God of War : Chains of Olympus
Last year those same clouds parted once again, and from the heavens came a sequel that was greater than the sum of the original, with more content, more bosses, more action, and more of the God Slayer slash Ghost of Sparta we’ve come to know and love… the man known as Kratos. He returned, and brought for a new quest as he is betrayed by Zeus (who turns out to be more than just the main God of Olympus to Kratos) and set on a journey by the narrator of the series (aka Gaia the Titan) to bring the mad god Zeus and the rest of the Gods of Olympus down.
To this end he traveled to the Island of the Sisters of Fate (as in the fate that binds your destiny and not the other fate as in Faith) which turns the islands into a brand new killing fields as you, along with Kratos, tear a new one across the island leaving all those who oppose you savaged in your wake.
Of note is this… and I don’t mean the fact you spent two or so minutes in the game “Dancing With The Stars” with Harry Hamlin (aka Perseus) in this game.
Or the fact you run into what is supposed to be Icarus (though it looks more to be his crazy father since, as legend has it, Icarus fell to his death by flying too close to the sun god Helios… which is ironic I brought him up since he’s the focus of this game!!
At the start of the game you’ll find Kratos still under the power of the Greek Gods. He’s already been working as Ares’ hatchet man for awhile (now taking orders from Athena) and Kratos is now suffering nightmares after killing his family accidentally, so we’re just about where Kratos was at the start of God of War (original) for the most part. As the game opens (and the familiar vocal tones of everyone’s favorite narrator who is female and not Patrick Stewart) you (as Kratos) have been sent by the gods to drive off the Persian hordes as they invade the city of Attica. However, as this ends… what? How does Kratos control? Good you asked that!
From the word go you’ll find that Kratos is, in fact, quite controllable in this game. Yes, games like Ratchet & Clank : Size Matters may have had a few minor wobbly glitches in the way you controlled it, but you’ll find a more fluidic and more Image 1 of 4. Click to enlarge
Yes, you’ll have to learn a few new ways of doing things (rolling now means holding down the L&R shoulder buttons and tapping the analog pad in the direction you want to roll), and do without a few things (no L&R analog sticks means no “Rage of the Gods” move in this game as far as I’ve seen as I seem to be rather far into the game and yet haven’t run into that move yet) but you’ll find the game has more than enough to keep you going. And yes, once again if you need your button timing and analog pad rolling mastered (you better do this abit of times, and not just because the thought of threesome sex with two hot ladies who are lying on top of each other almost ready to do it with each other isn’t enough incentive… you’ll need to practice analog pad rolling, it’s not as precise as it was with the PS2 analog stick, so as much practice you can get in is good as certain monster death “mini games” (boss, sub-boss and heavy hitting monsters) requires precise analog pad spinning in either half or full spins)
(PS, if you are required to full spin the game requires you to counter clockwise the spin for the most part so remember that.)
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Anyway after Attica you’re standing about looking bummed, complaining to the gods that you don’t seem to be challenged enough… then the sun falls out of the sky and the Earth is plunged into darkness. Oh, great, you’ve gone and talked the sun into commiting suicide! Great job oh maniac depressive one!!
Seems somebody has gone and abducted the lord of light, Helios himself (the guy who is so vain his own sun temple is adorned with his likeness all over the place). It’s up to you to bring him back to his temple as it seems the Lord of Dreams (Morpheus, sometimes minion to the Dark Lord Garth Ennis and his scribing ways) is running rampshot over the world covering it in a black fog so that he can rule over it forevermore. Even the gods themselves are becoming sleepy… as seen when Athena begs you to take this job and falls asleep while delivering the message to you… say, wake up lady!!
From there on out it’s classic God of War. Image 2 of 4. Click to enlarge
All the same monster bashing and slaughtering is here.
Brand new puzzles. Most are familiar but some take stuff you’ve done in the past and combines them in innovative new ways (bringing fresh puzzle content into your hands).
The story is once again solid, now connecting to Kratos’ past even more as you find yourself haunted by a strange melody from your past (which gets explained as you go along the
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New powers await you in this game.
