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(Pocket-lint) - We fully understand why so many remastered games are appearing for PS4 and other modern consoles, after all there are large, new audiences who never played the originals. However, many of them are simply tarted up graphically, or have resolution jumps - and often the gameplay doesn't quite stand up to the test of time.

Not so Shadow of the Colossus. From what we've played of the PS4 re-release so far, it is stunning. A masterpiece in the making from a development team (Sony's Japan Studio) that clearly loves the PS2 original.

Indeed, if you didn't know it looks like a completely new game, not one based on a 12-year-old, rough-around-the-edges classic.

Part of that can be attributed to the graphics, of course. The new Shadow of the Colossus looks incredible. Every pixel, texture, nook and cranny has been reworked in 4K and, having played three of the Colussi battles on a PS4 Pro, we can honestly say it looks as good as most other PS4 games.

Each Colossus is particularly, beautifully rendered - with the fur on their backs now defined by high-res individual strands. Lighting effects too make for a visual treat. And the large, open world spaces are gorgeous in their detail. We travelled through a forest that was particularly memorable for the light beams shining through the trees.

SonyShadow of the Colossus PS4 image 7

The gameplay is similar to before, although Japan Studio has greatly tweaked the control method and camera angles to make for a smoother experience.

You must take down a series of progressively more complex Colussi - huge boss battles, basically - learning their move sets and essentially the puzzle that is presented.

Three of the giant beasts were on offer in our demo during Paris Games Week and we played, and beat, them all. One - the first in the game - required a bit of arrow shooting to take down one leg, then climbing up the Colossus' back to stab at his head repeatedly.

SonyShadow of the Colossus PS4 image 4

By the third, however, you had to figure out how to vanquish a flying behemoth through bringing him closer to earth, jumping on his legs and we'll leave the rest for you to discover. We'll just say that it took 20-25 minutes to take him down completely. At no point though did we feel frustrated or drained.

The only frustration we did experience was with the horse riding sections (on trusty steed Agro). At times our horse got stuck on terrain and it didn't feel particularly intuitive. Maybe that'll change before the full release though.

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First Impressions

Having only played the original PlayStation 2 version of Shadow of the Colossus briefly back in the day, we were looking forward to giving the PS4 edition a whirl - partly to find out what the fuss was about.

We haven't been disappointed so far. In fact, we have been positively spoiled.

We not only get to fall in love with Shadow of the Colossus, like many before us, we get the very best version possible. It's not just a great game remastered, it's shaping up to be a great game full stop.

Writing by Rik Henderson. Originally published on 1 November 2017.