The notorious Kratos is back, in the second instalment of the God of War collection. However this time, the PSP classics, Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta, have been re-mastered into HD (and even 3D!) for our viewing pleasure. Admittedly, this doesn’t necessarily change much in ways of mind blowing viewing quality for Chains of Olympus, but the difference can definitely be noted in Ghost of Sparta, and can make you feel less self-conscious about playing the game in front of your elitist gamer buddies (if you have friends like that).
So, what does this collection offer? Well, in terms of bringing something completely new and unique to the God of War franchise… It doesn’t offer anything to make you go, “HOLY SH*T. WITH A SIDE HELPING OF MUTHA F*CKING CHEESE SAUCE.” Sure, both games do their best to make it seem different from the other editions already released via new weapons and magic, but I do find myself being bored of using these new forms of offense within the first five minutes of acquiring them, as it does become apparent that nothing will really completely replace the Blades of Chaos on the basis of long term weapon reliance. Enemies, although given with a new look, are still easily identified as to what they’re capable of, and have the same generic attack strategies from their previous counterparts. If you’ve previously played God of War 3, you will probably find yourself severely disappointed that you have only roughly 5 enemies on the screen at once (GOW3 boasted to have up to 50 enemies on the screen at one time), making it even more obvious that you’re not exactly playing a proper PS3 game. Due to the PSP roots of this collection, completing the game will take no more than a few hours, playing on a higher difficulty is strongly advised to make the game a little bit more exciting.
These negative factors aside, these games do primarily entertain. As mentioned before, whilst offering very little in bringing in a fresh concept, the collection retains the heart and soul of what God of War is truly about: a relentless Kratos seeking revenge. Both titles thrust you into the heat of battle right at the beginning against some huge monster thing, leading to a blood filled QTE at the end of it all, and leaving you with at the very least a wry smile on your face. The Challenge of the Gods makes a welcome return, with the promise of extra costumes granting special powers once you complete it. A special note to mention is that, in Ghost of Sparta, a new mode known as “The Temple of Zeus” is added, which you spend a shed load of red orbs in order to unlock new costumes and artwork, which should keep you going for a while in terms of longevity. The hilarity of Kratos participating in multiple orgies is still preserved too, and let’s be honest with ourselves here, once you come across it; you’ll do that mini game more than a few times. Surely I’m not the only one who imagines that we were Kratos at that point in time because our sex life is currently terrible? N…No? Just me? Crap… A…Anyway swiftly moving on…
The main factor of why you would want to play the second collection, in my opinion, all comes down to the storyline. Both games in the collection offer a lot of back-story on the God of War series and more importantly on Kratos’s history before he became the Ghost of Sparta. I won’t disclose too much here, but let’s say both Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta include characters that Kratos is VERY familiar with- which were not fully featured in previous GOW games. In reality, it’s the concept of these storylines that makes the game so playable, and in retrospect, puts this collection in its own league.
To conclude with, this game is necessary to have if you are a GOW fan, as it does provide a huge amount of new information in the GOW universe. On the rare instance that you are a first time player in this franchise, I do suggest playing the first God of War to familiarise yourself with the plot. For all the trophy hunters out there, the trophies are incredulously simple to obtain, which may peak your interest even more. Whilst not offering anything different, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s pretty much like a, “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” kind of approach, which personally, I am all too happy to oblige to.