The time has come for two of the greatest titles on the PSP to be ported over to the Playstation 3 for all to love and enjoy. For those unfamiliar with the God of War PSP titles, this collection includes God of War: Chains of Olympus and God of War: Ghost of Sparta, both remastered in HD and reconfigured to play on the PS3 in the way we expect a PS3 game to function. Both games look excellent, the remastering process having left them looking better than they ever did
before. Ghost of Sparta looks particularly good, and compares well with God of War III, which is quite impressive. Either way, this is a new and exciting experiment to make some of the best PSP games available on the Playstation 3. This not only expands the life of the Playstation 3, with scores of excellent games waiting for translation, but it gives us gamers access to games which some of us may not have known existed before.
God of War: Chains of Olympus was the first God of War title on the PSP. This title bears a strong resemblance to God of War I and II in that they contain similar collectibles, storytelling, and combat style. The game itself is an excellent game in its own right, and story-wise takes place before the events of God of War I and II. The similarities between the Playstation 2 games and this Playstation Portable game are to be expected, especially when you consider the fact that their storylines are intertwined. The basic premise involves Kratos ruling as the new god of war, but he soon discovers that Persephone has been conspiring with Atlas to destroy the world. Of course, it’s up to Kratos to deal with the problem.
The gameplay in God of War: Chains of Olympus translates beautifully to the Playstation 3. The graphics are clean and crisp, and the developers were able to implement the use of two thumbsticks into normal gameplay, which is good news for fans of the series. If you prefer the older PSP control scheme, you can switch to it at any time by using the shoulder buttons instead of the second thumbstick. Also new to these games is 3D support, on top of the HD overhaul. Both modes perform well in either HD or 3D. A common oversight in HD ports has been addressed here by upgrading the cut-scenes into HD, so there is a consistently high graphical quality throughout the game. Most gamers will be pleased with the result.
God of War: Ghost of Sparta has taken well to the upgrades, much like Chains of Olympus has. This game was a late generation release for the PSP, and showed off the power of the device. Now with a HD upgrade and 3D support right out of the box, this game is elevated to new heights rarely seen by remastered collections. Since this game was released around the same time as God of War III, it shared many gameplay elements with its PS3 counterpart. It also benefitted from the new additions God of War III made, including godly possessions and minotaur horns. Story-wise, this game takes place between the events of God of War I and God of War II. The game follows Kratos and elaborates on his relationship with his family. You learn early on that Kratos has a brother who is in trouble, and now Kratos has to save him from Thanatos, God of the Underworld, or risk never meeting the brother whose existence he has only just been made aware of.
Ghost of Sparta looks amazing on the PS3, and with all the extras contained in this remastering, it is one of the best remastered collections released to date. With trophy support, 3D capability and HD upgrades, a great series just got better. Ghost of Sparta feels like a full-featured, console-planned, AAA title. The graphics and animations are spot-on and feel just like those seen in God of War III. The 3D in Ghost of Sparta is better than in Chains of Olympus, but that may be more a technical limitation with the source material than a matter of will. Both games show the incredible depth and scale that makes the God of War franchise famous. Don’t be fooled into thinking that these PSP games aren’t of the same quality as the series’ console releases, as you can put these up against any God of War game out now and they will hold their own.
All in all, God of War: Origins Collection is a truly awesome collection. The two PSP games were already excellent in their own right, but with all the improvements that have been made, they have earned the right to reside next to their console counterparts. I would highly recommend this title to any God of War fan or anyone interested in one of the best, if not the best, action-adventure platformers on the market today. If you want a great gaming experience, you don’t have to look any further than this collection.
This review is based on the retail version of God of War: Origins Collection by Sony Online Entertainment played on a Playstation 3.