It's finally here! Although this isn't such a big deal in the grand scheme of all things video games, today marks the release of the God of War Collection for the PlayStation 3 console. The GoW collection is a bundle consisting of GoW1 and GoW2, which were first released on the PlayStation 2 back in 2005 and 2007, respectively.
The difference this time around, however, is that both games and all their attendant bonus content will be on one single Blu-ray disc. The gameplay portions will be sporting shiny new and updated HD visuals to boot, making the games look far more stunning than ever before.
For those with high-definition television sets (and if you own a PS3, you'd be pretty insane not to have one), this means you'll be able to play the games in full 720p and running at a nice 60 frames-per-second clip. For reference, the previous two games were in standard 480p resolution and only ran at 30 fps. So this means the games will not only look crisp and totally GORGEOUS, but that the character of Kratos will respond that much faster during gameplay. Oh, and there's also 2x anti-aliasing at work, to help round out the rougher, pixelated edges of last generation rendering. So textures in both games will look smoother as well!
For those ignorant to just what the hell is the God of War franchise, a quick recap of the story: Kratos is a Spartan commander in a war against encroaching barbarian hordes from the North, when on the verge of death on the battlefield, he pledges his body and soul to the Greek god of war, Aries. The god vanquishes his enemies and, in return, Kratos becomes his dread lieutenant on Earth, wiping out whole armies and communities in honor of his liege. Until one day, while decimating the followers of Aries' hated sister, Athena, Kratos is tricked into murdering his own wife and young daughter. He learns that the trick was a ploy of his master, the titular god of war, in order to secure Kratos' full attention and loyalty to him.
Kratos, of course, does not take too kindly to this news. In an abrupt reversal, he curses Aries' name and pledges revenge, seeking help from Athena herself and becoming the godess's new vassal for justice. A promotional leading up to the release of the first game adequately shows the full, unadulterated hatred Kratos has for his former master, and is one of my all-time favorite game trailers:
Now, I already own both games on my old, boxed-up PS2. So why should I buy this new collection? Truth is, I really shouldn't. And, you know, normally I wouldn't.
However, here's something you might not know: the first God of War came out at a very bad time in my life, when things were looking bleak and depressing. So much so that I had given up video games. Yeah, no shit! I'd put off gaming for half a year, when suddenly one day I decided to change my life around and to make things work for me rather than being passive. Along this time, when Winter was just starting to relinquish to Spring, one of my best friends stopped by and showed me this new Sony exclusive game. I had seen the commercials, but just thought it was another brainless action game with no heart.
Boy was I wrong!
God of War changed me; along with my new lease on life, it renewed my faith in video games. Which was no small feat considering how staid the action gaming genre had become over the years. But this one game would quickly rise to the top of my list of favorites, and is what I consider the best title of not just the PS2, but the entire last generation of games. The amount of sheer brilliance in all aspects of GoW--gameplay, story, voice-acting--cannot be overstated. If you were a gamer back during the PS2 era, you owed it to yourself to have experienced God of War. Same thing went for the sequel, which was just as good if not better than the first.
Truly both games are masterpiece gems for Sony and the PlayStation brand. And because they helped changed my life around, I owe it to myself to own them in the best possible quality around. Since I know both titles forwards and backwards, and can play 'em with my eyes closed and one hand tied behind my back, this will be a pleasurable trip down memory lane for me. And full Trophy support only seals the deal--OH YEAH!!!
The God of War collection releases today, Nov. 17th, to prepare gamers for the coming of God of War 3 on the PS3 sometime in March of next year. Ign.com has a review of the collection up here if you want to check it out.
In the meantime, here is a new commercial for the collection that--try as it might--simply cannot display the full amount of awesome to be had on both games. You really have to play them to understand, but maybe this small glimpse will be enough to whet your appetite: