God of War is a huge franchise that has been a big hit ever since it was born. It has had three big successful games on the PlayStation 3 and two PSP titles which some of you may or may not have played for yourselves yet. These two games were based around the origins of Kratos, hence the name God of War: Origins Collections. Two great games on one disc, it sounds like a deal right off the bat, but first lets go straight to the source. “What say you Kratos!!?”
God of War: Chains of Olympus takes place as the beginning of Kratos and his 10 year service to the Gods. You begin your journey in the city of Attica, where the Gods have sent you to defend from the invading Persians. Once you accomplish your task, it turns out there is more going on around you than know at the moment as Kratos continues on to seek the truth and find peace with his past. Personally, I really enjoyed the story from this one, also considering I never had the chance of checking it out before when it debut on PSP. Still, I felt like it filled in a missing piece of the story for me, and it helped me understand why Kratos does what he does to begin with, without the whole revenge part. Moving on to God of War: Ghost of Sparta, it’s a slightly bigger game than that of Chains of Olympus and you can expect a much fuller experience since it is officially the last the game made for the series. The story with Ghost of Sparta goes way deeper into the past of Kratos and we learn of his brother Diemos, who was captured at a young age by the Gods for bearing a mark that was said to be the end of Olympus. The story unfolds very quickly as you go off to explore the past of Kratos and find his missing brother. I really enjoyed this piece of the story a lot as it answers many questions and fills a hole in the story that fans have been waiting to see.
If you are familiar with God of War, then you kind of know what to expect in terms of gameplay. If your not…well then you should know that they have stuck to the same great formula that has been with the series since the very beginning. Collecting blood orbs to upgrade your weapons or magic abilities; finding hidden chests with gorgon eyes (Minotaur horns), pheonix feathers to upgrade the amount of health and magic you have at your disposal. This time around though there is no doubt you will have some interesting battles ahead of you. I only felt like there was possibly way more puzzles then actual fighting involved when it came to Chains of Olympus. Don’t get me wrong though, as I enjoy puzzle solving as much as the next guy, but when your playing as Kratos, you know you want to unleash your inner beast. This might come as a surprise to some of you, although it kind of makes sense in some ways considering this is the first adventure we see from Kratos. Meaning he just isn’t that angry yet nor does he have to battle it out with the Gods. Still for what battles you do face, you do get to use some unique magic abilities and you certainly can’t go wrong with your trusty ol’ Blades of Chaos. Ghost of Sparta on the other hand has a lot more combat and action to go around which made it feel like a top notch God of War game like the first 3 main story games. This shouldn’t come to be too much of a surprise considering it came after God of War 3. For a PSP title I felt like this game really stood out in a unique way, but to actually see it re-mastered in HD on the PS3 is a real treat because of it. The combat system is definitely at its peek in this title allowing you perform air to air attacks and also pummel your enemies to the ground for some necessary punishment. You will find from both these titles that the gameplay is enhanced with the ability to use an actual controller with rumble in it.
There isn’t too much to complain about when it comes to the graphics of these two games other than some delayed timing in the cut-scenes switching back and forth from the gameplay. This is pretty normal for being ported over, along with the graphic enhancement, which I have to say looks pretty darn nice for both games. The graphical enhancement of High Definition real shows off, especially when making the transition from Chains of Olympus to Ghost of Sparta. There truly is no better sight than to see Kratos doing what he does best in an epic boss battle on the big screen.
When it comes to God of War, most of us have already had the chance to become accustomed to the way the camera works. From both games we visually get to view the world through what is known as a static camera, which allows for some very impressive showings of the environment on your travels. The only problem you might find yourself having with this is not being able to keep a close eye on enemies while in battle. Not really a huge concern to affect the overall game, but something that should be looked out for in case some of you don’t like not having any control over this.
Both games keep that one of a kind original orchestra score from the rest of the God of War games which still sounds just as amazing as when you first heard them. You might actually hear some different tunes along the way but it usually just sticks to the sounds that make God of War the game it is today. Voice acting still sounds top notch, including the fact that not much has really changed when it comes to the powerful voice behind Kratos. Both games have been set up for your enjoyment to support Dolby 5.1 surround sound so that you can experience the games to their max potential.
Along the lines of replay value for these two games, it really depends on how much of a God of War fan you really are, and whether you like to go trophy hunting or not. You can expect both games to span for about the standard 6 -8 hours depending on the difficulty you chose. On top of that after beating the game you can check out plenty of media and unlockables for any true fan of the series. Let’s not forget that just like in any other God of War game you’ll have the option of testing your strengths and weaknesses against the Challenge of the Gods. I would have to say Ghost of Sparta holds a lot of the cards here though, with the exception of having an arena mode that pits you against the numbered amount enemies of your choosing. The Temple of Zeus also acts as a place you can spend blood orbs as currency at the end of the game allowing to unlock quite a bit of content. Trophies from both these games surely holds enough replay value, with the fact that they both contain a platinum for you to get your hands on, and I don’t think any trophy hunter can go wrong there.
God of War: Origins Collection offers fans of the series and others alike a chance at experiencing two epic adventures for the price of less than one game. It is quite impressive to see these two games make the transition to consoles, giving many the chance to relive their experiences in a a whole new way, while letting newcomers experience a different piece of the story they might have missed. Hopefully this sort of collection will inspire other developers to create HD remakes of their great games that people might want to see on the console.