by Ryan D Lowe
reviewed on PSP
God of PSP
Tormenting rain poured upon the stony ground as Kratos made his way slowly up a narrow path. As he approached the precipice, a shattering roar shook the ground. Beyond the precipice, waves crashed into the towering rocks, and in the distance one could see a great hideous figure emerging from the depths of the ocean, to continue its destruction upon a port city. Fangs gnarled and tentacles lashing, it raged towards Kratos. At that moment, I paused the game... I thought to myself, is this really a PSP game? Or has Sony managed to include a PS3 into this little UMD cartridge somehow? From the moment I booted up the game, I was in awe. Never have I seen a more polished game for a handheld platform.
Once again you play as Kratos, servant of the Gods, and self-tormenter. Visions still keep appearing to Kratos and he must make them stop. He charts a journey to the ancient city of Atlantis, for there he believes he will find what he seeks. Of course, without spoiling a thing, Kratos finds once again that nothing is as simple as it seems.
I found the story to be more emotional than in the past iterations. The developers have actually given Kratos a soul, and something to fight for, instead of good ol’ classic vengeance. I won’t delve into this aspect in order to avoid spoilers, but suffice it to say that it’s a great addition to the standard template.
The old familiar formula is very much intact here. But instead of treading on God of War 2’s heels, it borrows heavily from God of War 3’s formula and does an incredible job of it. You’re given the traditional chained blades, but they can now be set ablaze. Once on fire, they are invaluable at taking down larger beasts as these attacks will leave timed explosive shards wedged into the creatures. This ability is also used to destroy the stronger armor/obstacles throughout the adventure. This is a little skewed however, as I found myself relying heavily on this ability for the vast majority of the time.
In the last iteration, God of War 3, the player was given multiple weapons, but this time you’re given only an additional Spartan shield and spear to round out your arsenal. The spear serves a double role as an awesome long range weapon and a wonderful melee weapon. All your standard abilities and weapons can still be upgraded through the use of orbs won from defeated enemies. There are a slew of new abilities as well, all more useful, I felt, than in the previous versions where you would rely much too heavily on your chain blades.
The Sisters... are dead!
The battles are fantastic, bloody, and hectic all the while running a silky smooth at sixty frames per second. I never had a single hiccup in the frame rate. Many times I could count over ten enemies on screen at once. This type of technical marvel for the PSP is unbelievable, as not only the amount of action on screen is amazing to behold, but the environments you’re waging war on are always a spectacle to behold.
Quick Time Events make their mark once again, but come with even more improvements than in the last game. The button prompt will appear not only on the screen but will correlate to the side of the screen that matches the position of the controller layout. For example, the “X” button prompt will appear at the bottom of the screen and it’s even highlighted this time around so you aren’t too distracted from the fantastic action sequences.
An epic masterpiece that fits in the palm of your hand.
Would have liked some more difficult puzzles.