I recently wrapped up my time with three re-releases for the PlayStation 3: Call of Duty: Classic & the God of War: Collection which includes both God of War I & II. They were interesting experiments to say the least. The idea of re-releasing old classics with visual touch ups and fixes is fantastic. I can enjoy the gaming of old without having to endure the technical hiccups or deficiencies of the past — well, that’s the idea anyway. The three titles I played were fine examples of the “Do’s” and “Don’ts” of re-releasing titles like this.
Call of Duty: Classic
Call of Duty: Classic was supposed to be an enhanced console port of Infinity Ward’s popular PC shooter of 2003. I thought the PlayStation 3 would be able to handle this game, but I was wrong. The game barely maintains 30 frames per second at times let alone 60. These technical problems are mind boggling.
I can handle the need to lean and shoot via the directional pad. I can also handle the unforgiving checkpoints. What I don’t understand is the total lack of care that went into this port. Modern Warfare 2 loads faster and runs better; a 2009 game can somehow stream and load off a disc faster than 2003’s Call of Duty. And as a cherry on top of this putrid mess, they permanently assigned the L2 and R2 triggers as aim and fire.
Do yourself a favor and play the PC version if you want to relive Call of Duty.
God of War
2005’s God of War was a true epic; before the word lost all meaning. There were so many spectacular moments which hold up very well today. But it was also the beginning of a new franchise which meant the game didn’t quite establish its identity as a character action game yet.
There was also quite a bit of iffy platforming which was passable then and terribly annoying now. They required a lot more care and patience than I was accustomed to in a game like this, but as soon as I gave it the respect it deserved, all was well.
The 720p resolution and smooth 60 FPS framerate makes God of War an extremely enjoyable experience. It may not employ the lighting models of a modern day game, but it’s still impressive when you consider that this was a PS2 game. And if you wanted to see how the game was back in 2005, simply watch those horrendous pre-rendered cutscenes. Yikes!
I believe God of War is still viable for today’s audience. It may not be as streamlined or forgiving as today’s games, but it’s nothing a bit of effort cannot overcome. It’s still fun and worth your time if you’ve never played God of War before.
God of War II
It’s easy to believe 2007’s God of War II could have been an early PlayStation 3 title. From every standpoint except technical, it holds up. The pacing is smooth and all the quirks from the first game were rectified. There was less emphasis on tricky platforming and a definite improvement in navigation. I did not get lost whatsoever in God of War II, a claim that I could not make with God of War despite having played the game numerous times in the past.
Like God of War, this game was also running at 720p and 60 frames per second. And combined with the excellent art direction, this re-release is a real treat to look at times.
Out of the three re-releases, God of War II was the easiest to get into and what I would consider to be the definitive God of War experience thus far. It’s one of my favorite PlayStation 2 titles of all time and one game, I believe, people shouldn’t miss.
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