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God of War: Origins Collection Review


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On 10/26/2011 at 08:00 PM by Nick DiMola

Kratos, a man of many emotions – angry, pissed off, furious, and did I mention angry?
RECOMMENDATION:

Only fans of the series are likely to appreciate this title. Improved graphics and controls make it a worthy investment for those dedicated to Kratos' quests.

Good news, everyone! PixlBit has already reviewed both Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta. Both received a rating of 4 stars on the PSP, and if you're a fan of the series, surely the same will hold true here. Sony has lovingly ported these games to the PlayStation 3 with great results. Both games look strikingly good for PSP remasters and both control as you'd expect with the de facto PlayStation controller, as opposed to the often awkward PSP nub.

Unfortunately, I am not a fan of this series. I haven't had too much exposure to the games prior to the receipt of this review copy. I had played part of the first and walked away unimpressed. Years later, I see nothing has changed, and for me, that's a huge problem.

For the record, I completely understand why people enjoy God of War. It's a fairly simple hack-'n'-slash title that just feels good to play. The controls are fluid, the gameplay is quick, and the games are always of a reasonable length, making them easily digestible for those with limited gaming time. While I can understand why people do like them, I can't understand how those who do have never demanded more.

After playing a sizable chunk of both titles, it's clear that both didn't look to offer much more than a God of War experience that could be taken on the go. The vast majority of the time you'll  be grinding from room to room, killing everything that moves.

Because the enemy AI is either patterned or horribly unintelligent, the game begins its descent into monotony fairly quickly. Without enemies challenging you, it becomes an effort of pounding the same attack button over and over again until all enemies on the screen are dead. No special efforts are needed to defeat certain foes and rarely do enemies enforce your need to block. Most of the time, a simple dodge handles avoiding the telegraphed attacks.

Boss battles prove to be the most interesting, as they provide players with the most challenge and the most complicated of attack patterns. These are mostly ruined when you have to finish the boss off with a quick time event. I hate quick time events, and these do nothing to warm me to the idea of them. As a matter of fact, they've only soured me further to them. Missing any part of the sequence will result in a loss of a sizeable chunk of your life and the boss regaining a sizable chunk of his. Because the fights are typically a breeze, missing the quick time event even once drags out the fight to unbearable lengths.

I wouldn't be so hard on these games if they actually tried to do something more. I very infrequently had to change my attack patterns to defeat the endless wave of foes. Each level segment in this generic ancient Greek world holds nothing but more enemies or chests to open. It's a very hollow experience that could be so much more with the addition of a simple concept like elemental effects.

More layered puzzle solving would also be welcome, as would some less linear level designs. Often, you are simply moving from point A to point B, with no deviations whatsoever. This removes all intrigue from the world, which is shameful given the rich lore it draws from.

That being said, Kratos is one of the most one-dimensional characters ever created. He stands in stark contrast to the other established gods from mythology. Kratos is simply pissed off. His motivation for being pissed off is unclear, but his personality is grating regardless, even from the first few moments of the game.

I won't belabor the point any further, but I find God of War Origins Collection to be an absolutely mediocre experience. Understandably, these are both side quests in the greater mainline series, but that alone doesn't make them impervious to criticism. For fans of the series, it's clear that both titles deliver the expected experience, but if you're a newcomer, you're likely going to want to take a swing at one of the mainline games before jumping into this extremely simple hack-'n'-slash.

Review Policy

In our reviews, we'll try not to bore you with minutiae of a game. Instead, we'll outline what makes the game good or bad, and focus on telling you whether or not it is worth your time as opposed to what button makes you jump.

We use a five-star rating system with intervals of .5. Below is an outline of what each score generally means:


All games that receive this score are standout games in their genre. All players should seek a way to play this game. While the score doesn't equate to perfection, it's the best any game could conceivably do.


These are above-average games that most players should consider purchasing. Nearly everyone will enjoy the game and given the proper audience, some may even love these games.


This is our middle-of-the-road ranking. Titles that receive three stars may not make a strong impression on the reviewer in either direction. These games may have some faults and some strong points but they average out to be a modest title that is at least worthy of rental for most.


Games that are awarded two stars are below average titles. Good ideas may be present, but execution is poor and many issues hinder the experience.


Though functional, a game that receives this score has major issues. There are little to no redeeming qualities and should be avoided by nearly all players.


A game that gets this score is fundamentally broken and should be avoided by everyone.


 

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