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God of War: Chains of Olympus (PSP)

Mature
ESRB Rating
Genre
Perspective
Theme
91
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.0
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Frankenfed (33)
Written on  :  Jul 29, 2009
Platform  :  PSP
Rating  :  2.71 Stars2.71 Stars2.71 Stars2.71 Stars2.71 Stars

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Summary

Another short game, another short review

The Good

This is my first experience of a God of War game, after having read all the hype about it. It's not a game I would buy, but I played the demo, got hooked and went to rent it. It is a beat-em-up action game featuring a bald Spartan with red stripes on his body named Kratos and has lots and lots of gore and an ancient Greek fantasy story.

So what's good about it?

-First of all the setting itself. It starts in the sun stricken shores of Attica where Persians attack the city with the aid of a giant basilisk. Being a Greek myself I could relate a bit to the colors and style they have chosen to depict this ancient province, full of details in the background like a vast fleet of Persian ships or the rooftops of the ancient Greek buildings.

-All this detail is supported by the superb graphics of the game. It truly is a masterpiece in this department. It's probably the best made graphics I've seen in a game on the PSP (mind you I haven't played other big titles like Crisis Core). It reminds a PS2 game but the ambient lighting and shades compare easily to most recent PC games.

-The gameplay is fast and furious, gory and with sex scenes!! What else do anyone needs for this kind of game? The animations of the fighting moves or of the use of magic is smooth and sleek and slowly seeps under your skin making a bloodthirsty monster out of you!

-The music is epic with some standout moments and it fits the game very well.

So it seems that Kratos did succeed on the PSP and that the player will find retribution along with him upon finishing this adventure... NOT!

The Bad

Well the ancient Greek Gods are never so merciful and they also have their flaws, showing a human imperfect side to them, so does this game.

-First of all the story. In one word: generic . It starts interestingly but then fades into a plot where everything is invoked and distorted from ancient Greek mythology. It's not that I care if it remains true or not to the actual mythology, but the whole story feels like it could fit in any action game in any fantasy genre, be it Lord of the Rings or Warcraft. It simply loses it's edge and after a while I didn't care so much for it anymore. It also feels hastily written.

-Then come the effects and animated CGI scenes and a general feel of the game: It's flashy and beautiful, but it reminds too many movies in the cinema today like 300 (dating back to Matrix and it's revolutionary computer effects) or similar games. Overall it may give a quick fix of adrenaline and bloodshed ( and with some tits,did I mention the tits? :P), but I could not stand it for more than 1 day of playing.

-The design of some stages is bad. Persephone's palace looks more like Isengard with all these steep angles on the doors and architecture, that it loses any ancient Greek flavor. It makes the game feel more like Chains of Mordor, than Chains of Olympus.

-The whole tone of the game is over dramatic with no comical relief or anything to ease its atmosphere. The designers obviously lack humor (probably me too as I don't put many puns in my reviews but even so I can't relate to them ).

-There are so many moves using different combinations of buttons that eventually I couldn't remember them easily. This lack of memory is enhanced by the fact that some moves are much better than others, leading me to remembering only these.

-Sometimes the gameplay feels awfully similar to Medievil Resurrection which was a pretty good game AND with comical relief.

-Oh, I almost forgot. The game is short. But it still plays for 7-8 hours on normal difficulty . So it's not TOO short. It is probably good for it as it runs totally out of steam towards the end, in other words it becomes boring.

The Bottom Line

Style over substance. This is the ultimate game manifestation of this quote on the PSP. No wonder most game critics on the internet gave to it so high rates! It's as superficial as they are. I still wonder why Medieval resurrection got mostly 7 out of 10 and this game got 9's. May the wrath of Kratos' gods be on them.

Still it's not a bad game. If you like superb graphics, LoTR filtered ancient Greece and a Rambo-serious tone and main character this is the game for you. If you like the same game mechanics with a comic touch get Medieval Resurrection. Well that's about it.