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God Of War Collection (PS3)

God Of War Collection (PS3)

God Of War was one of my favourite franchises on the Playstation 2 as it combined epic battles with boss creatures and a very creative use of action based gameplay mechanics. When I heard they were remaking the first two games in High Definition for the Playstation 3 to say I was excited would have been a monumental understatement. I managed to get my hands on a review copy a while ago and if you own a Playstation 3 you will want to definitely not want to miss this.

Kratos is without question one of the most fantastic game characters ever created. He looks awesome, is immensely powerful and has a wealth of weaponry on hand to make mincemeat of even the biggest creatures seen in gaming history. He is out to seek vengence on the Gods who have betrayed him and boy does he do it in style.

This God of War collection features reworked versions of both God Of War and God Of War II on a single bluray disc, they have been remade at 1280×720 resolution (720p) and they are such monumental games in Playstation history that it would be almost a crime not to contemplate a purchase. Not only has the resolution been massively increased to High Def quality but the developers have applied anti aliasing to smooth out the edges and are claiming a solid frame rate of 60 fps from start to finish. The BluRay disc compilation also brings Playstation Network (PSN) trophy support to the franchise for the first time – on both titles.

The world of Kratos is set in ancient Greek mythology and he is plagued by the nightmares of his past, out to get revenge on the Gods who have toyed with him. He has laboured at Olympus almost to the point of losing all hope. The gods have given him one last task to Destroy Ares, the God Of War. He is armed with the chained Blades of Chaos and he has to make battle with a frightening array of creatures, ranging from Undead Soldiers to magical and mythical monsters 30 screens high across a sweeping vista of beautifully designed landscapes.

In God Of War 2 Kratos rests upon his Olympus throne as the new God Of War, a more brutal and ruthless god than Ares ever was. Kratos must now travel to the far reaches of the earth and defeat horrors and creatures from ancient books. God Of War was an epic game which is still played by Playstation 2 gamers the world over.

Not often has a video franchise felt so satisfying and yet ultimately able to transport you to an ancient time when giant monsters and creatures roamed the world. When God Of War hit the Playstation scene it helped the console sell tens of millions of units and when the second one was released many couldn’t believe that the limited hardware in the PS2 was actually capable of handling some of the graphics effects the expert coders squeezed from it.

The High Definition versions on the Playstation 3 really help to breathe new life into these classic games. The Anti aliasing smooths out all the jaggies and the removal of the hideous V sync tearing is also immediately noticeable, all helped by the super smooth 60 frames per second frame rate. As bizarre as it sounds, it actually feels like you are finally able to play the game the way it was probably first intended by the developers eons ago.

The games have been founded on exemplary execution. Every single facet of the game was beautifully realized from beginning to end and it caused so many individual moments of wonderment that many people were blown away by the sheer quality of development. The combat system was flawless, with so many moves and awesome looking maneuvers it was almost as if someone had grabbed the ‘real life’ breathing Kratos and just pulled him into a computer game. He was not the typical blonde haired hero with a tendency for witty one liners, he just kicked the ass of anything placed in front of him, and frequently in such a gory manner it just couldn’t help but get your heart pounding. The puzzles, the narrative and the technology behind both the graphics and audio were always cutting edge.

God Of War differentiated itself from the masses at the time, because it wasn’t a game made up of pasted together ideas to make a whole – it just flowed together as if the game was designed as a single entity – a massive, epic journey. You could never settle on one environment because as soon as you dealt with any given situation you were whisked away into something new, and even grander.

The boss fights alone were mind blowing (and still are), because the finesse with which they were created shines through, even many years later. If you stacked 30 monitors in each direction you would barely be able to fit in some of the creatures that Kratos had to fight. He would scale their limbs, slicing at tendons, and jump behind their heads to try and cut a weak spot. They epitomized everything epic about ancient Greek culture. Like all the classic games, it never let up, it didn’t let you relax for one minute, just long enough to get the adrenaline rush to move onto the next area. The games also constantly evolve and give you new abilities and attacks to keep the combat constantly fresh and exhilarating.

You have to switch between combos and blocks to ensure you don’t get damaged and the flexibility has not often been matched, even in 2009. With an automatic camera system you were never left in the hands of finding an area which the programmers had never adjusted … you were always focused on the right part of the terrain to deal with the problem at hand, rather than looking through a poorly constructed wall into the back of some characters head.

The games are not without issue however. God Of War 1 has cut scenes which have apparently received no adjustments in graphical quality so you are torn between the HD ingame quality to sudden SD aliased nasties when the cut scenes make an appearance. It is almost like enjoying a blu ray movie but getting an occasional kick in the teeth with scenes lifted directly from a low quality VHS movie.

God Of War apart from this however is absolutely brilliant fun to play, even if it does look dated by comparison to the latest Playstation 3 titles on the market. The HD conversion really helps the game to work on a big Plasma or LCD television and I had a lot of fun over the last few weeks completing it.

When you move to God Of War 2 however it is clear the work the developers put into the new engine and graphical effects when it was originally released. The HD version looks stunning, Sony Santa Monica have delivered high def versions with huge detail and environmental quality. The plethora of epic boss battles have to be seen to be believed and I was unable to tear myself away from the game for 3 days solid, losing sleep and dreaming about ancient times when I was able to destroy huge creatures with my blades and chains.

As cynical and jaded as it sounds by releasing updated versions of classic games, if you own a Playstation 3 then you simple need to purchase this disc, if you don’t then you are not only missing out on Sony gaming history but you are not giving yourself a chance to get fully into “Kratos mode’ for the upcoming and assuredly epic God Of War 3 which is due out in March of 2010. I for one can not wait but for the time being this collection is more than enough to keep me happy. Highly Recommended.

Incidentally UK users annoyed that this is not yet available can find it easily on Ebay on import – the USA version works fine on UK consoles.


God Of War 1 is excellent and Part 2 is just even better.
New life is breathed into this franchise with the HD remasters.
Great ambience and musical work throughout.
Two stunning games which deserved a remake. You can easily lose a week or two playing these.

Stunning work and sure to set the mood for the upcoming God Of War 3.

About Author

Stuart Davidson

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