Shadow of the Colossus, released in Japan as Wander and the Colossus, is an action-adventure game developed by SIE Japan Studio and Team Ico, and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation 2. The game was released in North America and Japan in October 2005 and PAL regions in February 2006. It was directed by Fumito Ueda and developed at SCEI’s International Production Studio 1, also known as Team Ico; the same development team responsible for the cult hit Ico, to which the game is considered a spiritual successor.
The game’s storyline focuses on a young man named Wander who enters a forbidden land. Wander must travel across a vast expanse on horseback and defeat sixteen massive beings, known simply as colossi, in order to restore the life of a girl named Mono. The game is unusual within the action-adventure genre in that there are no towns or dungeons to explore, no characters with whom to interact, and no enemies to defeat other than the colossi. Shadow of the Colossus has been described as a puzzle game, as each colossus can only be killed by attacking certain weak points which require specific actions to access.
Cited as an influential title in the video game industry and one of the greatest video games of all time, Shadow of the Colossus is often regarded as an important example of video game as art due to its minimalist landscape designs, immersive gameplay, and emotional journey. It received wide critical acclaim by the media and was met with strong sales compared to Ico, due in part to a larger marketing campaign. The soundtrack was also widely praised. The game won several awards for its audio, design, and overall quality. Shadow of the Colossus is also referenced numerous times in debates regarding the art quality and emotional perspectives of video games.
A remastered version for the PlayStation 3 was developed by Bluepoint Games and released alongside Ico as The Ico & Shadow of the Colossus Collection in September 2011. It features high-definition (HD) graphics, content previously missing from the North American release, PlayStation Network Trophies, and 3D support. The HD version was released separately in Japan. A high-definition remake for the PlayStation 4 by Bluepoint Games was released in February 2018.