I don’t like God Of War III. Hired it, played it for an hour or two, sent it back. I absolutely love the God Of War Collection for all the reasons why I don’t like God Of War III. Let’s start with our hero, Kratos. He speaks in God Of War, and by that I mean he talks. HE. DOES. NOT. SHOUT. EVERY. WORD. As a character he is much more sympathetic and he has a story as opposed to God Of War III’s “Let’s kill everything” plot.
My main, massive, gripe with God Of War III is the action stopped every few minutes for a cut scene. Very impressive, go on shove as much as you can around the screen, look at the big guy with a crabby water horse thing – now when do I get to play the game? God Of War has no such problems as there are about six cut scenes in the whole game plus some short scenes when you get some new magic. The rest is pure, action packed gaming and you can happily battle away for thirty minutes and not be interrupted.
And what gaming it is, fast, brutal and most of all, hard. I was genuinely surprised at how tough the game was and it proves what I’ve always thought – next gen games are far too easy. Many a time I found myself fighting with only one bar of health, frantically dodging and attacking to try and stay alive. Likewise the puzzles and traps do not have massive signs saying “Puzzle! Solution in next room!” by them and there are no ‘helpful’ arrows scrawled on walls to tell you where to go next. You need to engage your brain and spend a good amount of time just trying to work out what to do next.
Quicktime events are much tougher as well – killing a Minotaur in God Of War III involves tapping a button quickly. Killing a Minotaur in God Of War I involves quickly revolving the pad so you can get better aim on the ‘O’ button and then hammering it like your very life depended on it.
That neatly brings me on the scale of the game. It commits a cardinal sin of next gen gaming – you have to backtrack and revisit an area more than once. What lazy game design! It’s not though; areas have multiple functions so running through the same corridor always brings a new experience. For example ‘The Rings Of Pandora’ starts as a ring based puzzle, later on requires some careful balancing skills, then a swimming section and then more interlocking ring puzzles. Each game will take around 8-10 hours to complete which gives a recession busting average of £1 per hour’s worth of gameplay.
The graphics have been nicely spruced up and do look better than the PS2 version but are not going to give Uncharted 2 any sleepless nights. Textures are pretty much non existent, there are quite a lot of sharp edges and box shaped strcutures and the water effect looks more like a gloopy jelly than water. The extra PS3 power means the game runs smoother than one of my chat up lines with a consistent 60fps throughout. All the jagged edges from the PS2 version have vanished thanks to some excellent anti alliasing and the game looks as smooth as Kratos’ head.
There’s not much more I can say about the God Of War Collection, chances are you have played the PS2 versions in the distant past and know what the game is like – or at least you think you know what the game is like. After the cuddliness of Next Gen gaming that features loads of health pickups and puzzles that have solutions conveniently next door the God Of War collection is big wake up call. You want to open that door? You want a key? Next Gen Gaming says the key is in the next corridor. God Of War Collection says you have to slay your way across Athens, cross a desert and climb half way down a mountain to get it.
The God Of War Collection is available for £19.99 and is currently on a shelf by itself as it’s scared off all the other next gen games by growling ferociously and shouting “Come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough.”
You should buy it.
- Classic Kratos action without next gen frippery.
- Many hours of gaming at a bargain price, two for the price of one.
- Improved graphics.
- Occasionally shows its PS2 origins with blocky shaped level design.
- Difficulty level higher than your average PS3 game.