God of War Collection Review
by Gauss


Basic Information:
Developer: Sony Santa Monica
Publisher: SCEA
North American Release Date: 11/17/2009
European Release Date: Sometime 2010
Trophies: Yes

Overview
The God of War 1 and 2 are not only two of the highest rated PS2 games of all time, but also on numerous top 100 games of all time lists. There is a very simple reason for this... God of War 1 and 2 represent the best of the action genre. The violence is brutal, direct, and never senseless. The controls are tight and responsive, so fluid water gets jealous. The story is simple but never boring. The God of War Collection takes these two games and puts them on one Blu-ray in what is easily the best marketing tactic for the conclusion of the series ever.

Gameplay
God of War has always been an example of the best of the Action Genre, and this collection will remind you why. God of War's Gameplay is composed of 3 basic elements: Combat, Platforming, and Exploration. Whats great is no one element dominates the game, as soon as you have had enough of one, it transitions to the next.


The combat system is designed perfectly, you have hard hits, quick hits, and grabs, every combo is comprised of these basic attacks. You can block, parry and evade (Prototype should have taken notes) and everything is fluid and quick. In so few words, Kratos can do everything with his two blades any gamer could ask of him and can cast magic ranging from lighting bolts to summoning an army of undead minions... From brutally tearing out the eye of a Cyclops during a brief Quick Time Event to parrying a Satyr as he smashes his staff against your blades, only to get raped as you cut across him like a scissor cuts through paper. All of this is summed up in a straightforward upgrade system that rewards the user for combat and exploration.

The platforming and exploration are pretty simple, not a whole lot to talk about, and often overlap.

Singleplayer
On the surface, some people may assume this is a simple revenge story. These people would be wrong. While revenge plays a key role, it is merely a motivation by which the initial dimensionality of Kratos is defined. From here glory, redemption, and justice take over. What you end up with is God of War as a series is a great example of Greek Mythological story telling. It has all the key components in both accounts. It follows a great man who has fallen from grace and has to work against impossible odds to reclaim his life and glory back. Its classic Greek we have seen time and time again from Odysseus and Aeneas to Hercules and Bellerphon


While this is classic Greek storytelling, Jaffe keeps things fresh by bringing in his own interpretation of Greek Mythology. It adds a specific flavor to God of War that allows for the brutality to really sing. The interpretation is much more animalistic, which only accentuates Kratos's behavior in the environment around him. It gives the violence purpose and helps drive the story, everything is about survival. Kratos fights for the survival of his being, his memories, his power, and his very name.

Technical
While the game isn't the best looking when compared to current generation games, for a PS2 game, God of War represents the best the PS2 had to offer graphically. It looks even better now that several textures have been updated and the game runs at 60 fps constantly.

The 60 fps in particular is noticeable to those who have played the old game, and you will notice slight increase in control responsiveness and the overall fluidity of the game. The key here is fluidity, and it is why God of War is generally considered the benchmark of action gaming. Nothing in God of War feels forced, everything flows one into the next. Everything from blocking in between combos to being able to switch targets in mid combo is possible.


There really is not much to say under here to be honest. God of War, from a technical stand point, is as close to perfect as any PS2 game can be (I preface it with PS2 strictly on a graphical stand point). Had Sony Santa Monica HD-converted the Cutscenes as well, I would have given this game a perfect rating.

Gameplay: 10/10
- Frankly this is the best designed Action Game to date and is the bar by which all others are compared.

Singleplayer: 9/10
- The singleplayer experience is truly one to remember. A great example of Greek mythological story telling, even if the mythology tends to be of Jaffe's own interpretation.

Technical: 9/10
- Graphically God of War games are always great, and this is no exception. Its controls are phenomenal. My only complaint is if only some of the cutscenes were updated.


Overall: 9.5/10 Brilliant