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God of War Origins Collection Review

It’s funny. It really is. Last year, we heard how Kratos’ legacy was coming to an end in God of War III. Since that time he’s been mentioned in plenty of gaming circles, as if he’s still a current thing. Yet earlier this year, Sony confirmed that he would be making a comeback in yet another collection, this one different from the previous God of War Collection that included both his first and second games. Titled God of War Origins Collection, this compilation would include both of his PSP adventures, Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta, remastered for console play. Could it be we were going into overkill entry for the God of War?

That’s an understatement, especially considering how much blood Kratos spills in each encounter he gets into. Using his twin blades, he carves up enemies faster than a butcher goes through a fresh pack of meat. Using a variety of combos, special moves and items that grant him a little extra power, he easily rips through his quests.

Don’t think of this as monotonous by any means. Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta were both outstanding in their own right, and before the release of Origins, the only way to play them was by connecting your PSP to a TV with optional component cables. This package makes it way easier to bring Kratos back to high definition – and with a few extras to boot.

First off, both Ghost of Sparta and Chains of Olympus look outstanding in high definition. Chains does have a little rust when it comes to particular details, like lighting. Sparta fares much better thanks to its more intricate settings, unique stage layouts, and breathtaking boss encounters. Watching these guys fill the screen as they try to crush Kratos flat is quite the rush. Both games have 3D support, so if you have the right TV and nerdy glasses, you can see Kratos killing people in the third dimension. It’s not as awe-inspiring as, say, Killzone 3, but it’s a neat technical addition that previous God of War games didn’t have. We’ll take it.

God of War: Origins Collection 'PSP vs PS3' Trailer

As for audio, Kratos yells – as usual. Then again, if your title was the God of War you probably yell a lot also. The voice-work is outstanding in both games, and the epic music score will keep you killing well beyond when each game is completed. The sound effects are razor sharp, too – and all the more reason to invest in a good surround sound system.

Then there’s the gameplay. It’s typical God of War gameplay, but Ready At Dawn has done a fantastic job adapting to Sony Santa Monica’s long-running formula of chaos. Kratos plays without missing a beat in both games, and the new abilities he picks up are excellent for putting groups of unfortunate soldiers in their place. These games are a lot of fun to play through, and being able to unlock new challenges and unlockable items is a nice touch. The varied difficulty settings will keep you coming back for more – think you can handle being the ultimate God of War?

There are plenty of extras here. Trophies, new costumes, and extra challenge rooms are well worth discovering. You can also find a cool 80+ minute documentary covering the God of War Director’s Session that took place earlier this year, featuring the five men responsible for all the separate adventures Kratos has had – including the entertaining David Jaffe. (And with Alison Haislip hosting, hey, you have extra eye candy as well.)

If there is one complaint regarding Origins, it would have to be that you can’t easily switch between the games. You have to quit completely through the XMB, reboot the title and then select it. It would’ve been far easier to give us instantaneous access.

For Kratos’ third trip to the PlayStation 3, God of War Origins Collection is as surprisingly fresh as the first two. Granted, it’s not as graphically super-powered as God of War III, but there’s no question that this package has worth, especially in Ghost of Sparta. Both games have been finely remastered, and play like a dream with the new Dual Shock controls. The extras don’t hurt either. So make sure you save some cash to unearth these Origins. You won’t be sorry.

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Robert Workman
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