Jeremy Jastrzab
01 Jul, 2010

E3 2010 Feature: God of War: Ghost of Sparta Hands-On

PSP Feature | Kratos in Atlantis... What could possibly go wrong?
While the God of War console trilogy may be over, Ready at Dawn are back to give PSP owners a second helping of angry. The purpose of these PSP titles is to clear up the past of Sony’s favourite anti-hero, just as we saw in God of War: Chains of Olympus. At E3 2010, we got a change to have some in-depth hands-on play time with God of War: Ghost of Sparta, as well as have some casual words with the producers of the game.

While Chains of Olympus was set before the first game, Ghost of Sparta sits between God of War and God of War II. However, there is an intention to expand of Kratos’ background as well, such as how he become Ares’ crony and how he got those tattoos. The demo that we played had Kratos being sent to the (yet to be lost) City of Atlantis. Those with a sharp ear and keen memory may remember that Poseidon mentioned Kratos’ involvement in Atlantis in God of War III, so no two guesses for you think is going to happen. It has also been revealed that the legendary King Midas will be a primary foe.

Welcome to Atlantis.

Welcome to Atlantis.
The producers informed us that Atlantis was specifically chosen as a location, so that they could take Kratos somewhere that he’s never been before. On this note, we also managed to squeeze out of them, that apparently, Kratos will NOT be visiting Hades. Again. Anyway, our trip to Atlantis was then interrupted, quite rudely, by the Scylla. This enormous sea monster definitely fit well into the God of War tradition of towering and screen filling bosses.

You have to admit, throwing the player into the deep end is a pretty good way to start a demo. This four tentacled beast was quite the formidable opponent and showed us that we needed to change our thinking from previous God of War games. Namely, you really had to plan your dodges, as they are now controlled my both shoulder buttons rather than a right analog stick. After all, the PSP doesn’t have one. Effectively, this meant that combat required you to be more methodical, to read the bosses patterns and to plan ahead.

Stop, that tickles!

Stop, that tickles!
After we thought we defeated the Scylla, we headed into Atlantis, which certainly showed of a new visual direction. Basically, you’re looking at a game that will have a bigger emphasis on water effects, as well as architecture based on the famous literature that is meant to describe Atlantis. The difference isn’t huge, but it’s something that will become more apparent as you play and as you discover new areas and new enemies. Furthermore, Kratos seems to have gained some new toys as well, though we only got to take the shield and spear for a ride. And by the way, Mr Scylla is not easy to get rid of.

Otherwise, it’s pretty much standard God of War fare. After a bombastic opening, the game settles into a formula of trudging through arenas of enemies while solving the occasional environmental puzzle to advance. As mentioned, enemies this time around will be inspired by the Atlantian environment. So while you’re in Atlantis at least, you’ll be taking on something different to the hordes from previous games.

Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me.

Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me.
It has to be said that the visuals of Ghost of Sparta were certainly striking for a PSP title. Firstly, the fight against the Scylla went off without a hitch. Secondly, the setting of Atlantis provides the series with a new visual direction. It was heartening to see the detail in the water effects on the PSP, and that the whole demo looked and played like a dream.

While the console trilogy pretty much took Kratos just about everywhere that he could have been taken, Ready at Dawn have their work cut out for them with God of War: Ghost of Sparta. The new setting of Atlantis does seem to be taking the right direction in regard to providing the players with something new to experience. Sure enough though, this is still a God of War game, so you really should know what you’re getting yourself into with it.

Related God of War: Ghost of Sparta Content

God of War: Ghost of Sparta Review
10 Nov, 2010 Looks like it's murdering time!
E3 2010: God of War Ghost of Sparta trailer
16 Jun, 2010 This is a ghost you don't want to meet in a dark corridor.
God of War: Ghost of Sparta first look
06 May, 2010 Kratos isn't finished yet.
3 years ago
For me at least, this is pretty much THE reason I'm making sure my psp is still in working order..

I've just finished completing Chains of Olympus for the third time and I would have to say it's still probably the best game on the system..

Can't wait to see what Ready at Dawn can get out of the device..
3 years ago
This, Metal Gear Solid 5 (pssh you all know it was called that. They even released pics of the title with the 5 in it), Valkyria Chronicles 2, and Persona 3 Portable are making this the most exciting time for a PSP owner for a very long while.
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