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'[GAME] God of War Collection'

This thread has been linked to the game 'God of War'.
Wed 10/03/10 at 18:54:
Regular
"Tip The Scales"
Posts: 869
God of War Collection - Review

With the release of Santa Monica Studioís highly anticipated title God of War III on the horizon, itís always nice to have a look back at the games that make up the first two-thirds of the trilogy and attempt to understand what it is that makes God of War III such a highly anticipated title. To this end, Santa Monica, in association with Bluepoint Games, released God of War Collection in America late last year. Although a European release was expected, it would appear that it will only be available as part of the Ultimate Trilogy edition bundled with God of War III. Fortunately, I have the luxury of being able to play the imported version for review.

God of War Collection is the PS3 port of both God of War I and God of War II (originally released for PS2), which have both been remastered for high definition playing. The God of War trilogy follows the exploits of Kratos, a Spartan warrior who gave his soul to the gods in return for military prowess and near-immortality. Kratos must then follow the will of the gods, only to be betrayed, for which he determines that he will exact revenge.

God of War relies heavily on Greek mythology to give it the enemies and storyline mechanics. This, of course, allows for a little bit of variation as the game goes on. Enemies include minotaurs ,satyrs and gorgons, although the game does fall a little foul of being a bit weak on the number of different enemies that do happen to populate the game. For the most part, this can be forgiven, as the hack-and-slash type action game this is is more about blood and gore than variety, and God of War can definitely not be one accused of not being gory enough.

In fact, one of the main selling points of the God of War series is the heavily brutal quick-time event finishes (of which there are a couple of unique ones for most normal enemies). Although quick-time events are a very done-to-death sort of mechanic that has been used ever since developers found it to be a simple and easy way to make cutscenes slightly more interactive, God of War doesnít fall into the oft-felled trap of making them dull, tedious and outright difficult for the most part, and unlike some games (looking at you, Prince of Persia PS3), there has yet to be a particular lag or lack of responsiveness that makes the quick time event that much more irritating.

The gameplay is of course the same old God of War style hack-and-slash that weíve come to know and love (in fact, itís exactly the same, since it is God of War, but since ďGod of War styleĒ has become a pseudonym for the genre, I canít think of a much better way of phrasing it) blending fluidity of motion with evasive and counter strategies, coupled with the ability to use different types of magic (and sometimes environment) to cripple and eventually topple your foes. Collecting red orbs (experience) throughout the game allow you to upgrade your weapons and magic to increase the amount and vary the style of punishment that can be dished out on the enemy.

Graphically, the two games sit somewhere around late PS2 quality in terms of general gameplay and cutscene graphics. Itís not awful, but nowhere near the sort of standard that is expected of this generation. On the other hand, ďspecialĒ cutscenes have obviously been redone and look extremely nice and sharp, when the happen to appear. The graphical upgrades become more evident in gameplay when it comes to the bosses, who appear to have had a much more thorough job done on them. The anti-aliasing generally works well, and a noticeable improvement is made on some of the background textures.

Although the brilliance of the games canít be denied (and if anyone has seen reviews for the games in their own right itís evident that they are nothing short of brilliant), there are a few little things about them that just bug me. Static camera angles, although for the most part done extremely well, and for the control scheme can generally be understood, do get on my nerves a bit. Having a battle with several enemies with Kratos lying on the barrier between two camera angles (neither of which were actually particularly good ones for the position I was in) resulted in a particularly flicky and disorienting affair.

Another little niggle, which I guess canít be avoided when attempting to stay as true to the original as possible, was the control scheme for God of War 1. Having to constantly mash the R2 button to open doors etc. is not particularly easy or comfortable with the new trigger design. In contrast, God of War 2 chooses to use R1 and Circle for this eventuality. Consistency across the disc would have been nice, but not particularly necessary

Elsewhere, the option to be able to switch between God of War I and God of War II without having to quit and reload the disc would have been a nice addition, but generally it is only a minor inconvenience.

To sum up, the games are as good and play as fluidly as they did when they were first released. Although graphically improved, it struggles to live up the majority of the games of this generation, and will probably get shunned by those gamers of which graphics are of utmost importance. A brilliant throwback to two of the gems of the previous generation, a must have for fans of the genre, or people who passed on the opportunity to play them originally (such as myself). However, this is obviously marred by the seemingly likely snub of a lack of individual release in Europe.

