This is a gargantuan game in its own right..
The first strength of this game is amazingly its simple story. Not much is revealed as to what the whole point of the story is all about, but you're presented with a preimise that is to seek to revive a girl, and some celestial freaks tell your character to kill 16 giants that roam the exapansive world of the game. You're not told as to who the girl is, only that she's dead. It's a muted but important detail to bring emphasis to the enigma that is the game itself.
The visuals are awesome! It's one of the games that pushed that graphical limits of the PS2. It looked so great that it won a lot of awards for excellence in animation and art. The attention to detail is astounding; the whole game is vast in geographical scale, and is realistic, with all the hues, the shapes and the architecture accenting the world that you traverse in. Even the colossi themselves look really sweet! The horse Agro moves and acts realistically, just like a real horse. There is excellent use of lighting and shadows. A motion-blur effect has been integrated to heighten the feel of the game (players might want to ramp up the camera effects to lessen the solemn and dark feel of the topography, and even the adventuring part).
Not much sound is presented when finding a colossus to defeat. You'll only hear the galloping of your horse, the rush of the wind, a few animal sounds and such. But that doesn't mean that it's crap in terms of sound effects. It's very realistic, and players will really feel that they're travelling a vast landscape. The environmental sounds and noises are truly immersive. It really feels like you're on an external plane that needs exploring. The noises that each colossus make are surprisingly powerful, despite the unscary nature of most of them; they grunt and groan in a manner that may let you think twice about killing them. The music is powerfully done, with the soundtrack rising when a colossal struggle is underway. There's so-so voice-acting primarily because the characters talk gibberish; the language used is fictional, but it brings a sense of wonder that the game may not be set on Earth, or that the game takes place in very ancient times. As for the hero of the game, most of the time he just grunts or makes heaving noises. The only time you can hear an actual word from him is when he calls his trusty steed, Agro.
The controls get to be a little brow-frowner at first, but it'll test players' skills on the PS2 controller. Wander, the character in the game really moves with grace(stumbling grace, that is) with each button-press. Running toward a colossus or climbing one is an example of how clumsy the young hero is. But his monotonous determination to kill the poor beasts is still a wonder to behold, technically. Some players may think that grabbing and holding onto a collosus may be a wrenching task, with many buttons almost pressed at once, but it's manageable once you get used to it. The game is all about climbing, so climb with excitement, not with dismay.
Agro moves with fluid grace once Wander mounts him. It's true that a lot of X button-presses is required to boost Agro's speed up, but navigating him is fun, and you'll get to appreciate how he's animated. I have never seen such a beautifully animated horse. I have always admired the developers' attention to detail, especially with their work on Agro.
The battles are awesome! Get this: no puzzle is the same in this game. Each colossus features unique gameplay, from the how-to-climb-them puzzles to actually traversing the creatures in search for their 'tender' parts to actually killing them(poor bastards). Critical-thinking and good use of the environments is essential when killing the colossi. Wander is only equipped with a bow and a sword. Occasional bouts with trial-and-error is required to kill a colossus. Stab them at specific places and witness how weirdly evil Wander is. But that's part of the whole mystery of the game.
The game's shorter than it has to be, by the way, because of the lack of other things to do besides hunting the colossi. But again, it's not a weakness. Simplicity is an emphasis to this game. Killing 16 harmless beasts is actually enough to brand you a sadist but all to great measure: the climax will explain it for you.
Buy this game! To all who finished it, I salute you.