God of War Collection User Review
In God of War Collection (God of War I and II) you play as Kratos, the most bad ass elite soldier in the most bad ass army, the Spartan army. (If you need a reminder of how bad ass this army is, go rent 300. Rated R, for really bad ass. Have I said bad ass enough? I hope so.)
He devotes his life to the service of the Gods of Greek mythology, specifically Aeres. This includes fighting in wars and killing lots and lots of people. This makes Kratos happy. Less in the "let's go get ice cream and frolic through fields of flowers" sense, and more in the "I think I'll let you live today" sense.
Anyways, he continues serving until the day he is betrayed by the very gods that he serves. Kratos' devotion changes from service to the gods to revenge upon the gods, and this revenge the driving force in the plot of God of War I, with more betrayal and revenge in God of War II.
The graphics from God of War I and God of War II have been completely redone for God of War Collection. Some of the textures and effects are noticeably better, but the polygon count is still very low compared with other PS3 games. Basically, when you play this game, it will feel like a PS2 game. However, at no point did that take away from my enjoyment of the game.
This is a hack and slash game. If something is moving on your screen, you go hack it and slash it, with no remorse.
You start off with one weapon and some simple combinations, but as you upgrade your weapon more combinations will unlock. You will also find different magic abilities and other weapons throughout the story. It seems each time you get used to one thing, they offer you something new. This keeps the game feeling fresh even though the formula of killing everyone in your path remains the same. The melee combinations are not difficult to master, either. It's really easy to be awesomely brutal, and that adds a lot to the fun factor.
Let me reiterate that this game is brutal. Anything can happen from breaking someone in half, to force feeding your blade down the enemy's throat, to ripping someones arm off and killing them with their own weapon. I remember my first time playing this game. I had quite a few moments where I cringed at how brutal and awesome the enemy's death was. If this sounds good, then this is the game for you.
Combat is the main thing in this game, but it is not the only thing. There are also some puzzle elements. I love the puzzles in this game. They range from the simple to some where I legitimately could not figure it out. I don't know about you, but I love being stumped from time to time.
There were some frustrating parts (trying to push a box to a ledge before spikes kill me, and climbing a spinning column of blades come to mind), but mostly the puzzles all work nicely.
While the game is decidedly linear, it never feels that way due to the excellent level design. (God of War I especially, has some of my favorite level designs in any game I've played. Although, I haven't played any of the Mario Galaxy games which are supposed to also have great level design.)
There are two tricks they use to make this game not feel as linear as it is. One trick is to hide treasure chests everywhere, usually behind breakable walls, or on platforms reached by disguised ledges. This keeps your brain in 'explore' mode, and any game that encourages exploring feels non-linear.
The second trick they use (which is my favorite trick despite how much I love exploring), is they take the linear path that you're supposed to follow and bend it around in such a way that it will come back and intersect itself multiple times. At any given point there is only one direction you're supposed to go, but the game just never feels linear.
Pandora's Temple is a great example of this. To get past a certain point you have to go off and collect these 'keys', and each time you do, you loop back to where you started, so you can add the key you just collected to the doors you're trying to unlock. This ability to revisit places you've been before really helps to disguise that this game is mostly linear.
Linearity can be done well, and whenever I hear someone complain about a game just because it's linear, I want to jump in and remind them that linearity is not the enemy, poor level design is. Yes this game is linear, but it is so well done that it is not a detriment to the experience.
Sound effects, music, and voice acting, are all top notch. Do I need to say anything more about it?
There are little things that could be improved in God of War I, and when you're playing God of War II, you're glad they made the change. For instance, you can't jump up or slide down ladders in God of War I, and when opening doors you have to repeatedly press R2. They fixed both of those things in God of War II.
Those are my only complaints about control. Fighting is easy and fluid. Running, jumping, and climbing all work like they should. Even swimming is easy.
Each game, playing once through, took me about 10 hours to complete. Beating the game unlocks challenges to complete. That adds another few hours, depending on how many times you have to retry the challenge that you're on. There are also different costumes that you can unlock which encourage additional play throughs. Beating the game on hard unlocks the hardest difficulty setting (which I haven't beaten).
I wouldn't be able to play this game infinitely, but I can easily play through the story twice in a row without being bored (once regularly, and once in some awesome costume).
Also, if you're into trophies, there is even more added incentive to keep playing. All of this combines to give this game a good replay value.
I bought these games when they were $60 each for the PS2, with no regrets. Now you can get both of them for $30 (less if you buy used or find a good deal). I don't have my PS2 anymore, so this is the very definition of "must own."
Not everyone likes the same things, so there will be people out there that don't enjoy this game, but it shouldn't take more than a few minutes of watching game play videos to determine if you are one of those people.
I recommend a purchase.
10 - Go out and buy the system that this is on, just so you can play this game.
9 - If you own this system, then you must also own this game.
8 - If you're a fan of the series or genre, then this is a great game.
7 - This is a pretty good game, but it feels like it could be better.
6 - Game is worth a rental, but not worth a purchase.
5 - Game is worth borrowing, but not worth spending any money on.
4 - Don't play this game.
3 - Leave the room if you see this game being played
2 - Instead of leaving the room, turn around and beat up the person playing this game.
1 - Also beat up everyone else in the room that had the option to beat up the person playing the game, but chose not to. Then destroy the game.
0 - Also actively seek out and destroy all copies of this game, beating up everyone even remotely associated with playing, selling, or thinking about the game.
This user review does not reflect the views of the PSX Extreme Staff.