Sunday, April 20, 2008

Bound to be a hit: God of War- Chains of Olympus review

Judging by the numbers, more and more people are going out and getting Sony's portable gaming wonder-device, the Playstation Portable, these days.

If you're one of those folk, or thinking of becoming one, I've got your next/first game to check out; God of War- Chains of Olympus.

When I heard the next GoW game was going portable, I figured there was little chance the title would ever be able to live up to the home console counterparts. With GoW 1 and 2 being some of the best titles the platforming/adventure genre has to offer, I thought there was little chance a slimmed down follow-up would be able to fill the very big sandals of the PS2's Kratos.

When I played Monster Hunter Freedom 2 back in November, my eyes were opened to the sheer amount of "stuff" that could be squeezed onto a UMD disc. When I heard GoW-CoO was being build from the ground up by Ready at Dawn, the guys responsible for the critically acclaimed Daxter game for the PSP, I let my guard down even further.

Put simply, Chains lives up to every expectation I could have had for the title and doesn't pull a single punch along the way. The story is compelling and occasionally very emotional (one scene in particular stands toe-to-toe with anything the console versions have to offer), the controls are tight, the visuals are gorgeous and the action is intense.

While this mini-epic will take most a mere six hours to complete, those are going to be six hours very well spent. Add some extra difficulty levels, unlockables and the Trials of Aires and the time spent with Chains will extend to ten or so hours. The enemies aren't as varied and the puzzles are nearly non-existent this time out, but these complaints are mild compared to just how good everything else is.

Anyone who has played a GoW game will tell you the action is exhausting, the pace is fast and the experience is grandiose. The fact Ready at Dawn was able to cram all of those traits into a portable experience earns them high regard in my book.

God of War- Chains of Olympus is one of the best games the PSP has to offer (as well as 2008 in general) and a perfectly fitting addition to the series' line-up.

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