God of War Collection [Playstation 3, 2009]

God of War Collection [PS3]

God of War Collection
System: Playstaton 3
Publisher: SCEA
Release Date: November 17, 2009

God of War Collection is a compilation of the PS2 hack ‘n slash games God of War & God of War II. Both games were updated specifically for the PS3, meaning that they now play in HD resolution. Other noteworthy improvements are being able to run the games at a consistent 60 frames-per-second (instead of a variable FPS rate on the PS2), less jagged edges via anti-aliasing, and sharpened textures. The PS2 graphics were no slouch to begin with, but this collection puts these games on a whole ‘nother level.

If you’re into trophies, this collection allows you to earn them individually for both games. Another added bonus is the inclusion of God of War II “bonus content,” which is basically a dozen or so videos about the making of the game, hidden levels, character development, etc. You really get a lot of bang for your buck with this package.

If you have never played either God of War game before, you absolutely must get this set! Being able to play through both games in HD for the first time is an absolute privilege. Even those who experienced the PS2 originals should give this a look — the sharp graphics and addition of trophies almost make the games feel brand new. Individually, the games are both great, but as a collection this is nothing short of amazing. Two great games at a budget price = gold.

10/10

For more information on each game, please visit my individual reviews:

God of War
God of War II

God of War II [Playstation 2, 2007]

God of War II

God of War II
System: Playstaton 2
Publisher: SCEA
Release Date: March 13, 2007

WOW, now THIS is how you do a sequel! God of War II takes everything from its predecessor and increases it tenfold. After conquering Atlas in the first game, Kratos has taken over as the new God of War. Kratos’s bloodthirsty ways have not been kindly looked upon by the other gods, and the almighty Zeus has finally had enough and strips Kratos of his power. Now a down-and-broken man, Kratos sets off on the ultimate quest: to murder Zeus. A lofty task, to be sure, and the journey along the way is nothing short of incredible.

The original God of War is a great-looking game, but GOW2 is just beautiful (well, as beautiful as gory non-stop violence can be). The textures have been cleaned up admirably, and everything looks sharper as a whole. While I was impressed with the original GOW’s visuals, this is easily one of the best-looking games ever created for the PS2.

The game’s mechanics are largely the same. This is still a prominent hack ‘n slash brawler with platforming, puzzle and RPG elements. There are a handful of new traits that Kratos can acquire, such as the ability to glide and to fly atop the famed horse Pegasus, but the same principles remain. One of my biggest concerns with God of War was its lack of boss battles. This issue has been dramatically improved in GOW2. At the very beginning of the game, you are inserted into an epic battle against the massive Colossus, a boss fight that was forever immortalized by Penny Arcade. Boss battles are everywhere in this game, and some of them rank among the most memorable fights I have ever experienced in a video game. Some people complained about the first God of War’s length (about 8-10 hours). This has also been improved in GOW2, as now a typical campaign will last closer to 12+ hours. These enhancements really show that SCE Santa Monica listened to their fanbase, and you have to respect that.

God of War 2 has accomplished what sequels should do in the first place, and that is to improve upon as many aspects as possible. While I hesitate to say the game is “perfect” (there are still occasional camera issues, and some of the puzzles are absolutely frustrating), I would still consider GOW2 one of the best action/adventure games I have ever played, and it is easily among the best in the PS2’s gigantic library. Highly, highly recommended!

9/10