God of War: Chains of Olympus (PSP)
Developed by Ready at Dawn Studios
Published by Sony Computer Entertainment of America
By Miles Baker
At one week from date released to date published God of War: Chains of Olympus (from here on out called COO) is the fastest we’ve ever reviewed a game. There is one reason for that: because the game only takes about seven hours to play from beginning to end and I had a free Saturday.
While the short run time is a problem, it’s pretty much the only problem with this game (except for some sex and gender issues, which are debatable, that I will not get into in this review). I do think the writers could have dragged out the plot of this game a little more, giving Kratos more to do and more mythological creatures to kill, but what is there is entertaining. Last week, I said I didn’t play God of War for the story – I was wrong. I forgot how much fun it is to watch Kratos be a jerk to everyone: god, demi-god, demon, titan, helpless victim. The mythological world is wonderfully sensational and very inspired. The story itself is unnecessary in the greater plot of God of War, but COO fills in a gap mentioned in God of War 2 about how Kratos left Atlas to hold the world for all eternity. Overall, it’s just fun to watch a badass be a badass.
But the really important thing about any game is how it plays, and COO is impressively deep, yet uncomplicated. The basic control of Kratos isn’t super complex (hit, hit harder, grab, jump, block), but when it gets a little more complicated (cast magic, roll, switch weapons) the game keeps it very playable. Pretty much every button is used in a couple different ways, but each element is introduced slowly and almost never does Kratos do something you don’t want him to do.
Then there are the graphics and holy crap, this thing looks like a PS2 game. It doesn’t look like the best PS2 game out there, but it has detailed characters and environments with little to no slowdown or load times. The animation is smooth and so wonderfully violent.
Other game standouts include the wonderful and terrifying design for Charon, the ferryman for Hades, and his fantastic voice actor; the needlessly topless Eos; a very exciting final boss battle; and everyone calling Kratos “The Ghost of Sparta” – for some reason that just tickles me.
So, if you own a PSP, this game is a no-brainer buy. If you don’t own a PSP, I wouldn’t buy it just for this game – I’d say buy it for this and Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, Sid Meier’s Pirates, and then I’d tell you, “Dude, like, only two more weeks until that Final Fantasy 7 game is out.”