God of War: Chains of Olympus is the third installment in the highly popular God of War series. The God of War series has always been regarded as one of the best series on the Playstation 2 (PS2), so now it’s come to the Playstation portable (PSP).
How well does the series fare on a portable platform? Well, it has to be said that Kratos, the series protagonist, has made out like a bandit and has turned your PSP into a luxury vehicle for himself. That should give you an idea of how top-notch Chains of Olympus is.
The storyline of Chains of Olympus is set before the events of the original game. Kratos is a servant to the Greek gods and has been sent to the city of Attica to kill a monstrous Basilisk, a massive lizard-like creature, which has been unleashed on the city by the invading Persians.
The course of the storyline quickly changes however, as Kratos gets involved in a mysterious chain of events that start when the sun suddenly plummets from the sky. It’s an epic tale that people who have played the previous two God of War games will definitely appreciate for how it expands Kratos character.
The gameplay of Chains of Olympus does not change the standard God of War formula in any fashion. This isn’t a problem though, for its still incredibly sharp all around.
For those unfamiliar with the series, the basic gameplay of God of War has you running through linear levels and fighting against hordes of creatures taken from Greek mythology, such as satyrs, cyclopses, minotaurs, undead soldiers, harpies, and more. You get to dice up all these enemies with the ferocious combos that Kratos can pull off with his weapon of choice; the blades of chaos.
As you proceed through the game, you collect red orbs that allow you to upgrade the various weapons and spells you obtain in the game. These upgrades allow you to pull off even longer and deadlier combos. It’s a relatively simple, but effective and intense system that will entertain you throughout the entire game.
What is impressive with Chains of Olympus is just how well it transfers the God of War formula onto the PSP. The fact that the PSP has fewer buttons than a standard PS2 controller is not an issue at all here. The game’s control scheme gives the player a very satisfying sense of control.
What is perhaps even more impressive is the Chains of Olympus graphics. Chains of Olympus is without a doubt the best looking game on the PSP. Everything from the environments, the character models, to the animation and cut scenes both in-game and out benefit from an incredible amount of detail that easily measures up to Chains of Olympus PS2 brethren; all with only an occasional sign of slow down with the frame rate. The sound of the game also measures up incredibly well with excellent sounds and a superb soundtrack.
The only real problem with Chains of Olympus is its length. It only takes about seven hours to get through the game. But this is less of a problem considering the fact that most people will want to play through the game at least twice, especially since it is extremely high-quality all the way through.
There are also quite a few unlockable extras such as a video showing the levels that did not make it into the game and a series of bonus levels called the Challenges of Hades, each of which has you try to complete an extremely tough objective, such as defeating 20 enemies without getting hit.
All in all, God of War: Chains of Olympus is one of the best games available for the PSP. It does not fully measure up to its console counter-parts since it is a bit shorter than those games were. But the quality of the God of War series’ transfer to the PSP raises the bar for what the PSP is capable of, and makes for a game that any PSP owner should not miss.
Released: March 4
ESRB rating: M (Mature), for intense violence, blood and gore, nudity, and sexual content.
Retail Price: $39.99
My rating: 4 out of 4 stars