The portable Kratos...now on your big screen!
Written by Super User
Published Monday, 10 October 2011 20:00
Am I going to be lynched if I say that I think Kratos is beginning to wear out his welcome? Probably, at least by some of you. To be honest, I feel a little odd saying it, given how big of a fan of the franchise I’ve been ever since the original game launched back in 2005. And, again in the pursuit of complete disclosure, I actually didn’t feel that way until I played through the latest compilation pack to come out of the Sony house, God of War: Origins Collection...
First, before I go any further, let’s look at the pack. Origins arrives with both of Kratos’ appearances on Sony’s portable platform, the PSP. Things begin with Chains of Olympus, set between God of War I & II, and helps flesh out some of the events that happened while he reigned as the titular God of War. The Sun God Helios? Missing. And Morpheus is the prime suspect. Naturally, Kratos doesn’t necessarily care, but as with all the GoW games, the Gods rope him in to saving the day.
The second half of this compilation is last year’s Ghost of Sparta. Again set following the events of the first game, Ghost takes Kratos on a journey to seek out his brother, whom he had thought was dead. Once he discovers that Deimos is actually alive and well (via his mother Callisto), and trapped by the God of Death himself, Thanatos, Kratos heads to the Domain of Death, which happens to be in the now-sunk Atlantis.
Since both of these games have been out for awhile now, and odds are many of you have already played through them, I will spare you the full review treatment (in fact, you can see our Ghost of Sparta review right here). However, I do want to point out a few things. Each of these games are wonderful ways to see more of our bald-headed, tormented anti-hero. Not necessarily with the gameplay aspect, although it is the same as it always has - for the better or the worst, depending on your perspective - but for the narrative. Chains of Olympus is the weakest of the two, both graphically and in terms of content, but there are plenty of little elements here and there that hints at the events to come later in the series. Fans will really enjoy absorbing all-things Kratos, especially if you are coming back to these after finishing God of War III.
And visually, I have to admit, I was a bit floored. Granted, both games have received the ol’ spit and polish treatment that comes with every one of these collection packs. And this one also has 3D support, for those of you with the hardware to run it. But what really caught my attention was just how good these games look. Chains of Olympus is a bit on the sparse side as far as the textures are concerned, but overall, you would think these were made for the PS3 if you didn’t know any better. Especially Ghost of Sparta, as it looks much more detailed than it’s older brother. The cutscenes really drive the point home too. In the PS2 collection of the first two games, the transition between gameplay and cutscene was quite jarring. Here in Origins, there’s virtually no discernible difference between the cutscenes and the visually-enhanced gameplay.
Now back to how I started this whole thing. You know, my thoughts on Kratos wearing out his welcome. After playing through all five games, especially now after re-living the two handheld adventures, I can’t help but feel like I’m done with Kratos. I’m sure there are plenty more tales to be told, but I can sit here and easily say that I don’t really want to experience them anymore. I’ve enjoyed my ride and am now ready to climb off the Kratos train. We are now at the threshold where any more time with him will become rote and repetitive (if it hasn’t already for some of you).
Don’t let my thoughts on Kratos as a character dissuade you though. The jump Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta have made on to the PS3 is nothing short of fantastic. Regardless of if you have already seen the end credits for both of them on your PSP or if this would be your first look at the portable action-platformer, it’s well worth the $40 investment. Both games present a further peek into the inner-workings of the immensely angry God and look great doing it. Ghost of Sparta is easily the superior of the two titles; it’s much prettier, has a better narrative, and the combat tactics are more varied. With that said, Chains of Olympus stands well enough on it’s own, Ghost just shines a little brighter. Regardless though, no God of War fan’s collection is complete without this, er, collection.
Release date : 2011-09-13
Publisher : Sony Computer Entertainment
Developer : Ready At Dawn
Gameplay : Action-Adventure
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