A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that God of War: Origins Collection brings two God of War games (God of War: Ghost of Sparta and God of War: Chain of Olympus) originally released for PlayStation Portable to the PlayStation 3. Though not as graphically sophisticated as their console-based brethren, both entries continue the franchise’s gory tradition of extreme violence and aggression. Players should expect to see plenty of brutal and bloody melee executions. No details have been added to these remastered versions, but displayed on large televisions, the games may appear even more violent than they did on the PSP’s comparatively tiny display. Parents should also note that while the franchise’s hero believes he is involved in a righteous battle, he is in possession of few admirable personality traits. He has and continues to commit carelessly heinous acts that often result in innocent civilian characters being killed.
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What's it about?
With the creation of the GOD OF WAR: ORIGINS COLLECTION, all five games in Sony’s popular and extremely violent fantasy action game franchise are now available to be played on PlayStation 3. This pack combines Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta, a pair of games originally released only for PlayStation Portable that tell prequel stories featuring franchise protagonist Kratos, an angry Spartan who feels as though the gods of Olympus have cheated and betrayed him. Chains of Olympus details his exploits during his service to the gods, while Ghost of Sparta chronicles his quest to redeem himself for having failed his brother when he was a child. Both games deliver bloody combat mixed with the occasional puzzle and epic boss battle. A feature-length bonus video puts the directors of all five games together in the same room to discuss the franchise’s design, meaning, and evolution.
Is it any good?
Both of this collection’s constituent games are considered among the best ever released for PlayStation Portable, and with good reason. Despite the system’s smallish screen and limited controls, they felt much like the games players were used to playing in their living rooms. They featured top-notch writing and voice acting, memorably epic battles, and familiar but original elements in the form of new magic and weapons. It bears mentioning that, like all God of War games, their bloody, gory action is suitable only for adult audiences.
Both games have been remastered for high-definition televisions, but don’t let that fool you into thinking they look as good as God of War III or even either of the first two games made for PlayStation 2. Jagged edges have been smoothed, but no details have been added. Consequently, there’s little reason for those who’ve already played these games on PSP to pay for them again here. However, adult gamers who have long followed Kratos’ tale and don’t own PSPs may well enjoy learning what the bald Spartan was up to in his earlier years.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in games. Can extreme violence ever be morally justified in entertainment? Can it legitimately enhance a story or an interactive experience? Do you see a difference between acts of violence carried out against fantastical creatures and humans?
Families can also discuss sexuality in games. How do you think girl gamers feel about the way women are typically depicted in games? How about boy gamers? What sort of female characters would you like to see more of in games?
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