Shadow of the Colossus PS4 Gameplay | PS Underground

Shadow of the Colossus PS4 Gameplay | PS Underground


JUSTIN: Yeah.
Look at that. You can see the butterflies
flitting about, every blade of grass, the
flowers there, even the textures on all of the
decaying architecture there; it just looks so, so good. [INTRO MUSIC PLAYING] Welcome back to PlayStation
Underground. What a privilege it is to be
sitting here at Bluepoint Games here in Austin, Texas. I’m joined by Marco Thrush, the
president of the company. MARCO: Hi. JUSTIN: And Peter Dalton,
technical director on Shadow of the Colossus for PS4. PETER: Hello. JUSTIN: Hey.
Thanks for being here guys. Well, rather, thanks for letting
us be here. This is quite a change for
PlayStation Underground to be recording on location. Super excited to be seeing
Shadow of the Colossus. You can see already that this
game looks absolutely stunning, such an upgrade from the PS2
version and the more recent PS3 version. Marco, I would like to start by
talking to you just about the project and how far the company
has come. What’s it like now working on
this massive, overhaul, this new version, rebuilt from the ground up for
the PS4? MARCO: It’s a great opportunity. We’re finally — over the
different projects we’ve done over the years, we’ve finally
got to the point where we can finally take a project of this
kind of scope on and actually do it justice. So it’s really great. JUSTIN: Cool. And I should mention that we
have our pal, Russel, here sitting on the floor next to us.
He can’t be seen on the camera. Sorry.
Randal. Randal is here. He’s playing the game for us.
He’s piloting. RANDAL: Whatever you call me is
fine; just don’t call me Shirley. JUSTIN: Don’t call you Shirley. Look. I’ve had one day to get
everybody’s name straight. I’m working on it. Randal is here and he’s driving. He’s the producer on the
project. I got that right, right? RANDAL: Yeah.
Nailed it. JUSTIN: So yeah. And we had some great chats
earlier. He’s going to carry us forward
to victory with no deaths, no stumbles whatsoever. I’m going to make this game look
absolutely perfect which it already does. Peter, I’d like to talk a little
bit about the technical side. And I think you’re a good person
to talk about that. This game is quite an upgrade
from the original PS2 version of Shadow of the Colossus. How did we get from there to
here? PETER: You know, I think it’s
been a lot of fun. And when we had the opportunity
to remaster the original for the PS3, it was much more of just
bringing up textures and resolutions on a few things. And we’ve gotten to the point
now where we’re basically remaking every single asset in
the game. You look at the geometry and the
detail we’ve added to the environments and the atmosphere,
it’s a complete re-envisioning, trying to stay true to the
original remaster of the game. From character animations to the
physics to the water simulations to the particle systems. JUSTIN: Yeah. Look at that. You can see the butterflies
flitting about, every blade of grass, the
flowers there, even the textures on all of the
decaying architecture there. It just looks so, so good. You can see the waterfalls up
there. Man, this looks incredible. So I think we’re headed off to
find one of the Colossi. Which one are we headed to right
now? RANDAL: We’re headed to
Colossus 8. JUSTIN: Colossus 8.
So we’re a ways — what’s this? About halfway through game now? PETER: That’s halfway.
Exactly. JUSTIN: Cool. I will shamefully admit that I
didn’t make it this far when I played the game back on PS2, so
I’m really looking forward to being able to experience this
for myself and finally resolve one of my greatest gaming shames of never having finished Shadow
of the Colossus. PETER: Well, we’re glad to give
you that opportunity. JUSTIN: So we see Wander
climbing these pillars here. I remember hearing that the
controls have been updated here. Marco, can you tell us a little
bit about that? MARCO: Yeah. So we offer multiple control
schemes. We offer the original control
scheme for the original player and that matches the PS2 and PS3
version. And we have a new one which we
consider to be better suited to new players that have never
played any of the original games before. It’s more traditional button
mappings. In addition to that, all of the
modes also received additional improvements to behavior of
mounting Agro. I mean, there’s so many small
details you can list. Peter, what do you think are
some of the most obvious ones? PETER: Bow aiming. When you shine the sword on your
light, making sure camera orientation
and such are taken into consideration. Just minor touches and tweaks
that the original didn’t possess but makes the game feel a little
more fluid as a player. MARCO: There’s a lot of
animation improvements done to the player package too to get
rid of pops and harsh transitions between animations
and motions. JUSTIN: How tempting was it to
go in and further simplify the controls or add more modern
niceties like being able to move around while aiming the bow and
things like that? MARCO: So any of the changes you
pretty much just listed would be changes that would dramatically
effect the way the game played. Our intent was never to change
the way the game played. We didn’t want to effect the
difficulty of the game. Ideas such as removing a grip
meter or allowing you to aim while — or move while aiming
the bow to us would have been — like those were actually items
we discussed, but they were items that we
discounted because they would just change the way you play the
game too much. And we didn’t want to affect
original players of the game to that kind of degree. We wanted to maintain the
original intent of the game. PETER: I think a great example
is if you look at modern games these days, you can run and
climb and grab onto walls and parkour with little thought,
with just directional input on the joystick. One of the key aspects of this
game is actually holding R2 in order to hold and grip and that
sense of tension that brings. And to simplify and remove that
would really lose an important essence of the original game. JUSTIN: Yeah.
Absolutely. I’m sure that there are some out
there who would call you blasphemers for changing the
game at all, right? Where do you draw the line? MARCO: It’s pretty difficult. There’s no way you can attempt a
project of this scope and not make somebody unhappy. We’re trying to do our best to
minimize the people we do make unhappy by providing choices. Like for example, the classic
