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OMGOW - what a collection!

Dec 16, 2009

By Daniel Barron - G4 Canada

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Subtlety has never been a strong suit of the God of War series, so we'll just come right out and say it - the God of War Collection for PlayStation 3 is pound-for-pound one of the best deals you can find on any current-generation hardware.

God of War CollectionWe typically try not to bring price into the picture when it comes to reviewing games, but here's the thing - at full price, this collection would be worth every penny, but the fact that it's been released for relatively cheap is a fact worth rejoicing over.

For those who aren't familiar with the series (shame on you!), here's the quick rundown: God of War is based loosely off Greek mythology, with the usual suspects making appearances like Zeus, Poseiden, and Gaia, places like Mount Olympus and Hades, and titans like Cronos and Atlas.

The series' protagonist - and we use that term loosely - is Kratos, a mortal who is on an epic quest for revenge following the death of his wife and daughter.

And the word 'epic' has never been more appropriate. From the very first scene, God of War proves itself to be a game full of memorable setpieces. When a game's first boss is a giant three-headed hydra that is attacking a massive ship in the middle of the ocean, you know you're in for one heck of an awesome adventure.

And sure enough, God of War rarely disappoints. The game may at first seem like nothing more than a hack-and-slash, but delve deeper and you'll see just how many moves and combos you can pull off. Not only that, but later enemies are much smarter and will require you to use your entire arsenal of weapons, magic and special moves to come out alive.

God of War CollectionThis game pulls no punches and truly lives up to its 'mature' rating. Blood, entrails, decapitations and neck-snapping are par for the course by the time you complete the first level. It all fits in with the story though - this isn't God of Puppies, after all.

There are even some neat environmental puzzles thrown in occasionally as well, which is a welcome addition, as having 10 hours of endless blood and guts could become a little overkill, so to speak, even for the most desensitized gamer.

Years after its release on the PlayStation 2, the original God of War still holds its own when it comes to graphics. It's no Metal Gear Solid 4, but its high-definition facelift helps its cause quite a bit.

More importantly though, its core gameplay eclipses that of 90% of action games out today. In other words - God of War is just plain a ton of fun to play. Sure, the fixed camera feels slightly antiquated, and we could do without most of the Hades level, but all-in-all, it's a masterpiece that has stood the test of time brilliantly.

God of War II, meanwhile, keeps the core gameplay of its predecessor intact, and improves on just about every problem the first game had. Controls feel just that much more slick, the camera angles virtually never become a problem, and everything looks like it has a fresh coat of paint added.

God of War CollectionNot to mention that the setpieces are even more gigantic. The opening level as you're being chased by a massive statue brought to life is unforgettable, and the challenge to let loose the Steeds of Time is just another checkmark on the list of watercooler moments.

Besides the games themselves, there's all kinds of bonus content that any God of War fan will love. Over a dozen videos on the making of God of War II and the lead-up to its release in 2007 are fascinating, and of course all the unlockables that were originally featured in the first two games are all there to be perused. Don't miss the lost levels or the character graveyard. Who would have ever guessed Kratos once had dreadlocks?

Even players who battled through these games already should consider this collection. Many games don't live up to the memories of years past, but God of War is as good now as it's ever been. And let's not forget that this disc comes with a code to download the God of War III E3 demo. If that doesn't whet your appetite for that game's impending release, surely nothing will.

 

God of War Collection
Format: PlayStation 3
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment America
Developer: Bluepoint Games - SCE Santa Monica
ESRB Rating: M for Mature 17+
Official Site: http://www.godofwar.com/Collections

Rating: 9.5 / 10

 
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G4 Canada (formerly TechTV Canada) launched in September 2001. G4 is the one and only television station that is plugged into every dimension of games, gear, gadgets and gigabytes. Owned Rogers Media Inc., the channel airs more than 24 original series. G4 is available on digital cable and satellite. For more information, see www.g4tv.ca.