Back when I was six or seven years old, I was looking through my Dad’s PS2 games for something new to play when suddenly, I discovered a small cardboard sleeve with a Demo Disc inside from a copy of PlayStation Magazine. The disc came with two games loaded on it – the first one was Ico which I never got around to playing. Instead, my child brain was enticed by the second game on the disc, the now legendary Shadow of the Colossus.
I chose Shadow of the Colossus over Ico because my young mind saw a monster on the cover and decided that it was cooler than Ico’s windmill cover (and can you blame me?) It took me just a few seconds to start riding my horse across the huge empty fields, and I probably spent about 40 minutes just exploring the world before figuring out what I was supposed to be doing. Despite it being empty, it was the very first time I had experienced an open world game and so the scale of the world astounded me. However, this wasn’t the moment that had me absolutely stunned.
Eventually, I figured out that holding my sword in the air would shine a light in the direction the game wanted me to go, and I was led to a cliff face. The controls are a little unconventional, and so I struggled to climb the cliff, falling all the way to the bottom several times. I began to feel defeated and was ready to give up, but I decided to try climbing it one last time, and it was probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
I slowly scaled the cliff, taking my time to line up each jump, desperate to reach the top. I made the final leap from one ledge to another, and after a long struggle (as well as some ‘heated gamer’ moments) I was finally there. The sense of accomplishment was truly amazing, but even this was nothing compared to what would happen next.
After I composed myself following my amazing achievement, I picked up my controller, walked a few steps forward to discover what I was to do next, and that’s when it happened. A cutscene started playing and suddenly a single giant foot the size of about two houses stepped into frame, leaving a huge crater in the ground. Another giant foot appeared, and then the camera slowly panned up, revealing the first Colossus. It was easily the biggest enemy I had ever seen in a video game by far, and I just stopped playing to stare at it in awe.

I couldn’t believe something so huge could be in a video game, and I was even more surprised that the game just let me exist in the same area as it instead of it being in the background. It was at this moment that I knew I was playing what would become one of my favourite games of all time, and I’m forever grateful my dad decided to buy a copy of PlayStation Magazine on that fateful day.
Images: Bluepoint Games
 

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