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God of War: Origins Collection Review

By this point the God of War franchise is one that really doesn’t need much of an introduction. It’s safe to say that by now if you haven’t warmed up to the series for whatever reason, you’re probably never going to. God of War: Origins Collection is the second re-mastered HD collection for the PS3 and it contains both of the previously exclusive PSP titles (Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta) developed by Ready at Dawn Studios.

One of the strongest aspects of the God of War games has always been the story and how it is told throughout the course of the game. Both of these games have great stories behind them, and they really fill in the blanks that explain the events of Kratos before and after the first God of War game. The story in God of War 3 was disappointing when compared to the previous two games, but Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta do not disappoint in the slightest in this regard. For my money, Ghost of Sparta has the best story since the original God of War game and it sets up the events of God of War 2 really well.

The story in Ghost of Sparta sheds light on one of the most important events in Kratos' life

While these games were easily two of the best reasons to own a PSP, we were left with the impression that something was still lacking with these iterations. God of War has always had a strong sense of scale, and while this wasn’t completely lost in the PSP versions, it was certainly watered down a tad. Both of these games look incredible, in particular Ghost of Sparta everything looks extremely sharp and runs at a smooth 60 frames per second. You can also play these in stereoscopic 3D if you have the means to, which is a nice touch for anyone who has invested in that. These games looked great on the PSP, but God of War is just one of those series that demand the big screen to fully show off its amazing visuals.

The biggest change found in these games comes directly from the controls, since the PSP lacks the second analog stick and additional shoulder buttons. Dodging with the right stick feels essential to the God of War experience and the lack of it always held back the PSP version from playing as well as the console counterparts. This addresses the only real problem the PSP versions had and, dare I say, makes these games worth playing again even if you have already finished them on the PSP as it makes them feel like God of War should. I really enjoyed these games on the PSP, but let’s face it, that isn’t a system that lends itself to long gameplay stretches. Playing these games on the PS3 is not just a much better gaming experience, but also a far more comfortable one because you can use the regular controller.

Thera's Bane looks even more stunning than it did back on the PSP

If you’re not familiar with these games for whatever reason, don’t be put off by the fact that they were previously on a portable system. One of the best things about the PSP God of War games is the amount of content that they pack in. Upon completing the games you will unlock additional difficulties, costumes and plenty of bonus content. You will also get to test your skills in the challenge modes, which offer far tougher situations than anything found in the story mode in either game. The costumes come with all kinds of modifiers, like granting infinite magic or allowing you to earn more souls for upgrading weapons when defeating enemies. Bonuses like these make repeat playthroughs a ton of fun.

This collection serves as the perfect stopping point until we find out just where the series is headed from here on out. God of War certainly needs to evolve if it is to continue to be relevant among action games in the future, but this collection is easily a must have for serious fans dedicated to what the franchise has been about up until now. Even if you've played these on the PSP previously, the sheer quality of these games combined with the added benefits courtesy of the re-mastered visuals and gameplay makes them worth experiencing again. If you are a fan of the God of War series and have made it this long without experiencing either of these titles, then picking up this collection is simply a must.



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