The spiritual sequel of Ico, Shadow of the Colossus is a rather unique 3D puzzle platform action game in which the player has to defeat sixteen gargantuan colossi by climbing up onto them and stabbing sigils on thier bodies. The game takes place in a large world completely void of any life and a substantial amount of the playing time is spent trying to locate the giant enemies. The player is equipped with a sword that points a ray of light in the direction of the next foe. Once there the player must figure out how to reach the colossus' sigil(s), which may require the use of a bow or the surrounding environment. The goal of the game is to defeat all sixteen colossi in order to accomplish the task set forth by a god-like being called Dormin who in return will call back the soul of a young woman named Mono whom the player carries to the land at the beginning of the game.
Shadow of the Colossus quickly became famous for the atmosphere, total lack of 'cannon fodder' enemies, and boss fights.
From the English Game Case:
Experience an unforgettable journey into a land forgotten by time... a seamless world filled with miles of majestic terrain...a story of companionship and undying love... and mythical giants to discover, unearth, and destroy.
Shadow of the Colossus was originally intended to be an online game played with others. Due to a lack of skill in this area it was instead turned into a single player game.
In the demo for Shadow of the Colossus, a decapitated female model (presumably Mono) with arms outstretched like a scarecrow could be found at the entrance to the Secret Garden at the top of the shrine. It is presumed the developers hid the model there thinking no one would be able to climb the tower.
At one point the entire top area of the shrine appears to have been climbable (evidenced by early builds). In the final game several previously reachable areas had been closed off.
48 colossi were originally considered for the game but were soon halved to 24. Due to time constraints and other complications 8 colossi were then also dropped, but the places where their idols once stood are in the final release filled with piles of rubble and fallen pillars.