Review: God of War: Chains of Olympus

Have you ever wondered what the perfect blend of action, mini-games, story, and technical feat might bring you? I’ve thought about that many a time and it seems that the team at Ready At Dawn Studios might have too as God of War: Chains of Olympus is an absolute stunner of a game.

If you’re already familiar with the God of War games found on the PlayStation consoles, you’ll find yourself at home with Chains of Olympus. Set ten years before the original God of War game, Chains of Olympus doesn’t mess around and launches you full-speed into a level that not only acts as a tutorial but serves as a way of telling you this game is going to rock.

From the moment you beat the first bad guy with your swords slicing and chains swinging, you know that you’re going to be in for something special. If you’re new to the series, the controls will be easy to pick up as the initial button combinations make this an easy button masher. But look beyond the surface and you’ll quickly see that this game gets harder and harder with time, action becoming a fantastic mixture of fast pace movement, slashing, action combos, and even mini-games getting an appearance.

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Unlike most games however, the mini-games force you to press combinations of buttons while the rest of the game works around you. This isn’t like a Wii or DS game; you’ll have to think in line with the story. Actions like this only help to mold the experience into something legendary.

The sound is incredible and everything works together to bring a rich experience. From the clear metal clings to the screams of terror that the heathens of the Underworld will call out, Chains of Olympus brings out Greek mythology in a way that no one could possibly be disappointed with. The music is pure cinema and is beautiful and matching. You can’t help but feel being a part of something extraordinary when you hear how vibrant and matching the music is.

The voices are wonderful with the thundering voice of Kratos – your lead character – calling out for vengeance against those he encounters. It really is an excellent experience and one best enjoyed with headphones on.

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The graphics are great too as Chains of Olympus blends together fantastic 3d graphics with immaculate art. All of this is edited in exquisite fashion and really comes off as a stand-out masterpiece. If the gameplay isn’t the first thing to grab you, the stunning blend of art and game will leave you breathless.

And guess what? There’s no real load times. The movies that run throughout the adventure that is Chains of Olympus seem to serve as a “load screen” that you’re not going to get bored through. Very occasionally a “Loading” blurb will pop up but it’s rare and usually from turning off your PSP mid-game.

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About the only thing you’ll want to complain about is the length. Lasting only around 6 hours, it’s one of those games that you could finish easily in one sitting the moment you realise that this game has drawn you in. On the plus side, you’ll probably want to play through it again and again on increasing difficulties, but short of digging up all the secrets you missed, not much new can be found.

Aside from that, God of War: Chains of Olympus brings one of the most fulfilling game experiences ever to be seen on a console. This isn’t just a great PlayStation Portable game, this is a great game full-stop. From the direction to the story to the sheer amount of fun you’ll have in the excellent combination of gaming controls, there is loads of fun to be had being the messenger of the Gods.

It’s sort of like being a part of a movie you just want to see again and again. God of War: Chains of Olympus is so good it could quite possibly be the best game ever on the PSP.

Developer: Ready At Dawn
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Classification: MA15+
Formats: PlayStation Portable
URL: God of War: Chains of Olympus

Reviewed by Leigh D. Stark

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