It's easy to underestimate the humble door. You open it, you go through. Sometimes, you must find the key first, and for many games, that's the whole extent of the player's interactions with doors. They're something to get past, something that cordons off one bit from the next bit. A simple structural element, of special interest to level designers, but not the ones who turn the knobs.
Now known as the 'masters of the remaster', Bluepoint Games has a well-earned, solid gold reputation for delivering some of the best current-gen - and indeed last-gen - ports of gaming's most beloved properties. From Metal Gear Solid to God of War, from Gravity Rush to the Uncharted trilogy, Bluepoint's work has been uniformly excellent across the years.
Editor's note: Once a month we're lucky enough to be graced by the presence of Gareth Damian Martin, editor of Heterotopias, to share some proper insight before we go back and default to just writing about PUBG and Destiny 2. If you want to read more in-depth critical writing, you can find a Heterotopias bundle celebrating the zine's anniversary here.
There's a reason why Team Ico's Shadow of the Colossus commands so much love and respect from the PlayStation audience. From a technical perspective, it pushed the PlayStation 2 hardware further than it had gone before, but it also delivered a special style and atmosphere that set it apart from anything else that had gone before. In essence, it was the type of game that only comes along very rarely - an experience that actually strengthens one's love for the gaming medium.
Just when you think you know someone near and dear, they go and surprise you all over again. It's been some 12 years since Shadow of the Colossus' original release, and one remaster and a fresh new remake later it's lost absolutely none of its ability to awe. This is a game whose power hasn't diminished one iota in all that time, and in Bluepoint's exquisite remake it's a game with the capacity to spring a surprise or two, no matter how familiar you are with the original.
Editor's note: As if we'd let the PS4 outing for Shadow of the Colossus pass by without returning to this - an article that's been republished as many times as the game has been remastered, at least. Craig Owens' piece was first published back in 2013 (and if you wondered what Craig was up to himself, he's at Rocksteady working on whatever mystery the Arkham Knight developer is up to next).
More so than ICO ever did, Shadow of the Colossus has proved divisive amongst those who've played it since its American and Japanese releases. But like ICO, it proved hugely popular with our writers (placing third in our Top 50) and with Eurogamer readers as a whole. The latter's arguably more impressive given that it's achieved that entirely on the strength of imports, with the game only due out in Europe on February 17th.
Shadow of the Colossus has already gone down as one of the greatest games to have ever emerged on any platform. Every bit as stunningly emotive as ICO before it, the SCEJ Studio-developed title takes players on the kind of journey that will be talked about for years to come, and is one of those rare games that delivers a real sense of 'place'.
"Strictly speaking I can't say I'm creating art."
"An atmospheric, brooding tale set in mysterious lands". Sound familiar? Sounds like the perfect high concept for the next game from the team that brought you ICO.