Review by Gunwulf
"A crushing defeat...for God of War haters!"
Kratos, the deadly and hate-filled warrior of Sparta! He returns to wreak havoc and let loose his Chaos Blades...but on a much smaller scale. A journey through the land of God of War begins anew in this prequel to remember. Such a time honored genre of gaming is the action game, and God of War has brought joy to millions through it's use of wickedly complex combos, bloodspray, devilish monsters, amazing creations and contraptions, and storytelling that is indeed quite charming...
Story: 10 Years prior to God of War...
During a battle against the Persians, the Ghost of Sparta sees the sun fall from the sky and crash into the planet, casting the world into darkness. Upon investigation, Kratos comes across a statue of Athena that tells him of the crisis facing the world. Morpheus, the God of Sleep, has begun to take over with a mysterious black mist, and Helios, God of the Sun, has be stolen away by the Titan, Atlas! Only Kratos has the power to find Atlas, free Helios, and return the world to normal. He is asked to save the world of men and gods. Still haunted, however, by his past deeds, Kratos must deal with a familiar memory that curses him as well as dealing with the legions of ghostly warriors, beasts, and creatures that attempt to end his life before he ends the life of their master...
SCORE: 8/10 - Same basic tale of Kratos needing to save the world. Same bit of him saying things like, "I refuse to let the gods control me any longer!" then going off and doing it anyway. But hell, it's still a great tale!
Gameplay: Adapting GoW to the PSP was surprisingly simple! Square is light attack, Triangle is heavy attack, X is jump, and O is grab, much like the normal controls. HOWEVER...Dodging isn't a big issue. The roll-dodge is still available by hitting L and R then the analog stick. Holding L allows you to use it to unleash Kratos' normal assortment of upgraded Chaos Blade techniques, holding R and then hitting one of the action buttons (except X) lets you unleash magic. The D-Pad's up and down are used to switch between the Chaos Blades and a new melee weapon: The Gauntlet of Zeus! As usual, the context-sensitive Grab-N-Kill attacks are still available. Many of these have been better adapted to the PSP's control scheme and it's handheld properties (such as killing a gorgon no longer requires turning the analog quickly). Overall, a well done system.
SCORE: 10/10 - One of the easier action games to play on the PSP, surprisingly!
Graphics: Amazing, to say the least. Of course, coming from God of War, this isn't surprising. They updated some of Kratos' movements from the PS2 versions. When running, he moves a bit quicker and his special techniques have more movement to them. The enemies are well rendered and not a bit of graphical data is out of place. There is only a small bit of lag during times that extreme graphical attacks are used, but this is very...VERY...rare.
SCORE: 10/10 - Very fine.
Sound: Most games like this have tended to sound a bit odd for voice acting to me. At least on the PSP. Some even have the terrible problem of bad voice timing. BUT...GoW: CoO doesn't have any of that! Bravo to the sound crew of this game!
SCORE: 10/10 - Astounding!
Replay: I've not often found God of War to be much for a replay title, really. But heck, to unlock Kratos' costumes and some of the neat extras, sure, why not? He has three unlockable costumes: Spud Spartan (dressed as a potato), McKratos (dressed as a Scottsman), and Mime of War (dressed as a mime). Not much, but humorous. Also, there are Hades Challenges which offer interesting limits and such to otherwise normal battles. There's also, of course, art galleries that can be unlocked, which are also entertaining to view.
SCORE: 5/10 - Meh. Divided.
Final Call: Overall, this game has anything a good lover of the Extreme Action genre can want. Pleanty of killing and blood, wicked combos that, if performed correctly in a room of enemies, can reach over 200+ hits (I, personally, have done 223), and an excellent, driving story that keeps the player motivated and entertained all at once.
BUY OR RENT?: Cry for bloodlust and rush to buy this. God of War: Chains of Olympus is a definite buy for anyone who is a fan of Kratos, or action games in general. Though I offer a fair warning: It is, in my opinion, a short game (4.5 hours, 5 if you include chest and passage hunting). I beat it in 5 hours, 3 minutes, 23 seconds with chest hunting and making sure to fully level the various weaponry and spells.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 03/17/08
Game Release: God of War: Chains of Olympus (US, 03/04/08)
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