I kind of found myself doubting whether or not I should write this preview. I mean, really…who out there hasn't played a God of War game? Chances are, you at least the played a demo of any three of the games (I'm including the PSP one). But, hey, the realistic side of me said, 'there are 140 million PlayStation 2 owners, and only 7 million of them played it. So clearly, 133 million didn't". Then, of course, you have the Xbox owners, the GameCube owners, and the PC gamers who didn't own a PS2, and own a PS3 now. So if you're looking at getting the remastered God of War Collection for your PS3 in preparation for GOWIII, and you've never played the games before, this preview is for you.
So the basic story is simple: you are Kratos, an apprentice to the God of War by the name of Ares. In exchange for a victory against a barbaric tribe, Kratos gives up his soul to the God, only to be betrayed by him later on. I won't say exactly how Ares tricked and betrayed Kratos, but the plot twist is quite a nice one. Regardless, the betrayal sends Kratos into a fit of rage. Kratos would go on to serve a number of other Gods, all of which bestow tasks of gruesome brutality on Kratos, until he could take it no more and calls upon Athena for help. He asks her to rid his conscious of the wretched memories he has to live with. But it is Athena who has a favor to ask of Kratos, and that is stop Ares' destructive path in Athens and kill him.
Gameplay is as fast-paced and action packed as you could possibly hope for. It is without a doubt the smoothest playing action series out there, yes, even besting Devil May Cry. Everything flows seamlessly from one attack to the next. Kratos' list of attacks is not only expansive but extremely brutal, as God of War is known for its gory and violent nature, capturing the absolute chaos and ruthlessness depicted within Greek mythology. Kratos can string hits of attacks simultaneously, with 100 hit combos made possible thanks to the amazing game mechanics.
Wielding a pair of chain blades permanently affixed to his forearms, Kratos is well equipped for any situation, and with solid upgrade features, even dealing with tougher enemies is a breeze for this Spartan. But it is the boss fights in the God of War games that many call absolutely epic, and you simply have to see them for yourself and marvel at the kind of events many of us saw unfolding on our wimpy little PlayStation 2's. If there was one series that was the pre-cursor to the epic games we have this generation, God of War is it – it really did pave the way for the genre.
In this compilation, you get both God of War I and God of War II. I'll leave the story of God of War II for you to experience, so as to not spoil what occurs at the end of the first game. But I will say that the sequel did expand and even improve on nearly all of the aspects that made the first game so great. And now with the collection arriving on the PlayStation 3, these ports come packing an all new game resolution of 720p. And it isn't just an upscaled resolution, either, as Sony calls it a "remastered" visual experience. On top of that, the games will be fully anti-aliased, and retain their signature 60 frames per second benchmark. Lastly, to further bring these games up to speed, Bluepoint Games, the developer responsible for this port, is implementing fully trophy support for both games, which should make many happy.
God of War Collection is scheduled to hit November 10th, and will come complete with a downloadable demo of God of War III! We've yet to see any screenshots of the games in action on the PS3, but we have faith they'll look good.