious to see how the end product finally turns out.

As we note in the video, some aspects of the game are undeniably impressive already, while others have left us wondering. From a control standpoint, Shadow of the Colossus definitely has a learning curve to it, but in due course you'll be climbing hundred-story colossi as though you were a kid on a jungle gym. The game's publisher has also boasted that the world of Shadow of the Colossus does not contain any foes other than the colossi themselves, so the gameplay will mostly consist of battles between you and these seemingly invincible foes. That sounds epic and everything...but is it a formula for fun gameplay? What we've played of Shadow of the Colossus so far demonstrates that there will be exploration and platforming sequences in between battles, since each colossus must first be found before it's attacked. But whether these sequences serve to be anywhere near as exciting as the ensuing confrontations remains to be seen.

Check out all our new screenshots of Shadow of the Colossus, and bear in mind the game looks even better in motion.

Some have also speculated that Shadow of the Colossus will be a very short game, since you can count the total number of foes you'll face on your fingers and toes. We're pleased to report that our experiences suggest this won't necessarily be the case. Our demo features battles against the first three colossi, and the process of finding and finally defeating the third one easily took us close to two hours. Once you know exactly what to do, the deed can be done much more quickly, although these are still some seriously drawn-out fights. So, given that there are more than a dozen colossi in the game, and assuming that each battle is at least somewhat more complex than the last, it seems likely that you won't be finishing this game in one sitting. Besides, you'll naturally want to take a break after each battle--they can be intense.

Shadow of the Colossus is almost done, and in a way, we're glad we've just begun to scratch the surface of this unusual game. Though we've shown you much of the game's first three colossi, as well as how the basics of the action will unfold, we can hardly even begin to imagine how the specific events and battles of Shadow of the Colossus will pan out. Shadow of the Colossus is slated for release next month.

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