Kratos Enjoys a Bloody Family Reunion
Kratos is not an only child -and who would have thought. The angry Spartan who rose to become a god of Olympus is back in a little adventure that picks at his origins as a warrior -and more importantly, reveals a few important family ties that will surprise most players (unless you have already read the spoilers that is). Battles are still as fast paced as ever as player button mash their way through ancient Greece while facing off against mythological creatures. The good thing is that despite Ghost of Sparta being on the Playstation Portable, the visuals and quality of gameplay does not suffer -which means that the developers at Ready at Dawn are pretty consistent (they also did GoW: Chains of Olympus).
Kratos and Deimos
Ghost of Sparta reveals the character of Deimos, the brother of Kratos. Deimos was taken by the gods at a young age for Ares feared that he would be the cause of the end of Olympus -as stated by an oracle. Deimos would be trapped in the Underworld under the watch of Thanatos; and this starts the series of events that is covered in the game.
As with any other God of War title, Kratos' approach to figuring things out, getting places, and solving problems is by smashing everything in between points A and B -and he continues to do the same here. Good thing that there is a ton of random enemy encounters for players to hack up to itty-bitty pieces.
Much of Kratos' quest will take him through locations associated with his past life in Sparta as well as his brother's location in the Underworld. He also gets to meet a lot more characters associated with his origin (most importantly, his mother -we did say this was going to be a family reunion). Simply put, if you want to know more about Kratos, you should not pass this game up. There's also a special scene near the end of the game that reveals something exceptional about the real identity of Kratos' father. So yes, aside from having your fill of non-stop combat, there's also a worthwhile story in the game.
As proven with Chains of Olympus, the PSP has more than enough hardware power to deliver a game of the same epic magnitude as the PS2 God of War titles. Of course, there's a little less details in the backgrounds and fewer onscreen enemies at the same time -that however, does not detract from the flow and overall feel of the game. Ghost of Sparta is every bit as epic as the numbered installments of the series.
The music sounds like your typical GoW fare, which is nice, though none of the tracks truly manage to stand out. The voice-overs however, maintain the cinematic quality that is present in the other games -making the storytelling here just as compelling.
It has been said that Chains of Olympus is among the games that manages to push the hardware limits of the PSP -and we agree. The smooth gameplay, quick transitions, and fast paced combat are beyond what most PSP titles are known for. And of course, for those of you who prefer to do their gaming indoors on a large screen; you can also play an HD remastered version of Ghost of Sparta in the PS3 collection for God of War.
Kratos' fighting style has been further improved in Ghost of Sparta -this is especially noticeable for players who like to perform air based combo attacks. Aside from starting up a set of attacks with a launcher, there are new air-to-air targeting moves that will allow you to create a more dynamic fighting approach. There also new finishing moves that involve the use of Kratos' magic attacks (aside from the usual weapon and enemy based ones). Some players may even feel that Ghosts of Sparta's combat system is more advanced than the one used in God of War III.
Same Formula, Same Fun
Aside from the improvements in the combat system and a new storyline -anyone who has played Chains of Olympus will find that Ghost of Sparta is pretty much more of the same. This may seem like a bad thing at first, but the repetitiveness of God of War is hardly something that players will take issue with. The game has excellent graphics, smooth gameplay, an enjoyable combat system, and an extensive mythos that is actually quite interesting to learn about. Hack and slash fans will love the way that Kratos just keeps tearing across any and all challenges that stand in his way, and Ghost of Sparta does that tradition quite proud.