Shadow of the Colossus in 3D: Eyes On, Hands On

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Ico and Shadow of the Colossus Collection

Looming majestically over the wind-swept plains, the Colossus lowers its ponderous head to peer at the tiny, curious creature scuttling before it. Of course, that tiny creature is you. And before long, you’ll be dangling from the great brute, magic sword clutched tightly in one small hand, as you prepare to bring the Goliath to its knees with a series of pinprick stabs. Once the battle is over and you’ve slain the giant, you may be left to grapple with a haunting question: “Why?”

This is Shadow of the Colossus, one of the most highly regarded games ever released and a beacon to many game developers for its epic grandness, its subtle artistry, and its messy emotional context. Along with Ico, Shadow of the Colossus is returning this spring in dazzling HD with robust (though optional) stereoscopic 3D support. I donned a pair of active-shutter 3D glasses to get a fresh look at Fumito Ueda’s masterpiece running on the PS3.

Playing Shadow of the Colossus in 3D, I was immediately struck by the agoraphobic vastness of the landscape. The stark beauty of the world is far clearer thanks to new high-resolution environment textures looted from the hard drives at developer Team Ico. And in case you were wondering, Bluepoint Games is handling the conversion duties for the Ico and Shadow of the Colossus Collection — if you played the God of War Collection, then you’re familiar with their handiwork.

Ico and Shadow of the Colossus Collection

And then there are the colossi. I defeated the first two (there are 16 in all), and scrambling across their shaggy backs in stereoscopic 3D added immensely to the drama. But it it also aided the gameplay: Seen in 3D, the platforms and protrusions that jut from their immense bodies seem to occupy the foreground, making it easier to judge distances and find a safe place to rest when your grip is weakening. And dangling hundreds of feet in the air now gives you a striking sense of vertigo — the ground seems to sprawl endlessly around you, threatening to swallow you up.

Of course, you don’t need a 3D TV to enjoy the other benefits of the Ico and Shadow of the Colossus Collection. In addition to the new high-res environment textures, the crisp HD resolution brings out cinematic details I missed on the PS2 version, such as tiny birds flying around the head of the first colossus. The framerate now sits at a fluid, solid 30 frames per second, eliminating one of the few complaints of the original game. When I spun the camera angle around, I also noted smooth, natural-looking motion blur. And Trophy support is most definitely in.

Other than the massive graphical overhaul and stereoscopic 3D support, this is the same Shadow of the Colossus that you know and love. The minimalist story, gameplay, unique controls, and user interface are identical. You know what they say: Don’t mess with a good thing.

The Ico and Shadow of the Colossus Collection is scheduled to arrive on the PS3 in spring of 2011. Are you interested in trying the game in stereoscopic 3D? Let us know in the comments.

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20 Author Replies

  • Never got a chance to play these on PS2, so I will buy this Collection!

  • Very excited to play these again. My son missed out on Ico, but he played prt 2. Can’t wait… count me in for 2 copies.

  • i no need 3d really i feel bad when i use but have ico and shadow of the colossus in one single disk is very good deal and trophy suport i need now my ps3 so bad in latin america is very expensive

  • Day 1 purchase!!!
    When will it be out?!?!?!?!??!
    calm down….deep ..breath… relax.
    okay. got a little too excited there. sorry
    Thank you sony!

  • Beauty will grace the PS3!

  • You have no idea how excited I am that this is going to be in 3D! Shadow of the Colossus is one of my favorite games ever and knowing it’ll be in 3D totally justifies all that money I recently spent on getting a new 3D TV : )

    • Seriously, it looks *great*. One of the best 3D implementations I’ve seen. Having playing SOTC in 3D, I don’t think there’s any going back for me :(

  • There is no word to describe how epic this collection will be.
    Well done Sony… Merry Christmas!!!!

  • Look gorgeous! cant wait!

  • Bravias’ are way out of my range in price. Any other tv’s with 3d support yet?
    Either way I’m getting this and boy will I rampage through that game until I have it’s platinum!

  • Day 1 purchase!

    Sid any news on Mass Effect 2(how the ME1 comic will work) or Dead Space 2(or Extraction with Move)?

    Sid have you played Mag with Move? I was able to get to a kdr of 1(for the most part :p), but I feel like the ergonomics of the controller are a strain to deal with. I want to hold the bottom of the controller but then it’s hard to reach the buttons to reload, jump, etc. I have to keep shifting my hand. It’s great for causal games and just shooting but during a competitive game like this it’s hard.