mode for the controls. JUSTIN: I feel like this is
going to make a lot of people very happy. MARCO: Yes. I hope so.
I hope so, right? JUSTIN: A lot of people seem to
be happy about it already from what we’ve seen. The game was only just revealed
at E3 I think it was. MARCO: It was at E3. JUSTIN: We’re already so close
to seeing a final product here. You got this.
You got this. You’re good. Oh, man. I’m getting caught up in this
colossus battle. Oh my goodness. I love the way that the symbols
on the colossus light Wander when he’s on top of them. MARCO: Yeah.
It’s the little touches. The glowing lights themselves,
they light up the environment too. JUSTIN: Yeah. Yeah. MARCO: So that’s the kind of
stuff you don’t really like until you actually bring the
game up on a PS4 and improve the quality of the graphics. A lot of those kind of details
are things that just naturally are obvious that they’re
lacking. You play the game, and it’s
like, man, it looks really weird that
there’s this bright glowing thing, but there’s no light
coming from it. So there’s a lot of small
touches that are things we actually didn’t originally think
about. You had to actually get to the
point of the game looking to this level to be able to even
realize the things it was missing. JUSTIN: I think even the reveal
trailer at E3, that was maybe the most
goosebump-inducing moment was that final shot of the panning
camera around with him lit by the symbol and then that final
stab and the cut to black. Oh, man, getting goosebumps just
thinking about it. It’s so good.
Getting tingly. Tell me a little bit more about
some of the other technical improvements. Let’s talk about the PS4 Pro
features. We’re actually playing this on a
PS4 Pro right now. We’re seeing this game running
at a 4K resolution. This is Cinematic Mode I believe
it’s called. PETER: This is our Cinematic
Mode that we offer. We did a lot of evaluations
looking at different 4K rendering techniques. And we found that given the
atmosphere of this game and the softness that the game is trying
to bring and the mood, we implemented a 440P temporal
alias — 1440. I’m sorry.
I’m all over the place. JUSTIN: Temporal aliasing you
said. PETER: Temporal aliasing of
sampling. So that gives us a much nicer
feel and really helps with the image quality at the end. JUSTIN: Temporal aliasing? I feel like I heard that term
thrown around when we were hearing about Ratchet and Clank. They used something similar,
didn’t they? PETER: They did. MARCO: Our technique for 4K
rendering is very similar to the Ratchet and Clank method. And it’s a temporal super
sampling is essentially what it is in this case. JUSTIN: Well, it looks
absolutely stunning. There’s also a performance mode. What does that entail? PETER: So Performance Mode
allows us to hit a targeted 60FPS mode. JUSTIN: Oh.
Okay. Okay. PETER: It allows you to have
greater — it just feels a little bit
smoother for the gaming purists that can appreciate an increase
frame rate can appreciate the extra motion
fidelity and stuff that you get when you’re battling the
colossi. So it’s just a little extra
punch to the cherry on top. JUSTIN: Does it feel weird
playing this game at a higher frame rate because I feel like
so many people remember this game in its original form? And obviously there’s the
Cinematic Mode which is kind of the most beautiful way to
play it. MARCO: To me it depends on the
person you ask. Which is exactly the reason why
we give you the option to play either at the original frame
rate, targeting 30, or the new frame rate, higher Performance Mode,
targeted 60, because some people will always
prefer running at 30FPS. If you give them 60FPS, they
will be unhappy. Then there’s other people, you
only give them 30, and they want 60. We give them the best of both
worlds. Like we have other options in
the game for the exact same reason. Being able to adjust the
intensity of motion blur. Some people like motion blur,
some people don’t. So we always try to give people
the choice. JUSTIN: Cool. So how much bigger of a project
is this than when you remastered the game for PS3? Lots of thinking happening here. PETER: It’s a completely
different exponential scale. MARCO: The original project was
done with two QA internal on our end. We had a majority of the team
was programmers, and we had one artist touching
up some textures. JUSTIN: This is obviously
completely rebuilt. MARCO: It’s completely rebuilt
from scratch, every single asset, hi-res
scopes created, maps breakdown, PVR textures
created. PETER: Animations physics
systems. MARCO: Animations updated.
PETER: Water sims. MARCO: Brand new particle
systems created for every particle effect. New particle systems added. JUSTIN: But obviously you wanted
to evoke the same feeling of the original game. You don’t want it to feel
different. You want it to feel the same but
better. It’s such a weird fine line you
guys have to walk. MARCO: You have to take the
original game and pretend that this team existed now making
this game for the PS4. Like, what would they have done? PETER: I think at the tame time
when people play the original, you have this nostalgia and you
have these memories, and your mind has filled in the
gaps. When you look at a PS2 game and
you’re playing it, just because it’s got a flat
plain, you assume this is where the
grass area is. Here’s the hillside, and you’re
mind sort of pieces it together. With the level of fidelity of
graphics that we’re hitting today, you can’t just assume the
player will make it up or piece in the gaps by themselves. And now it’s our ability to go
through and actually expose that and actually bring it to life. JUSTIN: Cool. So now we’re wandering around
the plains here. So we did see that. That was the eighth colossus
that we wrapped up there. Yeah.
Nice work on that, Randal. RANDAL: Thank you very much. JUSTIN: So, yeah. That is Shadow of the Colossus
on the PS4, running on a PS4 Pro, in a
beautifully new cinematic mode. Marco, Randal, Peter, thank you
guys so much for joining us. Is there anything else that you
wanted to say to the fans leading up to the launch of
Shadow of the Colossus? MARCO: I hope you enjoy the
blood and tears and sweat we put into this game. We’re huge fans of the game
ourselves. We hope you appreciate what we
tried to do for you. JUSTIN: Awesome.
Cool. Well, thank you guys so much. I’m so excited to play this for
myself. Thank you for tuning into
PlayStation Underground and we’ll see you next time. [OUTRO MUSIC PLAYING]

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