God of War has been the proud product of the Action-Adevnture genre for the past couple of years, delivering
two top-tier products that wow-ed us with incredible graphics, addictive gameplay, and jaw-dropping executions. Now Kratos and his Blades of Chaos have rampaged their way onto the PSP for a prequel to the sequel. Will Kratos' addicting, deep gameplay survive the change of systems: or will this attempt fall to the wayside?
Chains of Olympus is set after the original God of War, but before God of War 2. Pitting Kratos under the
Gods bidding, the Sun and the God Helios plummets to the ground, leaving Morpheus and his darkness to ravage the Earth and release Hell upon it. The bigger questions are who dropped Helios out of the sky, why did it happen, and how is Kratos going to fix it? It may not sound like the greatest plot in gaming history, but the story is enthralling with the use of the narrator and just how God of War
is presented. It's a fun story to engulf yourself with, and enjoyable to watch how Kratos fixes the problems. If you've played any God of War
game before this, you know exactly how he's going to fix it: by kicking monsterous amount of ass.
GoW:Chains of Olympus may be on the PSP, but it looks absolutely fantastic. With the game's signature
panning shots to show you just how much world is out there, to the tiny details on your Blades of Chaos, Ready at Dawn Studios does a fantastic job in making God of War
look as nice as it can on the tiny system. The game is jaw-dropping, graphics are cranked up to 11 and the sound along with the lip-sync work are top-notch. I was certainly surprised and very pleased with how well Chains of Olympus
looked and sounded on the PSP. The enemies and scenery almost look on par to its PS2 counterparts, which is saying a lot knowing the games were definitely praised for their good-looks. God of War
will also take you plenty of places through its campaign, and all of them are detailed very well and are very fun to explore just to see what everything looks like and how nice it looks.
The combat is as good as it always has been in the God of War titles. With the simple Light/Heavy combos,
it has a fairly deep combo list that can rack up the hit counters and pummel enemies into oblivion. While not having as many weapons and magic as God of War 2
did: it still has enough options to keep the game fresh throughout, with all of them being really fun to use. I would've liked to have seen some more combos in the game: but they had enough for me to enjoy every battle. The executions in the game are still as brutal as ever, with the button-pressing action sequences having you feel every blow and makes them kind of sadistically enjoyable.
What bothered me the most of the game is how short it was. On the Hero/Normal difficulty, it took me
around 5-6 hours to beat the game, which had me at a state of confusion going, "Wait, that was the last boss?" It was a definite disappointment since the game was so much fun to play, only to see it end so quickly was a big letdown. Chains of Olympus
has a fair amount of replay value with the New Game+ option: but it leaves you with a feeling of you wanted more, and that there could've been more, but sadly there isn't. It certainly makes you want God of War 3
to come out sooner that's for sure.
Also, while the battles in Chains of Olympus were fun: the bosses did not impress like the old bosses in the
previous God of War
titles did. Most bosses just boiled down to the use of the parrying system and racking combos on them. The bosses felt like nicer looking enemies with a higher HP bar, and it was a setback to me. Bosses should have the feeling of, "I've been fighting for this, this guy is gonna be hard as Hell to defeat," but no boss really gave that feeling of being a boss, no extra feeling of intenseness, just boiled down to just another battle.
Even with Chains of Olympus looking as nice as it did, there were a couple of noticeable inconsistencies
within the game. While holding some objects in the game, Kratos' hand would not be holding it, but just holding nothing with the object floating in the air like it was being held. It looks really bad when that can't be implemented before release since that's just a matter of putting the object at hand. Also, there was a lot of enemy pop-up throughout the game: soldiers and big baddies alike would sometimes just pop into the game instead of crawling through the protal they should be. Not that good looking when you're fighting enemies and some troll just pops in out of nowhere and starts fighting and it was there a second ago.
Though the campaign was short, Chains of Olympus follows the God of War tradition in having a quality
amount of extra content for you to grab once you've defeated the game. Behind the scenes, costumes, and the Challenge of Hades should add some more time onto the experience. Especially the costumes alone, those are friggin' awesome.
All-in-all, God of War: Chains of Olympus is a solid attachment to the God of War franchise. It's trademark
combat and visuals, along with fantastic gameplay and sound hold together a game riddled with enemy pop-up, lame boss battles, and a surprisingly short campaign. Chains of Olympus
is a definite must-buy despite the negatives and should be helping you rain Hell upon foes for months to come.
- + Fantastic Graphics & Sound
- + Enjoyable Plot
- + Fun & Addictive Combat
- + Plenty of Extra Content
- - Uninspired Bosses
- - Short Campaign
- - Graphical Inconsistencies