Every one’s favorite vengeful Spartan is back. This time Kratos makes his Sony PlayStation Portable debut in God of War: Chains of Olympus. Being on a smaller screen hasn’t affected Kratos’ quest for revenge against the God’s, which is definitely a good thing for fans of the previous PlayStation 2 titles. This go around, Kratos has managed to incur the wrath of Morpheus, the Greek God of dreams, Persephone, his lovely wife and Queen of the Underworld, and the Titan Atlas. It seems as though the three of them have conspired to imprison, Helios, or more simply put, the Sun. Your task is to free Helios and restore order to the world by releasing it from the darkened prison that Morpheus is trying to impose upon it. A tall task indeed, but you are no mere mortal and you will have the blessing of the God’s along your journey, including some new weapons and abilities.
Clearly, from the moment you fire up the game you can see that Chains of Olympus is one of the best looking games on the PSP to date. Kratos looks every bit as good on the small screen as he does on the big screen. And in fact, partially due to the smaller screen, he may even look better. The backgrounds could use a little dressing up as they’re not quite as intricate or good looking as the console big brothers, but that’s mostly expected. Still, God of War shows off the power of the PSP quite possibly more than any other game before it. Big enemies and bigger bosses are a mainstay of the God of War franchise and Chains of Olympus will not let you down with its great looking graphics.
Fans of the God of War series will be happy to hear that the voice of Kratos (provided by T.C. Carson) and the Narrator (voiced by Linda Hunt) have returned to provide some necessary continuity. Plus, the music is just as epic as it ever was, which is also a nice bonus that only a system like the PSP provides due to its sheer power. The voice overs, similarly to the PS2 games are recorded and acted extremely well and really enhance the game so much more than simply reading text (take notes Nintendo). Overall, a solid audio package from the good people over at Ready at Dawn Studios.
If any singular thing could have potentially brought down the whole Chains of Olympus package, it would have been the gameplay. Fortunately, the fact that the PSP has an analog stick helps to keep this right in line with the previous games in the series. Controls are tight and accurate meanwhile combinations can be churned out by simply mashing buttons or using premeditated combinations of ground moves and aerial combat. Juggling enemies is easy enough that you can crank out 30 hit combinations like they’re going out of style. Plus, the timed button presses are back which show off some truly killer moves especially in boss battles. The major downfall of God of War is that it’s just not “epic” enough. At about 6 hours the game is far too short to be considered epic at all. And even at a total time of around 6 hours that could have been easily shortened if one were to disregard looking for some of the hidden stuff. Now, Chains of Olympus is a great game, but in the end it feels slightly rushed as the game seems to abruptly end. All the puzzles stop and the game just throws monsters your way. What’s worse is that the game seems to dumb down and throw you all the hidden items you should have found along the way all right before the final boss. It’ll definitely make it feel like a colossal waste of time for you to have spent so much time looking for hidden treasure chests when you didn’t need them at all.
Despite a few complaints, in the end, this is a God of War game. Sure, it might be too short, but it’s still fun and violent as ever. Plus, there’s always the bonus game involving two nary a cloth wearing females, ready to assist and provide you with some bonus energy. Chains of Olympus still one of the better games on the PSP regardless of length. If you need more of a challenge you can always raise the difficulty to Olympian heights to give the game “legs” to last longer. Judging by the library of the PSP, God of War: Chains of Olympus is certainly one of the best action games available and something that God of War fans may not want to pass up playing. Probably more of a rental, though if you just want to experience a little God of War on the PSP.
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