E3 2011: God of War: Origins Collection

By Andrew Yoon, Jun 07, 2011 4:29pm PDT

QUICKTAKE: Ready at Dawn's critically acclaimed PSP games are getting an HD makeover for PS3. God of War: Origins Collection features enhanced graphics and tweaked controls. But ultimately, it can't hide its PSP roots.

THE DEMO: The Origins Collection lets you play both Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta on one Blu-ray disc. I played against the Persian boss from Chains of Olympus, went through a few QTE sequences, and watched some brutal cinematics. Although the game supports 5.1 sound and 3D stereoscopic visuals, I experienced the game on a standard 2D television with headphones.

DETAILS: Obviously, the most immediately noticeable difference between the PS3 game and the PSP original are the graphics. It's noticeably "better" than the PSP original, but the effect of the HD upscaling feels far more pronounced than in the original God of War Collection. While Kratos' character model looks particularly good in this version, other low-polygon character models and environments make the HD effect feel jarring, and possibly wasted. The game certainly looks and feels more "natural" on the PSP's diminutive screen.

This is an early build, so this shortcoming is likely to be fixed, but pre-rendered cinematics do not play well in the Collection. The transition between gameplay and pre-rendered scenes is very apparent, especially in HD. And to make matters worse, there is a lot of stutter during the playback of these videos.

While the visuals are currently a mixed bag, the port's other big change works for the better. While I enjoyed the controls of the original game, the PS3 version accounts for the system's additional analog stick. If you haven't played the PSP games, you'll find yourself able to play through the game as if it were God of War 3.

The Origins Collection will be available exclusively on Blu-ray on September 13.

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