Hands-on: God of War Ghost of Sparta

At Sony’s E3 press event, full coverage to be posted soon, a brand new trailer was released for Kratos’ second outing on the PSP.

This time the game takes place between the first and second God of War games and delves into how Kratos got his tattoo and scar, what really happened to Atlantis, and the origins of his family. Nothing more has been told about the story which still has a lot of leg room with ten years of servitude under Ares.

On the E3 show floor I was able to get my hands on the game and right off the bat it looks amazing. God of War (GoW): Chains of Olympus was a very nice looking game for taking something that was built on a console and moved to a portable device. GoW has been about scale, stunning visuals, compelling story arc, and simple yet fluid combat. With all of that wrapped up in a tiny package you get a game worth buying a PSP for.

GoW:GoS easily took the visuals to the next level by finding ways to add little details such as fur and hair, raindrops, and wood grains to the surrounding environments and enemies. It’s nice to see that there is still more to be found in the PSP in terms of power. The attacks and controls were the same from the last game only this time instead of holding the left shoulder button and a symbol button, you used the D-pad for magic attacks. This setup is a bit clunky and gets in the way of having that fluid control system. I hope they, Ready at Dawn, revert back to the normal control scheme or give the players the option to do so themselves.

In the amount of gameplay that was available to me, I was able to use a new weapon and a new magic ability. If you want to avoid spoilers stop reading and skip this paragraph. The new magic ability was called The Eye of Atlantis. This isn’t too surprising since Kratos is prancing around Atlantis fighting big baddies. What it does is release chain lightning on your enemies allowing you to stun a large group if you need to. The weapon I got to use was very reminiscent of the movie 300 in that Kratos changed to spear and shield. When timed correctly performing a block will have Kratos shove the enemy back and swing his shield up into their face. You can also throw the spear to give yourself a little range. The Blades of Athena are still with you as well as the favorite and well known basic combos.

So far the story for this title seems every bit as compelling as its console brothers. Ghost of Sparta seems intent on passing up it’s predecessor on all levels. The graphics are already much better, the weapons are cool, the control system needs a bit of work but there is still time, the story and questions that will be answered sounds brilliant, and the length of the game will be increased by 25% from the previous title. God of War: Ghost of Sparta will be available this holiday season only on the PSP.

Image Source: SpartansStandTall.com

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