Review: God of War: Chains of Olympus Demo

By Mike on 8:19 pm

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A mini review today. If you have a PSP, chances are you've heard of God of War: Chains of Olympus. The original God of War was a hugely successful title for the PS2. A sequel to the original was released last year also on the PS2. The PSP version marks the fourth incarnation of the series including the cell phone game. You play as Kratos, a Spartan with Hercules like strength and a great deal of blood lust. In the original game, he swore revenge against Ares, the Greek god of war, for the murder of his wife and daughter. I haven't played either of the PS2 titles so I cannot compare the PSP game to them.

The demo is available on PSN or on UMD disc if you pre-order the game. The final, full version is due out on March 4th, 2008 in North America. The demo weighs in at about 160mb, which is pretty big for a PSP demo. (As a side note, I'm a little mad that Sony removed the direct downloading of demos from the PSP, now requiring you to use the PC or PS3 Playstation Store.) As you might have guessed, the game takes place in ancient Greece. The basic plot is a Greek city being attacked by Persians. The demo features two boss fights, as well as some battles with regular enemies. It's a hack and slash button masher which involves your character slashing and stabbing as many Persian soldiers as possible. The demo teaches you how to play the game quite well and is worth a couple play throughs. Square is your regular attack, triangle a power attack, and circle grabs the enemy and brutally stabs them through the chest. X jumps while the L button blocks. You can trigger combos, and dodge using the shoulder buttons and the analogue stick. One of the drawbacks of the PSP, that some have argued, is lack of a second analogue stick. Chains of Olympus used a fixed camera that adjusts for the best view of the particular environment but being able to look around would have been nice. Overall, the controls are tight for the PSP, making the game fairly easy to pick up.
Graphics wise, the demo looks like an early PS2 game. It's pretty good for the PSP though not the most colourful I've seen. Screenshots of the final game do show some stronger visuals than what's in the demo. I did notice some frame rate issues. When there was a lot of action on the screen, there was a noticeable slowdown. The question is if this games is designed to take advantage of the increased memory on the PSP Slim versus the PSP-1000. However, I'm going to assume that this is just a bug in the demo since I haven't experienced this in other PSP games.
God of War: Chains of Olympus is definitely promising looking for gamers looking to fulfill their lust for blood. It will definitely be worth checking out when it's released in two weeks time.

What works:
-Fulfills your lust for violence on the go.
-Good visuals for the PSP
-Fun gameplay and easy playability

What doesn't work:
-Frame rate issues in demo
-Can't change view.

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