Sony Computer Entertainment
It’s going to be up to you to figure out how best to apply those basics to defeat enemies, solve some rather clever puzzles and survive some of the most fiendishly taxing pieces of level design ever s
God of War Collection is basically a visually souped up re-release of two of the greatest PlayStation 2 games of all time (namely God of War I and II, in case you hadn’t guessed) plus some bonus video content, packaged neatly on a single BluRay. There’s not a huge amount of additional content here, but when the two games are this good, that’s not really important.
The original God of War introduces us to our protagonist Kratos, a Spartan warrior who offered his life to Greek god of war Ares in exchange for the power and guidance to become among the most feared and brutal men in all of Greece. The story begins with Kratos seemingly committing suicide, distraught as the gods have been unable to rid him of his demons, as he hurls himself from the top of the highest mountain in Greece, before the narrative travels back to the preceding weeks and we can begin playing.
The player is eased into the nuances of the hack & slash gameplay by a rather straightforward opening – it’s the usual fare here, with instructions popping up on screen to let you know how to perform all the necessary actions and a reasonable number of fairly straightforward enemies to dispatch – showing you the ropes as it were, but by the final boss battle of this first stage you begin to realise why God of War stood out from the crowd five years ago, and remains to do so even today.
In short, you’re going to need to use your head quite a bit in this game. The basics are laid out for you, but it’s going to be up to you to figure out how best to apply those basics to defeat enemies, solve some rather clever puzzles and survive some of the most fiendishly taxing pieces of level design ever seen in a game. There are times when you’ll want to pull your hair out with frustration, but everything is structured in such a way that if you keep at it you’ll succeed eventually, and before things ever reach the point of annoyance.
As you progress through the game, towards a final showdown with Ares, the full story of Kratos is explained via cut scenes and narrative and they provide a compelling backdrop you the wanton on-screen bloodshed. However they also provide the only real flaw in the port. Despite the vastly improved graphics the God of War Collection is let down somewhat by the cut scenes. Running in the higher resolution of the PS3, they look particularly shoddy – in fact the in game graphics actually look better – but it’s not really going to affect your enjoyment of either title.
God of War II picks up from the end of the original game, as Kratos has settled into his role as God of War following his defeat of Ares at the end of the first game. For the most part the gameplay is much the same, with a few minor control changes (but like in the first, they’re all explained to you early on), and the story is every bit as compelling, but we don’t want to spoil any more than we already have so I’ll just say that between gameplay, storyline and vastly improved visuals, anyone who owned the originals for the PS2, or is simply looking for something fun and exciting to play really owes it to themselves to buy this game – whether as part of the official European trilogy bundle, or via import. They may be old, but they’re every bit as good as they used to be.