Developer: Ready Dawn Studios
If there is an action game that puts you in a mythological storyline against the wrath and rage of gods, it has to be God of War. No doubt, it is a mesmerizing action title that one can remember even in the old PS2 days and one that stands out among other hack-and-slash titles.
Fast-forward to today, God of War: Ghost of Sparta is the latest addition to the GOW series and made for the PSP. It is a good thing that they release this game as some fans are still possibly suffering some withdrawal symptoms from God Of War 3.
Some folks were skeptical with the game’s announcement back then, particularly if Ghost of Sparta can pull of an amazing title with the limitation of the PSP’s graphics. They were proven wrong today.
Was the lack of awesome graphics an obstacle to play this game ? Not quite. With Ghost of Sparta, the game maintains the standard of quality in GOW series while pushing the PSP to the limits with an intriguing and packed storyline yet an awesome gameplay mechanics.
The story puts the player between God of War I and II with Kratos on the throne and Ares dead. Kratos isn’t happy though as he is haunted by visions of a disturbing past, a vision of an old woman lying on a slab. The vision of his past set him off for a journey to Atlantis. The journey wasn’t smooth as Kratos’s fleet was caught in a storm with waves splashing as lightning cackles.
Tentacles swept men into the sea as they are being picked out by an unknown monster, only to reveal itself as a first boss fight on Kratos’s course of journey to find his brother. The whole story isn’t about vengeance but a slight touch on the personal story of Kratos
Before we get started about gameplay mechanics, Ghost of Sparta offers 4 levels of difficulty (Mortal, Hero, Spartan, God) with the last difficulty unlocked when you complete Spartan level. Controlling Kratos is comfortable to your hands on the PSP from the beginning till the end and attacks and special moves can be executed with relative ease.
New weapons and abilities gives Kratos more attacking flavors while bringing the game to another level. One of the new features in Ghost of Sparta allows the player with the ability to add “fire” to the blades that you are equipped. Known as Thera’s Bane, it is more than just adding power to your attacks. There are some obstacles and doors that require such power in order to be destroyed as well as some enemies’ armor.
Another gameplay element to take note of is Kratos’s ability to use a shield and spear combination, bringing some hefty surprises for the enemy. Melee combat and some lovely spearing action will give the player that epic “300” feel, much with blood-spilling enemies on Kratos himself. Kratos is able to cast some an eruption of electric blue electricity too once you gain the ability mid-game.
The game is still filled with the blood and gore that we are familiar with and majestic soundtracks fills the game. Some interesting mini games are also in the game, one of which is a sex mini-game which is simply hilarious than erotic. The player flings a girl onto the bed off-screen and with a few specific contextual controls, the bed starts rocking and you get more and more girls who were peeking outside running in to “join the fun”.
Badass looking bosses exist in this new installment and rest assured, the excitement will keep you going that you probably lose sights in the sands of time.
Also, with the completion of the game, a set of challenges will be available and also “Temple of Zeus”, where players can use red orbs in order to purchase extra items such as videos, artworks and also adding enemies to the combat arena.
some intestines to add the flavor
If you have played previous GOW series before, Ghost of Sparta will be pretty much up to expectations. The game isn’t perfect and not without any complaints, some of the environments were repetitive and puzzles in-game were not as challenging as before though.
Suffice to say, it might look like a step down from God of War 3 but it is not inferior to the PS3 title, we are still looking at one of the top notch action games that retains the GOW flavor while bringing in a few interesting elements and a superb storyline, a leap from its predecessor PSP title “Chains of Olympus”.
Old players will welcome the traditional GOW flavor and new players alike will not be outcasted as the controls are pretty much newbie friendly.
Having said that, God Of War: Ghost of Sparta is a rated 18+ game for the PSP, tough luck younglings. The game is readily available on retail now at a suggested retail price of S$55
Now go, unleash Kratos’ wrath upon those petty looking enemies and deal them a skull-smashing attack.
Story – 9.5
Visuals – 9.5
Audio – 9.0
Gameplay – 9.5
Re-playability – 8.0
THIS IS SPARTA !