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God of War: Chains of Olympus Review

July 20, 2008

Since its original release in 2005 God of War has been a new standard for console action/adventure games. Now Ready at Dawn Studios have brought this series to the handhelds, and things will never be the same.


Chains begins before any of the first two games, so it is a prequel to the series. Kratos is serving the Gods in order to ride himself of the painful memories/nightmares from his past. After defending the city of Attica from a Persian attack Kratos cries out to the Gods(In Boredom) if this is all they have him do? At that moment the Sun falls to earth and the Earth is engulfed in darkness. So now its up to Kratos to bring the sun god, Helios, back to his rightful place in the sky or mankind, and the Gods will be stuck in eternal darkness.


The God of War series is a Third Person action/adventure game. It has pretty much mastered the formula for this genre of game. At the start of the game the only weapons you have are the Blades of Chaos, twin blades that are attached to your body by chains. With these chains Kratos is able to throw the Blades around and have a much greater range of attack then a person with normal swords. Unlike previous God of War games, you can’t just use the blades for most of the game (Surprisingly enough). This leads me to the best secondary weapon in the series, the gauntlets of Zeus. It is the best because it is the most fun to use and is actually very useful for boss fights and large monsters in the first playthrough (The secondary weapons in the previous two weren’t that useful until maybe the second playthrough).

There are a few magic spells at Kratos’s disposal to compliment his melee abilities. These spells are each unique among themselves, but bear resemblance to prior spells. They are the AoE spell (Area of Effect), range spell and the special spell. The special spell is different from the previous incarnations, where it was Medusa and her sister’s head used to freeze enemies, but the new spell will make enemies start to burn and stay still.

The combat, no matter the weapon or spell is extremely fast paced and fun. It’s one of the best combat engines around and even though it is 3 years old, it is still great. It’s violent, brutal, engaging and over the top. Grabbing enemies will range from tearing their wings off, stabbing them in the eye, or slicing their head off and it is just loads of fun to do and watch. The overtopness doesn’t stop with grabs, there are some impressive combos to pull off that will dazzle you. Some might be worried that the lost of buttons might hinder the game, however even with the lost an analog stick and two back buttons the control scheme is pretty much unchanged. What is changed to compensate for the lack of buttons actually helps the game, rather than hurting it. Spells are easier to choose from and dodging is easier. Both of these things are due to the fact that your hand does not need to move to pull them off. (Prior games had spells mapped to the D pad and dodging to the right analog stick, forcing you to take your hand off the attack buttons or left analog stick to pull them off)
The game takes place over a few different areas, ranging from the siege city of Attica, to Hades itself. Each environment has its own unique look with puzzles that fit in with the environment. The puzzles aren’t particularly hard, but a few will give you trouble because they aren’t that obvious. The enemies in the game are also unique to the environments. Attica has Persian soldiers and its Basilik, while Hades has harpies and more. Some enemies are standard throughout but they evolve into different, more powerful forms. This helps keep the game fresh and engaging.


The game has a variety of extras. They range from the Challenge of Hades, a series of challenges that the player must beat, higher difficulties, extra costumes(that affect gameplay) and behind the scenes stuff.


The game is a stunning achievement in portable gaming. The game resembles its Ps2 counterparts to a T and the game is just gorgeous. It is easily the best handheld game ever created, and i find it hard to imagine any other games topping it for a long time. The scenery is gorgeous, the blade effects top notch and just every aspect of the graphics is just top notch. Like the graphics, absolutely stunning. The voice actors of the series return to reprise their roles as well as a few new ones for new characters. The voice acting is some of the best around and the music is easy on the ears.


God of War: Chains of Olympus is easily one of the best handheld games ever created. It is short, clocking in about 7 hours but it is well worth the buy. The story isn’t as compelling as the rest of the God of War series but it does not detract from the game. I highly recommend this game and cannot give it enough praise



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One Comment leave one →
  1. Eric permalink
    July 20, 2008 7:36 pm

    Damn well better be an A. This is about as good as the PSP gets.

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