God of War: Origins Collection Review
If you don't have a PSP and missed out on the chance to play God of War Chains of Olympus and God of War Ghost of Sparta, your chance has now arrived (and if you do own a PSP, what's your excuse?). God of War Origins takes the two PSP titles and puts them on a single PS3 disc, and upgrades the graphics to HD, adds 3D support, and adds trophy support in the process. These two titles complete Kratos' saga on the PS3 (the PS2's God of War and God of War II were given their own upgrade treatment for the PS3 with the God of War Collection), with Chains of Olympus sitting before God of War on the timeline and Ghost of Sparta bridging the gap between God of War and God of War II. Not that anyone really plays a God of War game for the story, but there you have it.
If you're concerned about playing a God of War game originally designed to be played on the one-stick PSP, you shouldn't be. The controls have been changed to match those for the PS3 versions of the game, and if you've controlled the brooding warrior and his chain blades before on the PS3 you'll be right at home here. And if you haven't, the game will quickly bring you up to speed and have you chaining attacks in no time.
All of the series' signature features are here, despite these games' portable origins. You've got the incredible brutal and fluid combat, the epic, multistage boss encounters, quick time events, and light puzzles. The games' graphical updates do make them look better than they did on the PSP (and probably even more so given the screen size difference), but don't expect Origins Collection to give God of War III a run for its money. The character models look good, but are definitely a cut below those of top tier PS3 titles and the backgrounds are short on detail. However, the gameplay remains enjoyable enough that you'll probably be willing to cut the games some slack, especially if you're a big fan of the series. My biggest complaint is that even though the two titles come on a single disc they are disjoint to the point that once you begin playing one game you have to jump back out to the XMB before switching to the other. This probably isn't that big a deal for most gamers since they'll probably play one title then the other rather than switching back and forth between the two, but it would have been nice if some effort would have been made to better integrate the two since this is basically a fan service rerelease. And on that note, a little extra content on the background of the games and the series would have been nice. Overall, though, now you can play the entire God of War series in HD on your PS3, and that alone is a very good thing.
Final Rating: 90%. PSP owners won't have a compelling reason to relive these games in HD unless they're hungry for more trophies, but all other God of War fans should jump at the chance to play these thoroughly enjoyable games on their PS3s.