If you haven’t played an entry in the PlayStation exclusive series God of War I’m sure you’ve still heard of it. Since its beginnings back on the PlayStation 2 in 2005 the series has enjoyed success with every entry. There have been two entries each on the PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable. God of War Collection was already released on the PlayStation 3 in 2010, containing remastered versions of God of War I and God of War II. There have been no original games for the series on the PlayStation Vita so this port of the collection is the first opportunity we have to play it on our portable system.
To be blunt, this is a weaker version of the God of War Collection since the PlayStation 3 version has superior graphics and controls. The only advantage this Vita version has is the fact that its portable. That said if you haven’t played the PlayStation 3 version or if you still want to enjoy the games in your hands then the Vita version still offers everything you need. I had no issues with glitches or loading times as can be the case with some ports. This was my first time playing through a God of War game, I briefly played God of War 3 but put the controller down after about ten minutes and never picked it up again. I know I’m not the target market for this series but that doesn’t stop me recognising that its a solid action game with a great combat system. The story borrows from Greek mythology. You play as Kratos, a Spartan warrior who gave his soul to the God of War Ares in returning for saving his life on a battlefield. As Ares’ servant Kratos slaughters armies and villages. When he finds out the Ares tricked him into killing his own wife and child Kratos swears he will kill Ares in return for this. Kratos seems to be ok with killing women and children for Ares, just not his own…In the second game he turns his attention towards killing Zeus who feared how strong Kratos was becoming and tried to kill him to protect himself and Olympus. I didn’t really care who won, neither the gods or Kratos were appealing to support.
At the beginning the poor graphics are obvious (the grainy cutscenes haven’t aged well) but this was originally a PlayStation 2 game and I did quickly get used to this. The inability to save where you want and having to find a save point was also something I had to get used to. With portable games I’m accustomed now to saving whenever I want or an autosave system but again this is a feature that I adjusted to quickly enough and fans of the games would of course have already been expecting this.
The controls have been changed to make use of the PlayStation Vita’s touch screens, the front screen can be touched to change weapons and the back screen can be touched to activate save points or pull on levers. This seems to be unnecessary, having to touch the back screen as well as push the circle button feels like you’re bring made to use the touch screens just because they’re there and not to improve the game. It also meant that I would accidentally be brought to the save game screen several times when I was near a save point because of where I would have my fingers positioned on the back of the Vita. The controls improve for God of War II, climbing up ladders and down walls is easier and faster since you can now jump up the ladders and slide down the walls. The world still seems a bit bland but it gets more interesting with many more boss fights added into the mix of platforming and puzzles.
I can only recommend this Vita version of the God of War Collection if portability is what you’re after. As I’ve said the PlayStation 3 version of this same game is the stronger port of the two so if you’ve already played that then there isn’t anything new for you here. If like me this is your first time playing the series then you won’t notice the downgrade from the PlayStation 3 to the PlayStation Vita and two PlayStation 2 classics for €29.99 is a good deal.