God of War: Ghost of Sparta review
- Ready At Dawn
- God Of War: Ghost Of Sparta
- God Of War
Formats: PS3, PSP
Format reviewed: PSP
Developer: SCE Santa Monica Studio
Made2Game God of War: Ghost of Sparta review score: 10/10
It doesn’t seem long ago that we were whipping the God’s into a frenzy in the epic Kratos adventure, God of War III. Now, haunted by his dreams, Kratos is back and as usual he isn’t taking any prisoners.
Ghost of Sparta is probably one of the most anticipated PSP titles this year and it’s no wonder. Kratos has always had the ability to get people’s blood pumping thanks to the epic scale of the adventures he takes part in. Sure these adventures aren’t always unique, but why change something that isn’t broken; people love God of War, they love kicking some evil butt with the hands of a God, and what’s wrong with that?
Taking place between God of War I and II, Ghost of Sparta meets up with Kratos as he is sitting on his throne as God of War. Haunted by dreams of his past, Kratos decides enough is enough and sets about on a journey to Atlantis to stop these dreams once and for all. Who can blame him either, we don’t fancy the thought of having dreams of an old sick lady lying on a slab of stone either.
Anyway, Kratos’ journey begins, and as you may have guessed, Ghost of Sparta doesn’t tend to deviate much from the other games in the series. Yes there are new abilities and weapons, however it’s still very much hack and slash, with a few puzzles thrown in for good measure, and to be honest we wouldn’t have it any other way.
When you begin your journey, Kratos is armed with the more than capable Blades of Athena, which anyone who has played any game in the series before will be more than familiar with. The difference here is a new meter limited ability for you to unlock in the shape of Thera’s Bane. This ability is a great addition which adds fire to the blades - not only useful for kicking enemy behinds, but which also allows you to get through enemies armour and through otherwise impassable areas.
Thera’s Bane also allows you to launch projectiles of fire at enemies, which is always handy. You can actually activate and deactivate this ability when needed and as it’s limited based on a replenishing meter, that’s just as well. Other weapons available include the sword and shield of Arms of Sparta. This is a great combination as well, allowing you to fight from range and up close.
The problem with this weapons is that it doesn’t feel quite as fun and seems to lack the manic and speedy maneuvers that accompany the Blades of Athena. As well as both of the weapons mention above, Kratos also has access to three new magical attacks in the shape of the lightning attack - Eye of Atlantis; the Horn of Boreas, which Kratos swings around, damaging enemies and freezing anyone in its path; and the more unique Scourge of Erinys, which knocks about the enemies, takes their energy orbs, before delivering them to Kratos.
It’s hard to imagine how the developers manage to scale down God of War into the small screen of the PSP, but they always seem to do it well. All of what makes the series great on the PlayStation consoles is replicated on the PSP; be it the large enemies, the epic battles or the blood and violence, it’s all here and it’s all just as good as it’s ever been.
There have been a few minor improvements from the previous version, Chains of Olympus. The Quick Time Event icons, which were well used in God of War III are now included in Ghost of Sparta. This makes it a lot easier to pull of the moves that you need to in the heat of the moment.
There are some dodgy decisions with the controls though, such as having to press both shoulder buttons simultaneously to dodge, however this is a minor inconvenience in what is another wise perfect title. Graphically, Ghost of Sparta is a pretty awesome achievement, Kratos has never looked so good and I would probably go as far to say that this is now the game to beat on the PSP in terms of presentation.
Every single part of the gameplay looks amazing, especially the huge creatures that fill the screen every time they appear. The cutscenes are also pretty impressive, with the voice acting only helping to add to the wonderful story telling at the beginning of the game.
Ghost of Sparta may not be unique, it may even be a one trick pony with its main focus being on hack and slash, however this is one trick you will want to see time and time again. In this form, Kratos will never get boring.
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