Monday, 11 February 2013

Feature: Collecting - God of War

On March 12, 2013 God of War: Ascension (also known as God of War IV) will be released. The excitement and anticipation mount for this title and so we thought we would take a look back in time to see just where this series started and how far it has come.

Since 2005, God of War has fired up gamers around the world and immersed them in a world filled with Greek mythology and some of the most visceral gaming experiences known to man. So much so, in fact, that this article might actually need to have a mature rating slapped on it for good measure.

You play as Kratos, a demigod who lives out a tortured existence. Created by “Twisted Metal” designer David Jaffe, Kratos is often described as “bad ass” and “full of rage.” The games in the series help flesh out the reasons why Kratos is the way he is, taking you on an incredible journey along the way.

Now a PlayStation flagship product, the series has currently sold over 20 million copies. The first game was thought to push the limits of the Playstation 2 when it was released on March 22, 2005. Since then, the series has been playable on five different platforms (PS2, PS3, PSP, Vita, mobile phones) and many spin off items have been made available.

For collectors, God of War has become available in various forms. In addition to the games, items like strategy guides, action figures, comics, posters, and various other items have surfaced in the last several years.

We have created a checklist that will let you determine how complete your God of War collection is. If there is anything we have missed, please let us know. In the meantime, why not share a picture of your God of War collection?

What follows are some of the highlights of what you can get in the God of War universe. Although there are many more items than what is listed here, for collectors we have focused on tangible items (not downloadable extras).

Name: God of War
Platform: PlayStation 2
Release Date: March 22, 2005
UPC: 711719739920
Also available in: God of War Collection, God of War Saga, God of War Omega Collection, Greatest Hits edition
Details:  Selling almost 4.5 million copies, the inaugural game in the series Spartan soldier Kratos is tasked by Athena to find Pandora's Box; the key to defeating Ares, the God of War.

Name: God of War II
Platform: PlayStation 2
Release Date: March 13, 2007
UPC: 711719748120
Also available in: God of War Collection, God of War Saga, God of War Omega Collection, Greatest Hits edition
Details:  This release sold just over 4 million copies. The game starts with Kratos as the new God of War, but Zeus betrays him and strips him of his powers. He must set out to find the Sisters of Fate who will take him back in time and allow him to change his fate.

Name: God of War III
Platform: PlayStation 3
Release Date: March 16, 2010
UPC: 711719811121
Also available in: God of War III Ultimate Edition, God of War Saga, God of War Omega Collection, Greatest Hits edition
Details:  The best selling game of the franchise, God of War III marked the move to the PlayStation 3. Kratos ascends Mount Olympus with the Titans. He finds out that he must find the Flame of Olympus to defeat Zeus. He battles monsters, gods and Titans in a search for Pandora, the key to pacifying the Flame surrounding Pandora's Box, and to defeat Zeus.

Game: God of War: Chains of Olympus
Platform: PSP
Release Date: March 4, 2008
UPC: 711719865322
Also available in: God of War: Origins Collection, God of War Saga, God of War Omega Collection, Greatest Hits edition, PSP hardware bundle
Details:  Moving to the portable world suited God of War very well. Some thought the controls would be tough without a second analog stick, but developer Ready at Dawn made it work very well and the game has sold over 3 million copies. Kratos is guided by the goddess Athena, who instructs him to find the Sun God Helios. With Helios, Kratos can destroy the Pillar of the World and in turn Olympus. For collectors, the game was remastered for the PS3 in the Origins Collection making it not only available to more people but easier to watch and play.

Name: God of War: Ghost of Sparta
Platform: PSP
Release Date: November 2, 2010
UPC: 711719873723
Also available in: God of War: Origins Collection, God of War Saga, God of War Omega Collection, PSP hardware bundle
Details:  In this game, Kratos travels to Atlantis to delve deeper into his past including finding out if his brother, Deimos, is still alive. For collectors, there are specially marked packages that include a voucher enabling a download of the "Deimos Skin" for use in God of War III. This release, selling just over a million copies, is the only primary game in the franchise to not have a “Greatest Hits” edition.
Collections & Special Editions

God of War is available in a number of collections, all on the PS3. For collectors, the Latin America “God of War: Omega Collection” is probably the most sought after. It features the five main God of War games on physical Blu-rays, features a nice collectible statue and is available in limited numbers. The first collection was available in 2009. God of War Ascension will also be available in a limited edition as well as a regular one.

Name: God of War Collection
Platform: PlayStation 3
Release Date: November 17, 2009
UPC: 711719822929
Details:  This is a remastered edition of the first two God of War games, being redone in full 720p resolution. It has sold over 2.5 million copies.  There is an included download voucher for the E3 2009 God of War III demo as well, which was a great teaser before the full game was released. Also available in a Greatest Hits edition.

Name: God of War III: Ultimate Edition
Platform: PlayStation 3
Release Date: March 16, 2010
UPC: 711719823124
Details:  This very collectible edition includes a finely crafted Pandora’s box that contains the game and an exclusive art book. There is also an extensive amount of downloadable content including exclusive challenges and even a Heavy Metal soundtrack.

Name: God of War: Origins Collection
Platform: PlayStation 3
Release Date: September 13, 2011
UPC: 711719828921
Details:  This 3D compatible game brings the portable games to the big screen in high definition. It also adds trophy support. Both Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta are here and considering that sales of Ghost of Sparta were much less than Chains, it’s likely that many people haven’t yet tried to second game.

Name: God of War Saga
Platform: PlayStation 3
Release Date: September 28, 2012
UPC: 711719990697
Details:  This package contains 5 full games – the remastered God of War I & II, God of War 3 and a download voucher for the PSP remastered editions of Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta. For a collector this is perhaps the most disappointing thing about this release, coming on only 2 Blu-ray discs rather than 3. This package is also available packed in with a controller (and that edition has a UPC code of 0).

Name: God of War Omega Collection
Platform: PlayStation 3
Release Date: November 20, 2012
UPC: 711719990512
Details:  Released only in Latin America, this collection contains 3 Blu-rays with 5 games (God of War I, II, III, Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta). There is also a limited statue, art book, and steel book case. This will be difficult for collectors around the world to track down (or expensive) but it is definitely worth it!

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Games featuring Kratos as a Guest 
Kratos has appeared as a playable character in many games. The following are games where he is available to play. There are also downloadable costumes for Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds, LittleBigPlanet, and ModNation Racers.

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Demo versions of all primary games (including the new God of War: Ascension) are available in physical form with the exception of God of War: Ghost of Sparta (which was available only as a download). On the PS3, the demos have been made available bundled with Blu-ray movies.

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There are many licensed T-Shirts, baseball caps and even costumes that will make you feel like Kratos. The T-Shirts are by far the most popular.

Hardware Bundles
God of War has been bundled with controllers and consoles. The most valuable for collectors currently is the original PSP bundle that contains a silk-screened Kratos on the back of a deep red system. The PS3 bundle, available only in Europe, is a standard issue PS3.

Happy collecting!

And don't forget, there are action figures, too!
17" polystone Kratos from Sideshow Collectibles.
- Syd Bolton

Syd Bolton is Canada's top video game collector and founder of the Personal Computer Museum ( in Brantford, Ontario, Canada.