God of War: Ghost of Sparta
The PSP is still a damn good console and
it's a shame that both developers and consumers have not fully embraced
this portable console technology. Even so, there are still some
impressive games that occasionally pop up on this console and God of
War: Ghost of Sparta is one of those games. Not only does it pay homage
to the God of War series but it features some amazing gameplay and
graphics for the PlayStation Portable. This is how games should be
designed for the PSP.
Story wise, once again, gamers are thrown into the role of Kratos, an aggressive demi-god who is hell bent on violent revenge. Kratos may not be the
nicest character in the gaming world but boy is he enjoyable to play.
This game takes place well before the awesome finale of the series on
the PlayStation 3 as Kratos is searching for his lost brother.
as children, Kratos does not even know if his brother is still alive but
by the gods, he will use all his power to discover the answers. In terms
of continuity, the title takes place after God of War and before God of
War 2. With all that said, the story of God of War: Ghost of Sparta is
wonderfully written and truly pays justice to one of the best gaming
series of all time.
Before I get to the gameplay, I must first address the graphics. I've
never seen such a good looking game on the PSP and God of War: Ghost of
Sparta is the penultimate game. From its ancient Greek, almost gothic
visuals, the game is definitely larger than life of the PSP, even on its
small screen. The characters are well animated and there are some decent
special effects along the way. I would love to see this game get
converted to the PlayStation Network because this game really needs to
be experienced by more. Technically speaking, the developers have
definitely pushed architecture of the PSP and it really shows.
In terms of gameplay, it would be best described as a controlled arcade
game which means you are limited to what your character can do and what
he can access. There lots of exploring and jumping in God of War: Ghost
of Sparta but the main catalyst of the game is combat. Combat is
enhanced by magical weapons that become unlocked as you progress through
the game and just like the PS2 and PS3 games, you need to roll, jump and
use your deadly weaponry to slay your enemies. Boss battles are just as
over the top as the larger console games which include standard attacks
and quick-time events to dispatch them.
The control system is well mapped on the PSP controller and there were
no issues in navigating Kratos through this visually surreal world or
attacking the enemies. The only issue is that at times, the camera zooms
out to give you a better view of the action that sometimes makes it a
little hard to judge your enemies. To give you a break from all the
bloody combat, there are a number of puzzles that will challenge you but
thankfully these are relatively on the easy side to solve. And then you
have the awesome soundtrack of Ghost of Sparta... one of the best on the
PSP and perhaps the series.
God of War: Ghost of Sparta is the best fun I've had on the PSP since
Batman LEGO thanks to the great use of the PSP hardware. It's easily one
of the nicest looking games on the PSP and even though the control
system does falter at times, it's easy to move on because of how good
everything merges together. Kratos is definitely back as are all the
wondrous mythological creatures and settings of ancient Greece. Most gamers will complete this title is just over 10 hours
but it does offer some replay value for areas or unlockables you have
missed the first time. This is PSP gaming at its best!