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Customer Review

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A bargain for action fans who own a PS3 who have not yet played GoW I and/or II, 9 July 2011
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: God of War Collection (PS3) (Video Game)
God of War Collection

When you first assume control in the game, the first thing you will notice is that both games look great. The graphics still hold up well by today's standards (more so for GoWII) and the frame rate, being run on the much more powerful PS3, is phenomenally smooth. The environment not only looks good but also manages to establish the sense of scale that it is trying to convey: making you feel like you truly are traversing and exploring vast different areas of an even larger world.

God of War I

The plot of the game tells the tale of the pissed-off power-house Spartan Kratos, who is on a journey to stop Ares, the God of War, from destroying Athens. The way the story chooses to tell its tale is interesting and done well: you start the game not knowing much about Kratos but more and more pieces of information on his history are revealed via cutscenes as you progress through the game. The story, original and entertaining from start to finish, is easily the strongest point of the game.

Of course a strong story is not the only good thing in God of War which also boasts a simple, but highly satisfying, combat system and a multitude of clever puzzles. Combat revolves around combining the triangle (heavy attack) and square (fast attack) buttons to form a variety of different combos. As simple as it sounds, the combos themselves are satisfying and does a really good job of making you feel like a badass Spartan. This is true especially in the later parts of the game when you have fully upgraded Kratos' weapons.

God of War has a lot of strong points but it is not without flaws. The game controls well most of the time: movement and combat is fluid, responsive and accurate. However the aiming of the grab function is poor during larger battles and when coupled with some design issues can make the combat frustrating at certain scenarios. While the checkpointing in the game is fine for the most part, they do fall short during the harder platforming sequences in the game, forcing you to undergo the hellish sequences that made you die in the first place from scratch.

While most of the challenges in the game are challenging in a gratifying way, there are unfortunately several challenges which are just downright frustrating and off-putting. These challenges are not unfair per se but they do feel VERY cheap. One trial had you try to kill off a ridiculously large number of enemies to unlock the exit in hope that you can escape before a battering ram kills everything on screen. In another instance the game sends a group of really strong enemies (which you would normally need a rather spacious area to combat just one of these enemy types) for you to face in a cramped environment (which you can fall off from and die). Little things like these just kill the mood a player might have for enjoying the game. Sadly these issues occur more frequently than ideal.

God of War is not a bad game; it sports good graphics, frame rate and an epic story combined with satisfying combat and clever puzzles. However it is a shame that the amount of frustration players may encounter in this game can easily overshadow the good things the game offers. Going through this game again now, it is easy to see how far the God of War series has improved since its beginning.

Rating: 3/5

God of War II

God of War II does not feature a ton of improvement over its predecessor but the few improvements that it makes lead to a much more fun and better experience. This game has lost most of the frustrating elements found in the first game and further refines all that was already good.

While the first God of War featured a simple, but fun and satisfying combat system, God of War II takes this to the next level. The removal of the R1 button as an attack command results in controls that feel cleaner while minor changes to the skills Kratos executes make combos feel more fluid and chain together much more satisfyingly. Of course this does not mean that the combat is completely different: most of the combat is largely the same. The rage meter now recharges much faster, getting rid of the `save it for later' syndrome experienced in the first game and can also be toggled on and off as long as the meter is not empty giving an extra layer of strategy to the combat. Overall players who played the first game will find a combat system that is undoubtedly better that is both familiar and new.

The biggest improvement in God of War II has to be the difficulty balance. The first God of War was no doubt fun to play however it was ultimately more frustrating than fun due to the high (occasionally super cheap) level of difficulty in most of its challenges. God of War II manages to find the right balance between being fun and challenging. While not an easy game, the level of difficulty and frustration a player gets from this game feels fair. Anytime I lost, it never felt like it was due to the way the game was designed. This motivates players to find out what they did wrong and to try again which ultimately makes the game just a ton of fun to play.

The story of God of War II is epic, even more so than the first one. The plot has the player as Kratos travel across a wide variety of locales in an attempt to change his fate and exact his revenge on the Gods of Olympus. The story is told in glorious HD cutscenes and the game does a good job of making the many locations players will visit feel unique and appropriate to what they are supposed to be. Throughout the game players will feel like they really are on this crazy huge adventure.

Of course the game has its share of flaws. While the game actually makes a good effort to inform you where your next objective lies, there are certain points in the game where it is not immediately clear what you need to do next. Just like the first God of War, the occasional awkward camera positioning can lead to some frustration during platforming or even large fight sequences. Fortunately these issues are quite rare in the game, popping up only once or twice in each `chapter', if even at all.

God of War II has everything you cared about from the original game. It has that same satisfying combat, even better graphics and a crazy larger-than-life plot. It is simply a very fun game to play and will entertain you from start to finish.

Rating: 5/5

God of War Collection Bonus Features

The bonus content of the God of War Collection includes a series of behind the scenes videos on the development process of the games. The videos are entertaining to watch and give viewers an idea of what the process of making a video game is like for SCE Santa Monica.

Overall this bundle is a bargain for any PS3 owners who have not yet played God of War I and/or II. Definitely check this out if you are a fan of a great M-rated action-heavy adventure.

Overall: 4/5
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Location: United Kingdom

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