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The God of War Collection for the PS3 contains both the original God of War and its amazing sequel, God of War II. Initially released on the PlayStation 2 to huge acclaim and success, this collection brings both games to the PlayStation 3, complete with re-mastered graphics to a resolution of 720p and full PlayStation Network Trophy support. This excellent package gives players the chance to rediscovery two of the most respected games developed for the PlayStation - in preparation for the upcoming release of God of War III. Whether you're a newcomer to this incredible franchise or a series fan eagerly awaiting the next instalment, this is an essential purchase.
For those unfamiliar with these classic games, the series takes its inspiration directly from Greek Mythology and tells an epic tale of love, loss and betrayal, mixed with some of the most visceral and violent action ever seen. This new collection puts both PlayStation 2 classics onto one blu-ray disc for the PS3, improving the visual resolution, frame rate and adding Trophy support. It's an unprecedented move that puts two of the most acclaimed PS2 games onto the latest Sony PlayStation system.
In the original God of War you take on the role of Kratos - a legendary Spartan warrior - who has laboured for ten years, serving the various Gods that make up the Greek Pantheon in order to free himself of the debt he owes them and the memories that haunt him. Now he's been given one last task - to destroy Ares, the titular God of War. This storyline leads directly into the sequel and, without giving too many details away for first-time players; God of War II expands and improves upon everything that made the first game so great. Taking control of Kratos once more, you journey to the far reaches of the earth and face untold horrors that no mortal or god has ever faced before - all in the name of changing your own fate.
These games, originally on the PlayStation 2, always managed to balance the epic story with some of the most satisfying and visceral gameplay ever made. Playing it now, many years later, it still has that same effect and it's a testament to the quality of both of these titles that they have barely aged at all. The fast-paced gameplay flows seamlessly from one battle to the next with some of the smoothest and most brutal animations you'll likely to see in a video game. There's a real depth to the attacks you can dish out, as well as a ridiculous numbers of combo's you can string out thanks to the effective controls and gameplay.
There's nothing quite like wielding the Blades of Chaos, Kratos' deadly chain blades, through a charging army of undead and watching the sheer spectacle that unfolds. These moments of satisfaction, where you get the sense of how powerful a legendary warrior truly you are, is what makes working through these levels so amazing. The God of War games give you the sense that you're inside a myth, living out an epic tale that will be written down and marvelled at for generations to come. This feeling comes not only from the regular combat or the sweeping and emotional story, but from the boss battles that give God of War is true epic nature.
These fights, even after the likes of Heavenly Sword or even Gears of War on the 360, still have the power to make you shake in your boots as you face a foe that utterly dwarfs Kratos in size and power. However, instead of making you feel powerless the genius of God of War is how strong and capable you feel when taking on these hideous and dangerous creatures. Nothing is invincible and the raw rage that Kratos possesses means you always know you're able to take these enemies down. Not only that, but the visceral manner in which you fight makes for a dramatic and gore-filled experience. The sense of achievement is always huge and if there's one improvement God of War II gains over the original game - itís that these encounters are exponentially more epic, more massive and more dramatic than before.
But God of War isn't just about the gory combat and plumes of arterial blood. It presented some amazing looking levels with interactions that had never been attempted before and looking back you can see how both these games birthed a genre that has arguably never been bettered. Thanks to the up-scaled graphics and the way the character models are smoothed due to the addition of anti-aliasing, these games feel like real re-masters that could conceivably fool you into thinking these are brand new experiences.
This is what struck me as I played through these two classic games I had revered in years past - that although the visuals in the first game look a little plain, the gameplay holds up and actually exceeds many titles that have been released in this generation. Nothing compares to that sense of wonder or drama than tearing through hordes of enemies and felling a huge monstrous creature at the end of it. And when I came to God of War II, I was amazed at how good it still looked. The visual improvements applied with this collection really elevate the wider quality of these classic games and I had a hard time believing that I'd originally played them on the PS2.
Rediscovering these two amazing games before the latest instalment of the series is released in March 2010 is essential to appreciate the over-arching storyline that the franchise has. But it's also a chance to play two of the most iconic and critically-acclaimed titles ever released for a video game console. The true action/adventure experience started here and, as The God of War Collection for the PS3 shows, Kratos is yet to be bested.
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