Review: God of War: Origins Collection (PS3)

Title: God of War: Origins Collection
Format: Blu-ray Disc
Release Date: September 13, 2011
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developer: Ready at Dawn
Original MSRP: $39.99
ESRB Rating: M
Extras: 3D Compatible

Initially released on the PSP, God of War: Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta were technical marvels. Developer Ready at Dawn was able to squeeze every last ounce of power out of the aging handheld and deliver two spectacular God of War experiences that rivaled their console brethren. Now they’ve gone back and remastered both games in full 1080p and stereoscopic 3D along with trophies and 5.1 Dolby Digital/DTS surround sound. It was worth it.

Gameplay:
Originally released in 2008, Chains of Olympus is a prequel to the first God of War on the PS2. Kratos is still just a lowly servant of the Gods, hacking and slashing his way through the Persian army as they attack Attica. After dispatching the invaders, the sun falls from the sky and the Gods desperately need Kratos’ help. You’ll go on a long and winding journey through the Temple of Helios, into the Underworld and beyond. Later in the game, Kratos even has a brief moment of peace which, of course, is soon shattered as the demands of the Gods intrude on his life once again.

In 2010, Ready at Dawn released their second God of War game on the PSP, Ghost of Sparta. Set between the events of God of War I and II, Kratos goes on a more personal journey of discovery in a quest to find his lost and forgotten brother who is being held in the Domain of Death. For an in depth review of Ghost of Sparta, see my review from October 2010.

For fans of the God of War series, both games play exactly as you’d expect. Combos are used to dispatch enemies in all manner of gruesome evisceration. On the PSP, the lack of a second analog stick, L2 and R2 buttons meant that some changes had to be made to the standard God of War control scheme. Ready at Dawn was able to map things in a way that didn’t detract from the games at all. In fact, both still felt like a full God of War experience. Now back on the PS3 with a DualShock controller in your hands, the full control scheme you know and love from the God of War series is back.

One nice little addition for veterans of the PSP versions is the ability to use some of the PSP controls as well if you’re used to those. It’s a nice addition for fans that came to the series on the PSP originally and already know that control scheme really well.

Throughout both games, you’ll get the standard fights with mini bosses and major bosses sprinkled with light puzzle solving. Just because these games came to the PSP first, don’t expect them to be short. While Chains of Olympus took me roughly seven hours to beat, Ghost of Sparta was almost nine and a half. Keep in mind, God of War games tend to be very linear and don’t lend themselves to exploration so that’s pretty much all gameplay and cutscenes there.

The bottom line here is that these games will offer you the same great God of War experience you’ve come to expect and actually help flesh out the character and background of Kratos a little bit more, which is always a good thing.

Visuals:
So how do a pair of PSP titles measure up when they’re remastered in 1080p? Pretty well actually. You’ll still see some lighting and shadow issues here and there, more so in Chains of Olympus, but overall both games look great. Ghost of Sparta, being the more recent of the two titles, fares much better but to be fair, this was the same case on the PSP.

A lot of work was done to bring these two titles to the PS3 and it shows. as seen in the video here:

The detail and effects are certainly better in Ghost of Sparta as they were in the PSP originals. The best comparison I can make is the jump from the original God of War to God of War II in the first HD collection on the PS3. Both games look great, but the first in the series shows it’s lineage more than the second.

The addition of 3D marks its first appearance in a God of War game and the results are excellent. Both games work very well in 3D without any noticeable slowdown. The depth is good and the lines are clean with no ghosting throughout both games. Playing these two in 3D really makes me wish God of War III had this option. Unfortunately, the cutscenes have not been bumped to 3D but that doesn’t really have an impact on the overall games.

Despite the occasional (and very minor) graphical quirk, both games look great, especially considering that they started out as PSP titles.

Audio:
The audio in both games was already pretty amazing on the PSP, but now with full Dolby 5.1 and DTS support, they stand toe to toe with the other three God of War games already on the PS3. Both have full orchestral soundtracks that fit right in with the rest of the collection. Every sound you’d expect to hear, from the voice acting to the blades slicing through enemies is faithfully recreated and now it sounds better than ever.

Conclusion:
Two God of War games for $40, you can’t go wrong. Even if you already bought these games on the PSP, they’re worth a look here, if only to have the full God of War collection on the PS3. The inclusion of trophies certainly doesn’t hurt either.

Fortunately, both are solid games that fit right in with the God of War trilogy already on the PS3. They may have started out on the PSP, but don’t let that fool you, these games are just as fun and exciting as any God of War game and definitely worth you time and money.

Score:
9.0

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  • From the screenshots you can see they really tried their best to make the games as good looking as possible. Great review Josh 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the review Josh. Are you guys going to cover the Uncharted bundle info in the next podcast?

    • That will probably come up in the news.

      • Anonymous

        Ok.

  • A well written review. However, I never really liked the God of War series. I bought and played through the GoW collection, but the only reason I did so was for trophies. 😡

  • Anonymous

    Nice review. I never played the second psp gow so I’d like to at least rent this one. Any word on a vita-exclusive gow?

    • Nothing yet, but I’m sure something will get announced by E3 next year at the latest.  I’d be surprised if they didn’t do it.

  • Anonymous

    Seems like a no-brainer for a God of War fan like myself.  I recently sold both PSP titles as I knew these were forthcoming.  Oh, and I’m also preparing for a full on Vita upgrade 🙂

  • good times 🙂

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