Jeremy Jastrzab
20 Oct, 2007

God of War: Chains of Olympus Preview

PSP Preview | The God of War, is in your hands.
Since it’s debut in mid-2005, David Jaffe’s God of War has quickly gone on to become one of the most prominent names in gaming. From the critically acclaimed original and just-as-good sequel, to the controversy surrounding the UK launch party, Kratos certainly has come full circle in a short amount of time. Since God of War II left us with something of a cliffhanger, it is almost certain that God of War III will continue this story line, likely on the PS3. Untill then, we have God of War: Chains of Olympus on the PSP to keep us going.

At a recent press event, we got a chance for some hands-on time with Chains of Olympus. While God of War III will likely continue where the story left off in God of War II, Chains of Olympus looks to tell the story of Kratos from before the original game. As most will know by now, Kratos was a Spartan warrior who gave himself up to servitude for Ares, the God of War. After being tricked into killing his own family, Kratos denounced his allegiance to Ares and went off to serve the Gods of Olympus. He served them for 10 years before the start of the original game, so God of War: Chains of Olympus is essentially looking to fill-in that gap.

A PSP game that actually looks like a PS2 game!

A PSP game that actually looks like a PS2 game!
Given nods to Greek mythology in the previous games, it's highly likely that there will be many more in this latest game. As has been known for a while, God of War: Chains of Olympus will be one of the first games on the PSP to utilise the unlocked CPU speed. Of course, this is at the expense of Wi-fi multiplayer, but God of War is really a single player game, so this is unlikely to be missed. In fact, it’s probably one of the best things that could have been done for the game.

For (arguably) the first time, you have a PSP game that not only looks like its PS2 counterpart but importantly, runs like its PS2 counterpart. There is no denying it, Chains of Olympus looks gorgeous. It’s just as you would expect from the PS2 games, only on the PSP, and it runs incredibly smoothly as well. We were actually surprised at how well this early build was running, the game has some nice detail and sported one of the best draw distances on the PSP. However, it was still evident that this was not the final product.

Regardless of how good a game looks, it needs to gameplay to back it up. If you’re talking about action games, the combat system in God of War is good and certainly accessible, but it pales when compared to Devil May Cry or Ninja Gaiden. However, it was the variety and puzzles that were offered in the games that allowed them to stand on their own. On this front, God of War: Chains of Olympus isn’t particularly new or different, when compared to its predecessors. However, the PSP actually holds up quite well, probably because GoW never really required to player to be precise in any real way.

Yeah, not bad.

Yeah, not bad.
You could argue that the PSP face buttons are better for the quick-time events, but there is only one major drawback in terms of controls that we found so far. To roll or dodge, you need to hold both the L and R buttons then tap on the analog nub in the desired direction. This issue with this is that it takes away the twitch nature of rolling, and forces the player to think about when they need to roll and somewhat plan in advance. Whether or not this will have a serious impact on the gameplay, we won’t know until the final product is released. Hopefully the developers will realise this and adapt the level design adequately.

If you were a fan of God of War on the PS2, it’s pretty much a given that God of War: Chains of Olympus will be up your alley. It looks to contain just about everything that the PS2 games contained, with very little concession and despite the fact that David Jaffe isn’t directly involved. Come early 2008, God of War: Chains of Olympus looks like it will be the titles to own on the PSP. Not to mention, it should probably tide fans over till God of War III.
God of War: Chains of Olympus looks to jump right to the top of the PSP action game pile, come early 2008.

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Australian Release Date:
  27/03/2008 (Confirmed)
  Sony Computer Entertainment
  Action Adventure
Year Made:

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