The God of War: Origins Collection was released back in 2011. It includes the Playstation Portable entries Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta on a blu-ray disc remastered in HD. This is not to be confused with the God of War Collection which includes remastered versions of the first two GoW games on one blu-ray disc. I played the two PSP games when they first came out. As I no longer have a PSP and I spend more time playing my home consoles than my portable ones, I figured picking up a used copy of Origins for super cheap at GameStop wasn’t a bad idea. I’ve been itching to play them again and after letting Steve-O borrow my copies of the first three console games, it’s been fun showing him the rest of the God of War saga.
There are getting to be one too many installations in this series for my comfort level. It isn’t on as grandiose a scale as, say, Kingdom Hearts, but I’m starting to hate it when companies drag this crap on. Thankfully, the plot stays simplistic and doesn’t get all KH convoluted and crap. The standard formula remains the same: a testosterone-laden bloodbath inspired by Greek mythology featuring a former Spartan general who hates the gods because he got tricked (or something) into killing his wife and daughter. Yadda yadda, you guys know the drill.
The basic premise for Chains of Olympus is Kratos getting sick of doing the gods’ dirty work. But, yeah, he’s still stuck running bloody errands for them. Throw in the typical teasers about the family he killed with his own hands, kill famous mythological Greek figures, and there you have it! The lucky member of the Greek Pantheon who incurs Kratos’ wrath this time around is Persephone. I think its funny that Hades fails to mention the fact that Kratos offed his wife during their confrontation in God of War 3 (IIRC), but the writers also don’t bother discussing the potential ramifications of such an act. I mean, Demeter put the world in six months of winter while her daughter was in the underworld with Hades. Imagine what would happen if she found out her daughter was dead!
Ghost of Sparta is a bit more interesting, because it takes Kratos’ brooding over his dead wife and daughter and applies his rage to something else! A brother! Still more family angst, but it does break away from the mold just a tad. It was nice to kill the rest of his family, as I always hate leaving things undone. The boss fights are pretty cool too. I really enjoyed the spell Kratos steals from Erinys. And the tag team final boss fight was an entertaining variation from the usual formula.
Unsurprisingly, the graphics in Ghost of Sparta are better than Chains of Olympus, as it was released afterwards. I’m not overly concerned with graphic quality anyway, but I found it bothersome that they didn’t polish the experience up. the God of War home console games run almost seamless on their respective systems. But these ports still have the screen freezes I remember seeing when the UMD was loading on my PSP. Except there is no UMD anymore. Sometimes I thought the game was freezing up. They should’ve just been honest and included a loading icon or something so I wouldn’t be under the impression my PS3 was crapping the bed or my disc was scratched. Other bonuses include added content I didn’t really check out, 3D compatibility, and trophy integration!
All in all, the games themselves and the port content are par for the course. If you didn’t have the chance to check out these installments on the PSP or if you collect everything that is God of War like me, definitely pick this up. This collection is cheap and the games are fun, visceral action games you can pick up and beat in a couple of sittings.