I’ve always been a fan of the God of War series ever since the first one released back in 2005. I’ve played all three God of Wars and eventually ended up buying the HD Remake of the first two. Sadly the ones I did miss were the Playstation Portable versions. Now, Ready At Dawn’s highly acclaimed God of War games are making their way over to the Playstation 3 in an all new HD collection. The God of War: Origins Collection comes packed with both God of War: Chain of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta. So how well do these titles fair up against the original trilogy? Hit the jump to find out.
Now one thing you should know is that these games are not after the events of God of War 3. In fact both of these titles are prequels, which takes place before the event of God of War 1 (Chain of Olympus) and after it (Ghost of Sparta). The story in each game can last around 5-6 hours, which isn’t that bad considering these were once PSP games.
In Chain of Olympus, Kratos, who is a servant of the gods, is asked to go and defend the city of Attica from the Persian invasion. After successfully killing the Persian King, a mysterious black cloud of fog appears as the sun plummets into the earth. Learning that it’s the God of Dream Morpheus, Kratos is then sent out by the gods to rescue Helios, who is the Sun god. For only he can restore the light and release the other gods from Morpheus sleep. I don’t want to spoil to much of the plot, but there are definitely some great twists that are thrown in that’ll will keep you entertained from the beginning to the end.
Ghost of Sparta story is much deeper and involves more of Kratos family past than any of the other God of War games. It starts with Kratos having a horrifying nightmare, in which he then decides to go out and seek answers as to why the gods have never taken away these nightmares. While on this quest he meets his mother who then tells him with her last dying breath about his father, and that his brother Deimos is still alive and being held captive. He then begins his new journey in search for his brother.
Don’t be fooled by the fact that these titles were once handheld games and because of that they are far less then what they should be because that isn’t the case. The story for both titles are as strong as any of the other God of War titles available today. It’s not just in story too, but in every other aspect that you have come to love about God of War.
I have played some of Chain of Olympus on PSP when it first came out and let me tell you the controls at the time were just to difficult to master. As good as these games were on PSP, I felt like they were meant to be played on console with a proper controller and this collection proves it. Combat is much like any of the other God of War games with your strong and weak attacks along with a few combos. Thankfully they added support for a second analog stick, which the PSP lacked. This makes dodging and countering a lot easier then it was on the PSP. Combos remain much the same throughout the entire God of War series, which is in no way a bad thing. These combos can easily be executed and work differently for every weapon available. Same goes for Ghost of Sparta, however the GoS does implement some excellent new gameplay features. For starters they added the charge and tackle attacks that were present in God of War 3. The next thing they added was Thera’s Bane. This is truly a game changer. Pretty much what it does is increase your attacks and causes you weapon to be covered in molted fire for a limited amount of time. Some enemies even react differently to it by either loosing all their armor, or becoming an explosive when they have been hit by a combo with ignited blades.
Lets not forget about QTE’s, as it wouldn’t be a God of War game for if there wasn’t Quick Time Events. Honestly, I have never been a fan of it but everytime I play a new God of War game they always seem to get it right. Animations flow fluidly and the QTE aren’t slow at all. They are very engaging and at most times are extremely fun to watch. Even tearing an eye out of a socket of a cyclops can be quite enjoyable with QTE. I don’t know how God of War does it, but they are really the only game (other then Heavy Rain) that can truly make it work.
Challenge of the gods is also back. Oh yea that’s right. If your familiar with these challenges then you’ll understand how annoying and frustrating they can be. Just because it’s a handheld port doesn’t mean the challenges will be so kind to you. You’ll be spending hours on some of these challenges wishing that they would have made it easier. However, the ending satisfaction is all worth it at the end.
Seeing these game in HD would make you re-think whether these games were actually released for PSP. They aren’t PS3 graphics quality if that’s what your thinking, but they do however look absolutely stunning. Much of the textures and pixels have been improved, matching those in the first God of War: HD remake. It’s literally the best game for graphics that the PSP had to offer and they truly don’t disappoint in this port. As for performance, I haven’t encountered any type of screen tearing or frame rate drops since I started my first (and many more after) play-throughs of both games.
To get a better idea of what to expect here’s a video showing off the comparison between the HD remastered version and the standard definition versions.
Overall I thought the game was just as amazing as any of the other God of War titles. For just $40 your getting two of the greatest PSP games, both in amazing HD and 3D, along with trophy support and loads of additional bonus content. It’s definitely a must have if you haven’t already played them on the PSP system. You are essentially getting a full God of War experience here. Also my God of War collection is finally completed, so if your a collector this will definitely make you happy
For more information on how we review games check out our criteria here. A copy of this game was provided to The Paranoid Gamer by the publisher for review purposes.