SCEA God of War: Chains of Olympus
- It retains all of the epic awesomeness of the first two God of War titles. Don't think for a second that just because it's on the PSP, it's any less amazing. The graphics are fantastic. Even though the PSP screen features less real estate, the game still shines with some incredible visuals. The controls are tight and responsive. If you were worried about the lack of a second analogue stick, don't be. The developers have come up with a system that works and works well.
- There isn't a great variety to the enemies. This also means that there aren't as many "fatality" sequences either. Everything feels just a little narrower in scope. While the game is still epic, it isn't as long nor is it as far-reaching as the previous two titles. You still have to lug boxes around to solve environmental puzzles.
Chains is a worthy addition to the franchise. While we want nothing more than to continue on with Kratos' journey towards the top of Mount Olympus and his final battle with Zeus, we were more than happy to take a short detour along the way and spend time with what we consider to be the best PSP title we've ever played. We suggest you do the same.
Price$ 59.95 (AUD)
Even though it's akin to sticking a stick into a hornet's nest, we're going to make a pretty bold statement here: the God of War franchise is the most important franchise in Sony's arsenal. Sure, Metal Gear and Grand Theft Auto are both important pieces to the potential success of the PS3 but God of War 3 has the potential to be the defining PS3 title.
We formed this opinion the minute God of War 3 was confirmed for the PS3 and it was recently bolstered by Chains of Olympus, a fantastic prequel that does a bang up job of fleshing out the Kratos mythos. Even though it appears on the handheld PSP, it's just as epic as the big console versions and it's a great teaser of what's to come.
Once Upon A Time
Making a prequel is usually a dicey proposition – heck, even well established storytellers like George Lucas struggle with them – so we were a little worried when we first booted up Chains of Olympus and saw the logo for a company that we had never heard of. Who the heck was Ready At Dawn? Did Sony really pick some no name upstart to do a God of War?
We decided to do a little digging and all of our fears were quickly dispelled: developer Ready At Dawn is comprised of former Naughty Dog and Blizzard employees and are also working on the Wii port of Capcom's Okami as well. That's a fairly impressive pedigree and if companies like Sony and Capcom are willing to hand the keys to two critically acclaimed franchises over to these guys then they must know what they're doing.
As the old saying goes, the proof is in the pudding, and from the very get-go, Chains of Olympus lives up to the high bar set by its two big console siblings. Taking place before the events of the first God of War, Chains follows Kratos as he sets out on his day job, namely doing the dirty work of the Gods. At this point, the trademark bitterness that he displays to Zeus and his merry gang hasn't yet solidified into the all-consuming lump of anger that it was at the end of God of War 2; it's there but it's still at a slow simmer. As the game progresses, Kratos gets embroiled in a plot to undo the world and of course, it's up to him to save the day.
Get A Grip
We don't want to spoil any secrets so we won't discuss the plot in detail but it follows the classic God of War formula. People get in Kratos' way, he cuts them down and moves on without so much as a backwards glance. The plot does have some genuinely poignant moments, however, including one where Kratos has to make a very tough choice. Even though the outcome is obvious, it adds a nice layer of texture to Kratos' personality.
The devs also did a great job with the controls: the lack of a second analogue stick could have been problematic but it's not. The basics are still in place and felt immediately familiar. You move with the analogue stick and jump with the X button; light attacks are mapped to Square, heavy attacks to Triangle and you grab with the Circle button. You block by holding down the left shoulder button; this also unleashes special attacks that you gain as you level up your weapons. The Right Shoulder button is used to activate your magic, such as the Light of Dawn – long distance weapon – and the Ifreet – short-range area of effect fire magic.
Now here's where it gets interesting: in order to dodge, you have to hold down both shoulder buttons and flick the analogue stick in the direction you want to go. It might sound like a complicated mess on paper but trust us, the control scheme works with nary a hitch. We didn't miss the second analogue stick at all, which is something we don't often say about PSP games.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Kogan Atlas UltraSlim Pro laptop: full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
Latest News Articles
- Saints Row II is free on GOG, but not for long
- The original StarCraft and its beloved Brood War expansion are now free
- Xbox One Insiders get first crack at player-organized tournaments
- Meet the new Microsoft Edge: 5 key improvements with the Creators Update
- Microsoft will unveil Project Scorpio, the next Xbox, at E3
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Samsung Galaxy S8 phone: full, in-depth review
- Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5 CPU Australian review
- Mass Effect Andromeda review: One for the fans
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- TPAV Design SpecialistNSW
- FTProject Coordinator ($280-$300 per day)NSW
- FTSenior Infrastructure Business AnalystVIC
- FTProject Manager- RiskSA
- FTCitrix Engineer/Designer - AWS experience essentialNSW
- FTSystems Support EngineerQLD
- FTSnr Technical Salesforce Consultant Global IT Managed Services - SydneyNSW
- CCBusiness Process Analyst (Automation) - Finance - Contract - ParramattaNSW
- CCSolution Architect - Audio Visual/Video DomainVIC
- TPProject ManagerVIC
- FTTechnical LeadVIC
- FTSecurity Solutions Manager - Perth BasedNSW
- TPChange ManagerNSW
- FTSales Lead - Healthcare systemsVIC
- TPProduct ManagerVIC
- FTERP Reporting AnalystNSW
- FTSystems Engineer | Managed Services ExpVIC
- CCOracle DeveloperVIC
- FTICT Contractors for multiple Federal Government OpportunitiesSA
- TPBusiness Analyst - Qld Health - Short term contractQLD
- CCSharepoint DeveloperNSW
- FTMid-Level .NET DeveloperVIC
- CCSenior Domain ArchitectVIC