God of War: Chains of Olympus ReviewJason Leyanna
Kratos is back in handheld form on Sony’s own PSP. The game has been developed by Read At Dawn, who also made the handheld version of Daxter. There was a demo of the game released beforehand, allowing fans to get their hands on some hack/slash action before the final game arrived. Finally, the wait is over! Now, what can we expect from this highly anticipated PSP game?...
Well… The game is engrossing from the moment you pick up the system and the game loads. You are in the third person view, watching Kratos perform the selected moves input by you. The camera is in a fixed position throughout the game and allows you to see what you need to most of the time. Four difficulty settings exist: Mortal, Hero, Spartan, and God (which must be unlocked). Hero would be the equivalent of Normal. Pick your destined path and load up an action-packed adventure.
The control stick moves you around, while the buttons on the right are used for fighting. The top left of the viewing screen contains a health and magic meter. Keep a watch to make sure you have enough strength and can take on the onslaught of enemies. Items are strewn throughout God of War as similar games have. You may find chests with orbs or other items. Gorgon Eyes can be found and once you collect five of them, the health meter will get larger. Similarly, if you gather five Pheonix Feathers you increase Kratos’ magic meter. Another useful item that you will see occasionally is the Save Altar; make sure you save so you don’t have to start all over. There will be in-game puzzles that need to be solved in order to move along. Use balance to walk your way across a beam and avoid plummeting to your death. You can pull yourself back up with the X button though, should you slip. Normal enemies are easy to come by and it takes little effort to thwart them, and there will be the bosses along the way as you go too. Sometimes you will have to press button combinations in a certain sequence and at a fast enough pace to keep moving on (similarly to that of the Shenmue series). Enemies can regain health, and you have to start all over if you press the wrong button combinations or not quickly enough.
Graphically, Chains of Olympus is excellent for being a PSP game. The team behind the game must have put in a lot of work to get the polish that can be seen both graphically and by playing through the game. Flags blow in the wind, while hideous fire-breathing monsters roam the landscape (that look nothing like dragons, I might add)…. Your blades fly and are a flaming bright orangeish-red while you slash at enemies. Cut-scenes are very nicely created with great voice acting to boot. The soundtrack is nice to listen to as well as plenty of sound effects for different events.
Through and through, God of War: Chains of Olympus is a captivating experience that is fun for every moment. If you own a PSP, this is a must-have and it will help pass the time until God of War III is released on the PlayStation 3 (which the back of the instruction manual hints at). It is hard to believe that they got all this packed in such a small game disc.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.