Overall Score: 9.0/10
Wed 10/03/10 at 21:46:
Regular
"Tip The Scales"
Posts: 869
Well, that's good news for everyone then. I'll have to try and finish GoWII before God of War Collection is released over here :P
Wed 10/03/10 at 21:18:
pb
Moderator
"possibly impossible"
Posts: 24,925
Nice review. The good news is that Sony have now said this will get a release, though it looks like several weeks after GOWIII.
Wed 10/03/10 at 18:54:
Regular
"Tip The Scales"
Posts: 869
God of War Collection - Review

With the release of Santa Monica Studioís highly anticipated title God of War III on the horizon, itís always nice to have a look back at the games that make up the first two-thirds of the trilogy and attempt to understand what it is that makes God of War III such a highly anticipated title. To this end, Santa Monica, in association with Bluepoint Games, released God of War Collection in America late last year. Although a European release was expected, it would appear that it will only be available as part of the Ultimate Trilogy edition bundled with God of War III. Fortunately, I have the luxury of being able to play the imported version for review.

God of War Collection is the PS3 port of both God of War I and God of War II (originally released for PS2), which have both been remastered for high definition playing. The God of War trilogy follows the exploits of Kratos, a Spartan warrior who gave his soul to the gods in return for military prowess and near-immortality. Kratos must then follow the will of the gods, only to be betrayed, for which he determines that he will exact revenge.

God of War relies heavily on Greek mythology to give it the enemies and storyline mechanics. This, of course, allows for a little bit of variation as the game goes on. Enemies include minotaurs ,satyrs and gorgons, although the game does fall a little foul of being a bit weak on the number of different enemies that do happen to populate the game. For the most part, this can be forgiven, as the hack-and-slash type action game this is is more about blood and gore than variety, and God of War can definitely not be one accused of not being gory enough.

In fact, one of the main selling points of the God of War series is the heavily brutal quick-time event finishes (of which there are a couple of unique ones for most normal enemies). Although quick-time events are a very done-to-death sort of mechanic that has been used ever since developers found it to be a simple and easy way to make cutscenes slightly more interactive, God of War doesnít fall into the oft-felled trap of making them dull, tedious and outright difficult for the most part, and unlike some games (looking at you, Prince of Persia PS3), there has yet to be a particular lag or lack of responsiveness that makes the quick time event that much more irritating.

The gameplay is of course the same old God of War style hack-and-slash that weíve come to know and love (in fact, itís exactly the same, since it is God of War, but since ďGod of War styleĒ has become a pseudonym for the genre, I canít think of a much better way of phrasing it) blending fluidity of motion with evasive and counter strategies, coupled with the ability to use different types of magic (and sometimes environment) to cripple and eventually topple your foes. Collecting red orbs (experience) throughout the game allow you to upgrade your weapons and magic to increase the amount and vary the style of punishment that can be dished out on the enemy.

Graphically, the two games sit somewhere around late PS2 quality in terms of general gameplay and cutscene graphics. Itís not awful, but nowhere near the sort of standard that is expected of this generation. On the other hand, ďspecialĒ cutscenes have obviously been redone and look extremely nice and sharp, when the happen to appear. The graphical upgrades become more evident in gameplay when it comes to the bosses, who appear to have had a much more thorough job done on them. The anti-aliasing generally works well, and a noticeable improvement is made on some of the background textures.

Although the brilliance of the games canít be denied (and if anyone has seen reviews for the games in their own right itís evident that they are nothing short of brilliant), there are a few little things about them that just bug me. Static camera angles, although for the most part done extremely well, and for the control scheme can generally be understood, do get on my nerves a bit. Having a battle with several enemies with Kratos lying on the barrier between two camera angles (neither of which were actually particularly good ones for the position I was in) resulted in a particularly flicky and disorienting affair.

Another little niggle, which I guess canít be avoided when attempting to stay as true to the original as possible, was the control scheme for God of War 1. Having to constantly mash the R2 button to open doors etc. is not particularly easy or comfortable with the new trigger design. In contrast, God of War 2 chooses to use R1 and Circle for this eventuality. Consistency across the disc would have been nice, but not particularly necessary

Elsewhere, the option to be able to switch between God of War I and God of War II without having to quit and reload the disc would have been a nice addition, but generally it is only a minor inconvenience.

To sum up, the games are as good and play as fluidly as they did when they were first released. Although graphically improved, it struggles to live up the majority of the games of this generation, and will probably get shunned by those gamers of which graphics are of utmost importance. A brilliant throwback to two of the gems of the previous generation, a must have for fans of the genre, or people who passed on the opportunity to play them originally (such as myself). However, this is obviously marred by the seemingly likely snub of a lack of individual release in Europe.

Overall Score: 9.0/10

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