With developer Bluepoint Games remaking Shadow of the Colossus for today’s standards, the team found it difficult to make crucial changes while staying true to the original title.
Speaking to GameInformer, technical director Peter Dalton said improving the visuals and gameplay of Shadow of the Colossus while preserving its soul is Bluepoint’s priority. This has lead to plenty of internal discussions when making both major and minor changes to the game, such as the controls. “Redoing the controls is quite a big challenge,” said Dalton. ” Even looking at stuff like bow aiming. [Horizon: Zero Dawn] has an amazing bow and I love the system that they put together, but that sort of system doesn’t make sense in this game.”
Producer Randall Lowe said much attention has also been spent staying true to the original game’s presentation. “Their [Team Ico’s] design sensibilities were amazing,” said Lowe. “The use of coloring areas, the use of fog, the way they conveyed emotion without driving it through dialogue, they’re masters of it. Maintaining that is really hard. It is a lot of conscious work to make sure that just by beatifying something, just by brining it up to what people expect modern games to look like, you don’t break them. I think that’s the most time we spend internally.”
The team’s dedication to remain faithful to the original title extends to preserving the game’s beautiful secret areas. “We spent a lot of time making sure we were as aware of this stuff as the community was,” said Lowe. “We did our best to maintain the integrity of the original game. Without giving away anything, players should be able to expect that what they were able to do in the past should carry forward.”
While Shadow of the Colossus might look like it was built entirely from scratch, Dalton said the original code is actually still being used in the remake. Both the original and Bluepoint’s game engine were infused together, working simultaneously to process everything. With this, it’s a matter of weighing which aspects they should tweak or preserve. “It’s a balancing act of which systems do we keep from the original game and which systems do we replace. When it comes to rendering systems those are completely Bluepoint customized technology pieces. When it comes to animations, there are whole new animation systems underneath the hood, but at the game level it’s still the original game code that’s running.”
Shadow of the Colossus launches on Feb 6, 2018 exclusively for PS4. It will also have a special edition that includes physical and digital goodies.