    • We will have LOTS of new info on ME2 for PS3 soon. :-) Jeff is working on that one, but I think you’ll be pleased with the details. Nothing new for Dead Space 2 yet but we’re going to see more soon.

  • I am more excited for this release than I am for most current-gen titles in 2011. Okay, so Uncharted 3 and Deus Ex are also very high on that list.

  • I’m excited for being able to play Shadow of the Colossus on PS3 since I never played it on my ps2. Can’t wait for this to come out! (Even though I still won’t have a 3D TV)

    • I did not see it in 2D, but it’s got to look great. I was very pleased with how much care was taken in enhancing the visuals overall.

  • This will be the first game (or games, if you include ICO) that I’ll set out to fully Platinum. I’m normally not one to care much for trophies but these are some of my favorite games, it’s like a sign of respect and gratitude in a weird way.

  • I need to get a 3d television NOW!!!! this is the straw that broke the camels back…thanks for making me go bankrupt sony….

  • Very cool, i like a lot shadow of the colossus, i want to buy =), its one of the best games i ever played, its very very nice =D

  • thank god for trophy support, hi-rez and 3d be damned

  • Screw “team jacob”.. I’m all for “Team Ico!”

    I can’t wait to try this one out, I played the first one with my (then) girlfriend’s house everyday. My (now) wife and I will make this a Day 1 buy!

    Now if only I had a 3D TV… and if only 3D impressed me like it once did… and if only there was more decent content in 3D…. and if only 3D wasn’t so bloody expensive…
    Needless to say, this game will be one of the big reasons to get a 3D TV… but I’m not sure it will be enough.

  • i have a 73 inch 1080i 3D tv. This game will be gotten.

  • Not interested in playing 3d games. I had a chance at PAX to play Killzone 3, GT5, Sly, and other games in 3d. Did not care for it.

    I do however have an extreme interest in playing both these games on the PS3.

    • Totally fine! We’re not insulted, believe me. 3D seems to vary a bit person by person; some love it, some hate it, some can lean either way (such as myself). For me, it depends on how the 3D is used.

  • SCEA, if you are reading this, make sure the box art for this is not the turd we got in 2001 for ICO. I want Fumito Ueda’s original painting.

    Just make it as classy and non-American as you can imagine. Please.

  • I haven’t played either game on my PS2 at the time, so forgive me if this is out of place but…

    no move features?

    seriously though, I thought encorparating the PS move controller in Hardcore games is Sony’s Vision, and yet aside from Heroes on the move, SOCOM and Killzone 3, none of the big titles coming up have move support. Dead space 2 doesn’t have it, Uncharted 3 doesn’t have it, the new Collections don’t have it, what’s the deal with that?

    • Dead Space 2 has DS: Extraction, which is all about Move. The developers ultimately choose which games are best served by Move support — and that’s as it should be.

  • Can’t wait to get this! Already pre-ordered.

    Hopefully more Classics come out (and more frequently). I would love one for the Ratchet series.

  • Still not interested in 3D. However, I will get this game day one. Loved Shadow of the Colossus, my biggest gaming regret was letting my brother take the PS2 and SotC along with it. Glad I’ll be able to get it back, upgraded, and be able to play ICO, which I missed out on.

  • i have both games on PS2, but i’m still planning on getting this collection. it’s to good to pass up.

  • Don’t care about 3d,game seems good though.

  • Also, I have a 3DTV but I don’t think I’ll play this game with it. The few games I’ve tried (Super Stardust, GT5, Motorstorm, Pain, Sly Collection) look okay in 3D…but I much prefer the 2D, looks a lot clearer to me.

  • Played both of these gems on PS2. Eagerly awaiting the HD treatment. Thanks Sony and Team ICO for doing this!

  • Can’t wait for this!

  • Stereoscopic 3d for me please! With Killzone 3, Motorstorm:Apocalypse and Uncharted 3 coming in with 3d capability . . . it’s crazy that all ps3 games don’t have support for 3d.

    • It’s getting there fast! The U3 in 3D thing came as a surprise even to me. I’m sure we’ll be hearing more games go 3D in 2011 as well.

  • Woah. Hey Sid. Any tips for getting a 3-D TV on a college student budget?

  • Never played ICO, but I did have the pleasure of playing and finishing SotC about a year and a half ago, it was a great game and im definitely going to pick this up. Wish I had a 3Dtv, but unfortunately they are too expensive and I am jobless atm :( maybe someday soon if I manage to get myself a job. Anyways, picking this game up wont be a problem and I already have an HDtv so it will still look great.

