God of War: Ghost of Sparta PSP
Published by: Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
Developed by: Ready At Dawn
As a gaming platform the PSP has seen something of slide in recent times. The PSP Go has failed to make its mark and there have been no must own games for a quite a while. God of War: Ghost of Sparta then is a game that the system desperately needs. It's a great game and had it arrived earlier in the system’s life it would have been described a system seller, the kind of game you'd happily run out and purchase the hardware just so you could play the game.
Ghost of Sparta is set between the events of the first two games which appeared on the PlayStation 2. Kratos is being plagued by visions of his past life as a mortal. Against the advice of Athena he decides to explore his past and search for the temple of Poseidon, which is located in Atlantis, for answers and also to attempt to change the events of this recurring vision. The storyline is one that will be appreciated by fans of the series, particularly those who are looking for more storyline to flesh out Kratos' history. Upon completing the game you'll also acquire some challenges which help to extend its replay value.
In terms of how it plays, Ghost of Sparta is pretty much like previous games in the God of War series which is certainly no bad thing. You're getting great hack and slash action combined with Prince of Persia style platform elements and epic boss battles and as in every other God of War titles these are accompanied by quick time events for epic attacks on these gargantuan enemies. Kratos has the Blades of Athena (which the element of fire can be added to), and the Arms of Sparta to assist him. These powerful weapons in addition to some magic attacks will allow him to vanquish all that stands before him.
There are four difficulty levels allowing you to tailor the difficulty level for everyone from a God of War newbie to enthusiastic veterans of the series. The easier difficulty levels provide easier combat and quick time events that require fewer buttons to be pressed. The hardest difficulty level is initially unavailable which longstanding fans of the series might be a little disappointed with as they will undoubtedly find the unlocked difficulty modes too easy.
Graphically the game is excellent and you have to wonder why so many PSP games have looked so poor when the handheld is capable of visuals of this quality. The frame rate remains impressive, even when gigantic enemies fill the screen and when a large number of standard enemies surround you. The quality of the lighting is excellent and really adds to the game's rich atmosphere. In fact I think it's fair to say that Ghost of Sparta looks just about as good as the God of War titles that appeared on the PlayStation 2, which is very impressive.
Ghost of Sparta is subtitled and the subtitles are enabled by default. You'll be able to follow the game's storyline thanks to the impressive looking cut scenes being subtitled. Not all of the game's dialogue is subtitled however and there is plenty of speech that isn't subtitled which is slightly disappointing. All tutorial messages are shown in text however meaning you'll have no problems in getting to grips with the game (assuming you haven't play a God of War game before that is).
God of War: Ghost of Sparta is just about the best action game you'll find on the PSP. If you enjoyed God of War: Chains of Olympus, you owe it to yourself to pick up Ghost of Sparta as it's arguably the better game. If there are any negatives to be had it's that the game fails to add anything major to the series' tried and test formula. If you own a previous God of War title you'll know exactly what to expect here in terms of gameplay. If you're a God of War fan I suspect you won't see this as a negative unless you were hoping for something different to spice up the existing formula. That said, it's clear that there is little wrong with the God of War formula and Ghost of Sparta can't help but please all of those who simply wanted more of the same.