Welcome to God of War Collection: Volume II, where all the main characters are about as complex as a single cell amoeba, but also where hours of fun can be had smashing up Persians and various monstrous creatures. The God of War series has been around for a while, as you may have guessed considering this is Volume II. The protagonist, Kratos, is a hard-as-nails Spartan trying to rid the world of not so nice Persians and at the same time acting as a servant to the Greek Gods. The plot may not sound spellbinding but at least there will be a lot of sword fighting!
Here’s a quick run through of the storylines in both of the two games in God of War Collection: Volume II, Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta. Chains of Olympus is a prequel to the original God of War. Kratos has been saved by Ares and is trying to pay him back by becoming a servant to Olympus. Chains of Olympus opens in Attica, where Kratos has to help defend the city against the oncoming forces of the Persian kingdom. Ghost of Sparta is set between God of War and God of War II, you actually start off right at the end of God of War, where you find a very unenthusiastic Kratos sitting on his throne. He’s plagued by a vision of an old woman lying on a stone looking not so healthy. Thinking he can alter his vision, Kratos journeys off to Atlantis on a quest that will take him back home to Sparta and into the unerringly spooky world of Thanatos, aka the God of Death.
For the uninitiated, the God of War series has you in control of Kratos who, for weaponry, carries two super sharp blades attached to chains. You are able to perform quick light or slower heavy attacks on your enemies. There are also various moves you can perform that are more devastating than your normal attacks. You can collect items such as Gorgon Eyes that help increase you power, magic and strength. Alongside these items you also receive orbs when defeating enemies which can be used to level up your magic and moves, so there is an element of level grinding to an extent. You have a 3rd person perspective which is interspersed with quick time events, something you would have experienced in a hundred games since Chains of Olympus was originally released.
God of War Collection: Volume II is definitely an adult game due to the amount of violence and blood in both games. There is also some mildly amusing sex scenes which require some button pressing. Bear in mind that Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta are originally PSP ports and the developers have to be commended for making both games look more than passable on the PS3. Chains of Olympus can look a little blocky compared to Ghost of Sparta, but that’s simply down to the fact it’s the older of the two. The blood splattering is quite entertaining whilst the set pieces are memorable. The enemies – well, really just the Persian armies – come across a little repetitive because there are simply so many to get through, it’s just that they all seem to follow the same benign strategy, i.e. they come straight for you. The scenery is well populated, with various things going on in the background as you battle your way through another Persian onslaught, and the end of level bosses are reasonably challenging even after you’ve discovered their attack strategies.
The only issue with God of War Collection: Volume II is that the main protagonist Kratos is a pretty unlikeable anti-hero. You’ll come across various occasions where you won’t actually mind him getting killed, especially within one of the set-piece, event triggered scenarios just to see what his death is like. The combat is mostly mindless button bashing mixed up with a few magical manoeuvres, however boredom never sets in as you progress through to the next room/scene simply because God of War Collection: Volume II is a very entertaining and engrossing game. Frustration is an emotion you’ll hardly experience due to the pacing which is generally spot on.
Overall, God of War Collection: Volume II is an excellent game that brings out your inner Spartan. The additional options and extras make it a stronger package than the games on their own. If you’ve never played a God of War game then God of War Collection: Volume II is surely a good starting point. Time to splat on the war paint and shout the first thing that you can think of!
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 3 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.