  • Shadow of the Colossus is definitely one of my favorite PS2 games of all time, but I never played ICO.

    I will buy this collection.

  • I’ve played ‘Ico’ thru many times on the PS2 and it always pulled me into that world completely. I can’t wait to see it on the PS3. It includes the extended ending right that the U.S. audience get to see?

    Maybe it was just the bad box art but too many people overlooked ‘Ico’ and missed one of the most unique game experiences ever.

    Don’t pass ‘Ico’ up this time people!

  • My 60″ 3D TV is waiting, never had to chance to finish both games, it was hard to look back after getting a PS3.

    Any word on the sound? 5.1 Mixes, cause my receiver would be happy as well.

  • Shadow of the colossus does appear to be a game that actually benefits from 3D, giving it a even bigger sense of size and depth while you climb, ride, fall from those giants. I really would love to watch the Phalanx (13th one?) fight in 3D. That was one of my favorites.

    Hey Sid, would you be kind to us and release some more hd screenshots for Ico (don’t forget to include yorda!)

  • 2011 is going to be PS3’s biggest year if nothing gets delayed.

  • by the way, could you make sure that the cover art for this collection does not stink. The old american cover for Ico was one of the worst in history…

  • I’m interested in these two games,but I’m not that interested in the 3D. =)

  • Me want game now. Me thinks graphics perty. Mw don’t have 3D, but me can use eyes to witness this game.

    Sorry about the hillbilly language, I’m just so pumped!!!

  • Hey Sid , i want to play in 3d. Can you guys give me a 3d tv? thanks , i’ll be waiting for it in my mail.

  • You guys have no idea how badly I want to play games in 3D unfortunately 3D tvs are just to expense and secondly I playgames on an hd projector so I guess I’m out of luck until someone makes an affordable 3D projector. Can’t Waite for this collection

  • Thank you for re-releasing these two games in HD, 3D, and trophy support. You made my dreams come true. Never played Ico, heard it’s good so I’m exited to try it in HD! Thanks!

  • Sid, do you know if the cutscenes and 2D art have been re-authored, or will we be facing a giant screen of stretch-o-vision?

    Ico looks great, but SotC needs love. Compared to this:

    it just looks bad. Is there no way to improve that transparency effect?

    I’m not seeing the texture re-authoring you mention. It still has that palettized lack of depth. Many textures still look low-res. The horse’s tail here:
    the steps:

    That being said, I’m super-glad to see 1080p being favored over 60fps for this release (in 2D mode, anyways).

    With regard to the audio, I hope they do a better job than the Sly Cooper Collection did. If CD-quality (minimum) audio means a larger hard drive install, so be it. I’m excited to hear the Colossus’ lumbering walk echo across the game’s canyons in surround sound and rattle my subwoofer.

    The texture (and model) enhancements in the Sands of Time HD (and the Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath) is amazing and should be a benchmark for all HD remakes.

  • Have they fixed the camera for SOTC? It was seriously terrible in the original game.

  • Can’t wait for this one. Too bad I don’t have a 3D TV.

  • Hell yes I’m interested in trying the game in stereoscopic 3D; hearing about this upcoming release was actually a major factor in my decision to go out and preemptively buy a 3D TV (meanwhile, I’m enjoying the Sly Collection and 3D Rift).

    Can’t friggin’ wait.

  • The trophies should be in Steroscopic 3D but the rest of the game should be the same. Will we get the complete full Ico game like Japan got, or the half hearted one that the US got?

  • I will be buying this no doubt there but will it be disc only? This is one of those gems that would be really nice to buy from the PSN store..

  • @Sid,

    Dead Space 2 is not Dead Space extraction. extraction is an HD-remake of a Wii game, and it is only fair that it has Move controls. but Dead space in itself, as well as any other 3rd or 1st person action/shooter controlled game, could benefit greatly from allowing Move cursor support for the shooting mechanics.

    on the Wii the controller is the default so this is a given, now that we have a significantly better controller on our side of things, wouldn’t it be wise to promote it and take advantage of it? at the very least as an added support?

    just like 3D support is being pushed so strongly (and rightfully so) so should move support in my opinion.

  • Sorry for the double post but some kind of FFXIV PS3 announcement about it being delayed indefinitely should be posted somewhere..

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