God of War: Chains of Olympus

Ian Knott

Ian is a multimedia reviewer who would seriously consider selling his wife and kids to own the latest electronic gadgets.

The highly successful and much acclaimed God of War series has arrived on the PSP and while there was some trepidation from avid fans that the game wouldn’t convert well to the smaller format, their doubts have proved unfounded as Chains of Olympus proves to be what many call a “console seller”. This game alone is worth buying a PSP for.

The gripping storyline takes place after Kratos the Spartan is deceived into killing his own wife and children by the war god Ares. The game begins with the mother of all battles against the Persian army at Attica. But that’s only the start – as the whole world gets plunged into darkness, Kratos heads straight for hell (or Hades as the Greeks liked to call it) to find his dead wife and daughter.  He’ll face the most feared creatures of the Greek myths, ultimately being forced to choose between his own personal redemption and saving the ancient world from certain destruction.

Veterans of previous God of War titles will feel right at home straight away with Chains of Olympus as the gameplay is identical to the PS2 releases. Ready at Dawn Studios have left no trick in the bag in getting the most out of the handheld console and they’ve created a new benchmark in what can be achieved with limited disc space and processing power.Even on the comparatively small screen, the grandeur and scope of the game is enormous. Mythical beasts are gigantic in comparison to the mighty Kratos, the tormented Spartan hell bent on revenge.

In between hacking and slashing the hoards of regular enemies, the boss battles are fantastic and require some thought to win. As the bosses near defeat, as in the PS2 games you are given the option to enter a minigame which consists of timed button presses to finish off the beast in a creative way, similar in ways to completing a fatality move in Mortal Kombat. Also, because even battle-weary Spartans require a little R&R, Kratos can indulge in a little hot lovin’ with naked wenches if the opportunity arises (pun intended). Again, this involves timed button presses – get the timing wrong and the ‘ladies’ will make humiliating comments like “I see the stories of your prowess were unfounded my Lord.” Get it right and well, you know the rest.

Because Chains of Olympus is on the handheld PSP, which by definition is made for gaming on the go, often in short bursts, the developers have thankfully placed save-points after approximately 3 or 4 areas or 5 to 10 minutes of gameplay, which means that you won’t be repeating large stretches of gameplay due to time restrictions.

If you own a PSP, and are mature enough then God of War: Chains of Olympus is a must have. If I was pushed into finding a negative in the game then perhaps it could have been longer than the 6-7 hours of gameplay. But hey, there’s only so much you can fit on a UMD and Ready at Dawn have excelled themselves in producing a worthy addition to the God of War franchise. 

Score: 95% 

Pros: Brilliantly made, thrilling storyline, flawless gameplay. 

Cons: None. Just go and buy it already!

Title: God of War: Chains of Olympus

 Genre: Action

Players: 1

Published by: Sony Computer Entertainment

Developed by: Ready at Dawn Studios

For: PSP

Rated R18

Website: http://www.us.playstation.com/GodofWar_ChainsofOlympus/

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