The God of War franchise has traveled a long path, and gamers have been enjoying their time fighting in the shoes of Kratos’. The story of Kratos’ and his fight against the gods has spanned multiple games on multiple platforms, and hasn’t been quite the easiest to follow with the stories bouncing around from game to game. With God of War: Ghost of Sparta the story picks up where God of War left off and it fills in some of the holes and back story to what has made Kratos’ into this angry fighting machine that he is. Through out Ghost of Sparta Kratos’ is plagued by visions of his past and he convinces himself that he can change those visions. The story takes Kratos’ to Atlantis and eventually back to his home of Sparta. Ghost of Sparta doesn’t only offer up a decent story to fill in many holes in the series, but it offers up a ton of new action that for a PSP title is graphically amazing. I was very surprised to see the team was able to push the PSP further then they did in Chains of Olympus.
While the core gameplay remains basically unchanged, not that it needed work, you’ll be slaying countless foes, and taking on numerous bosses of size and power. You’ll come across similar button combo mini-games to finish off various enemies but there are a slew of new animations of Kratos performing the finishing kills. The controls have remained basically the same and similar to the PS3 God of War 3, when you need to do button combos those prompts have been moved the the edges of the screen, giving you good views of the action.
The biggest gameplay changes come in the new weapons and abilities that Kratos now has at his disposal. The first is Thera’s Bane, this adds fire to the Blade of Athena and has it’s own energy bar and allows player to light the blades as they see fit. The energy for Thera’s Bane regenerates on it’s own so there is no new orbs required to collect. Thera’s Bane doesn’t only function as a way to break through enemy armor it will also be required at times to destroy doors and other obstacles in your way.
The other additional weapon you get is the Arms of Sparta, or a classic shield and Spear. Arms of Sparta has quite a few abilities such as throwing the spear, close stabs, and even using the shield to smash enemies. It’s quite diverse as you can use it for ranged attacks or in close combat. Kratos also has some magic up his sleeves in the form of Eye of Atlantis which is a lightening attack and the Scourge of Erinys which sucks nearby enemies into it and at times give you green orbs. As always as your progress and collect red orbs you’ll be able to upgrade your attacks and magic powers. You’ll also be finding the other various treasures from other games which upgrade your health and magic bars as well.
Graphically Ghost of Sparta is the best looking PSP game out there, and even tops PS2 titles. From the diverse environments to the dazzling effects. Some levels will have full rain and water effects, while others have amazing flowing magma. Blood and gore have always been a staple in God of War and the death and destruction looks great in Ghost of Sparta. Similar to GOW 3 Kratos will become bathed in blood during fierce battles, and I was blown away with how well it looked on the PSP.
God of War: Ghost of Sparta is a phenomenal PSP title, and is one all PSP gamers need to own. The team at Ready at Dawn Studios out did themselves once again. If you have been following the God War series since day one you’ll be quite happy to finally get some of the back story of Kratos. The visuals are stunning all around, from the environments to the details in the character models. I was quite happy this time around with the puzzles, I never felt like they were to hard or to easy to figure out. My only issue and I had this problem with Chain of Olympus is the static camera. At times I would have liked to be able to pan around, it would have made it easier at times to figure out where I needed to go. GHost of Sparta is an amazing game and if you’ve been craving for some more portable blood and fighting in the shoes of Kratos your wait is finally over.