Developed by: Ready at Dawn
Reviewed by Matt Adcock
This is SPARTA!!!! – in the palm of your hand!
Warriors behold, a glorious new blood soaked reality awaits you – take hold of your trusty PSPs and charge forward into the fight. God of War: Ghost of Sparta sees Sony’s portable handheld PlayStation deliver something over and above what anybody might have hoped for. This is a ‘real’ God of War game, a meaty, violent and supremely satisfying ‘slaughter-em-up’ which shows just what the PSP is capable of.
If you’ve ever wanted to feel the adrenalin rush of intense battle, you might not expect a handheld game to be the best new place to find that testosterone overload focus of pure carnage which will make you feel like a MAN (whatever sex you are!? God of War III showed that when it comes hard bastard heroes, nobody comes close to Kratos – you can keep your space marines, soldiers and RPG fantasy warriors – this guy is the real deal – for behold – he is the God of War.
The Ghost of Sparta plot sees you as Kratos seeking answers about your past and finding out interesting developments such as your brother, Deimos needs saving form none other than Thanatos - God of Death. This cues up an excellent rampage of biblical proportions as you Leviathans, Gods, Kings and a whole host of angry legendary creatures. When Kratos is finished with them however, even the mightiest are left as crumpled bloody dismembered heaps because he is one action hero that doesn’t mind getting down and dirty with his huge upgradable weapons.
If you’ve ever played a God of War game, then you’ll be immediately home – chop, hack and stab enemies, reaping their green (health) and red (upgrade) orbs, Battle insane bosses where you’ll need fast reactions to employ the satisfying mini game take downs. Unleash magical attacks to rip through hordes of enemies or decimate hold as nail opponents… It’s all good!
The controls are kept simple with face button light and heavy attacks backed up with magic mapped to the D-pad. Special attacks can be brought into play with the triggers as well as using them for evading etc. It is a quality ‘pick up and play’ set up which is quick to feel like second nature and yet has a hidden level of depth once you start unlocking various combos etc. The PSP’s analog nub might not be the best joystick ever but it does the job and the developers have crafted the controls to be very responsive.
"meet my hot blades of death..."
For those who like to use a little brain power amidst carnage there are still some mild puzzle elements but these are not ones to stump you mid battle. Ghost of Sparta is wildly enjoyable, it is a standard bearer as to just what the PSP can deliver and it even has a sex minigame to enjoy…
If you plump for the download option (which I tried) then not only is the gameplay slick and looking gorgeous but there are virtually no loading to be done either… It seems like Ready At Dawn have mastered the PSP and totally made it their good time providing bitch.
If the PSP2 does launch next year, then this will be a very strong reason for Sony to include backwards compatibility… Although we can only dream as to what the next God of War on a more powerful handheld could bring – every PSP owner the world over should invest in Ghost of Sparta – because it is the crowning pinnacle of PSP perfection.
Overall: Darkmatters rating: öööööööö (9 stomping on immortal's gonads out of 10)