From the moment you steal the Persian leader’s “firepower” you feel that this game is going to have some brand new toys for you to play with, and on that score this game delivers. If there is abit of a downer is that you’ll probably bond with only so many of the powers and use them all the time. You do have a new weapon in the Gauntlets of Zeus, but you’ll mostly find yourself happier using your tried and true standard weapons (you know it, you love it, it’s been your go to weapon since the beginning) and at best two of the powers. You do have shot reflection again, but you’ll barely use it unless you really have to. The best powers, by the way, is the fire hammer Efreeti you steal from the Persians, and the power of Charon (which is almost like a mystical shotgun as it riddles enemies with mystic butt kick).
Let’s see… puzzles are first rate, the overall combat is great, and even the powers are nice though once you’ve formed a bond with certain abilities you’ll stick to them… what’s wrong with this game?
Nothing that won’t stop me from giving it a 5 out of 5 gold standard. It’s getting that.
But there are a few minor glitches in this game.
Enemies at times seem to zone out. Most enemies are responsive, and come at you appropriately, it’s just weird at times when certain enemies suddenly stop attacking (or don’t attack at all) and stand there as you slaughter their allies about them. It’s only the low level creatures (you’ll never find a high level monster slacking on the job), but still it’s abit offsetting to be able to pick these off so quickly.
Another problem is, well, since this is a PSP game it really can’t pack the screen with a ton of enemies. Of course the God of War games never did reach Dynasty Warriors level of crowdage, but still I felt abit more threatened by my enemies than I do here. Unless it’s a major fight (with strong or hard monsters) I feel as if at times during the first half of the game I can take it easy (tap the brutal kill button and just take my time dismantling them). Of course don’t let your guard down because they won’t all take their deaths so lightly, just at times… it’ll feel as if you’re not pushing yourself too hard.
Also I am abit sad there are a Image 3 of 4. Click to enlarge
No Rage of the Gods, which could have gotten me out of some tight spots.
No distance weapon like Zeus’ thunderbolts or a bow/arrow set. You do get some range on Charon’s power but it’s not the same as flinging thuderbolts or rapid firing a bow.
HEY!! Michael Duncan Clarke (or Duncan Michael Clarke or whatever his name is) DIDN’T REPRISE HIS ROLE AS ATLAS IN THIS GAME!! NO FAIR!!
Huh? Why is that important? Well, if you remember God of War II you know they talked about meeting before… here they are, meeting.
Sure, sure, it’s great the voices of Kratos and the Narrator return, but still… it’s just not the same without old Atlas’ voiceover talent!!
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Otherwise these few things can’t take away the fact that this game is great!
It’s only so many hours, yet, but what great hours they are. And yes, you can even play the game again (harder setting), or play the new set of Challenges to unlock more content like new behind the scenes movies, new costumes, and so on!
In the end the game is lacking a few things, and one high caliber voice actor, but it won’t stop God of War : Chains of Olympus from being one of the greatest games you’ll be buying for your PSP this year.
So the gods of Sony have once again delivered greatness from the heavens… but that will end soon I fear unless ReadyAtDawn cranks out a sequel for the PSP, because as we have heard there may not be a game for the PS2 next time out.
As God of War II ended, and Kratos was leading the Titans against the Gods of Olympus, the beginning of the end was here… too bad it is slated for a PS3 release when the makers of the game (obviously hard at work on it now since they had ReadyAtDawn make Chains of Olympus) seem to have at least one more game up their sleeves.
Of course should they love the sales results of this game and could muster to do… oh I don’t know… a Masterworks Edition release of Chains of Olympus on the PS2 (with new content, new levels, the return of Rage of the Gods and maybe one or two more powers) to justify rebuying the game on the PS2 AND, maybe, a sequel on the PSP from ReadyAtDawn (who proved their power by creating a great first God of War game on the PSP)? Then I wouldn’t mind God of War moving to the PS3, as long as it still has a place (and some fresh content) coming for the PS2 and PSP in the near future.
God of War : Chains of Olympus gets it’s gold standard on (again) with 5 -- 5 -- (sigh) -- well, 5 things I can’t mention here for obvious reasons out of 5. Sigh.
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