PS3 Review: God of War Collection

God of War III is mere months away, so why not re-visit where it all began?

Think back to 2005, and to the birth of the “God of War” franchise, and you might remember how groundbreaking the original game was. The PS2 was blessed with a game that had extraordinary levels, an intriguing story line and an unforgettable character named Kratos. A Spartan Warrior with a troubled past covered in the ashes of his dead family.The weapons were not only original, but devastating and upgradeable. It  released to rave reviews and IGN went as far as to call it the “Best PS2 Game of All Time.”.

Kratos has returned

Two years later “God of War II” was released and it was a sequel that didn’t disappoint. It brought back Kratos, his blades of steel, and another intriguing story line. It went on to win “PlayStation Game of the Year 2007” at the 2007 Golden Joystick Awards.

Epic boss battles

The next edition in this series, God of War III, has a tentative release date for March 2010 for the PS3, and promises to be just as great, possibly even better, than the previous installments. For those of you new to the series, or for those that want to relive the experience on their PS3, the “God of War Collection” has arrived. You can play both of the previous installments without the need for a backward compatible PS3, and now in re-mastered HD.

The Gameplay

Both “God of War” and “God of War II” have been re-mastered and ported over to the PS3, and included on one disc. Both games were recoded and transferred very well. These are the complete games, and each game has its very own trophy set, complete with a Platinum for each game.

The game case

God of War Storyline

Set in the dark world of ancient Greek mythology, players take on the role of Kratos, a Spartan warrior. Plagued by the nightmares of his past, the ash covered warrior would do anything to be free of his debt to the Gods and the memories that haunt him. For ten years he has labored for Olympus, now on the verge of losing all hope, the Gods have given him one last task. Destroy Ares, the God of War. Armed with the deadly chained Blades of Chaos, Kratos will have to overcome armies of mythological monsters, legions of undead soldiers, and amazingly dangerous and brutal landscapes.

God of War II Storyline

God of War saw Kratos, a mortal warrior, set upon an epic quest to dethrone a God. But his journey did not end there. In God of War II, Kratos sits atop his Olympus throne, as the new God of War – far more ruthless than Ares ever was. To end his continued torment, Kratos must journey to the far reaches of the earth and defeat untold horrors and alter that which no mortal, or god has ever changed… his fate. God of War II sets an epic stage for a devastating mythological war to end all wars.

The Graphics

If you own a backward compatible PS3, or have hooked your PS2 up to a hi-def TV, you know that PS2 games were not designed for an HD display. Upon starting up the re-mastered versions on this disc, I was surprisingly impressed by the sharpness and detail that the developers were able to achieve with such dated titles. The game runs at 60 FPS and 720p resolution, and with the exception of cut scenes not rendered by CGI, everything looked great. The edges of characters and environments were smooth and clean, with smooth gameplay and animations. If you didn’t know any better, you would never think that these were originally PS2 titles. The increase in frame rate also makes both games seem to run better than their original PS2 counterparts.

Also included on the disc is all of the bonus material that shipped with the previous PS2 releases. While not re-mastered, it was nice to see that the developers wanted to make sure the gamer was able to experience everything that came with the original discs. The “God of War II” bonus footage can be found through the XMB as you would a Blu-ray title, but the “God of War” footage is only available ‘in-game’. These aren’t HD videos, but are still worth the time to watch and enjoy.

The Sound

To say the soundtracks for both games are epic would be an understatement. The God of War series really set the bar for setting the mood and pace of a game by using beautifully scored music. The quality of the sound is great and cranking up the surround sound is enough to drive the neighbors crazy.

The Final Word

The God of War series has always been a fan favorite. For those of you new to the series, and wanting to introduce yourself to Kratos and his world in the upcoming “God of war III” title, this is a must have collection. For only $40 you get both games in PS3 format, with no need for a PS2 or a backward compatible PS3. If you aren’t new to the series, this is still a great way to re-introduce yourself to the series and play the games in HD, with smoother gameplay and much improved graphics.

The Scorecard


+ Playing as Kratos in HD on your PS3 is definitely a step-up from the PS2

+ Awesome storylines and incredible characters

+ Epic boss battles that are still the best around

+ Improved frame rate

+ Two complete games on one disc

+ Two complete trophy sets on one disc

– Non-CG cut scenes can be hard on the eyes

– Bonus videos are in SD