There have been very few games on the PSP that can match the hype and excitement generated from the God of War: Chains of Olympus, coming from one of the most successful Playstation 2 franchises. The big question however remains, how do you take such a vast, graphically hungry, action experience to the much smaller screen? Well, read our full review to find out!
There is no doubt in my mind that there are a lot of skeptics out there who do not believe that Chains of Olympus can accomplish everything it has gone out to do. I understand the concerns, there have been a lot of big promises with the PSP, and not necessarily a lot of stellar results. But is Chains of Olympus different? And the answer is yes.
From the moment you start playing, it just impresses me that the production value is kept at a very high level, similar to what the console version have offered. The narrative is excellent, and you’re still given stellar voice acting in the game. The story takes place before the original God of War game and beyond that you will have to see what is going on with Kratos for yourself. In general, the story is fantastic, it is a bit condensed from what we might be used to, but for a portable rendition it works perfectly.
The gameplay surprisingly hasn’t changed all that much. If you think you’re going to get "less" of an experience on the PSP, then you’re absolutely wrong. You could see the developers wanted to disregard any of those concerns by throwing you directly into the action where you’re taking on just a slew of enemies and a gigantic boss battle, as if to just tell the player that this is still the same good old God of War that you have come to know and love.
I would use the analogy of music compression with Chains of Olympus, in the sense that the size might be smaller, but the quality remains almost as high as the original. This is the case with Chains of Olympus, you have a game that was compressed into a small form factor but quite frankly everything else still sounds great. Although the game places more emphasis on action rather than puzzles, but for those that do enjoy the many puzzles that have been in the past few games you will see some remnants of those in Chains of Olympus.
The only real concern I have is the length which is rather short, even for an action game. Granted this is a PSP game, under ten hours of gameplay may leave some with the feeling like they didn’t get their full value for this game. I would however throw in the fact that the game is an intense action experience and one in which I would have no problem going back through again. It may turn some people away, but for me the length was a non-issue with the gameplay making each minute worthwhile.
If there was one area I was worried that the developers weren’t going to be able to accomplish with Chains of Olympus, it was the visuals. How were they ever going to bring the grand scale of God of War to the PSP? Well they exceeded my expectations. The characters models are rich with detail. The environments, although much more linear then in other games have beautiful textures, great design, and just the same old great God of War feel that we have become accustomed to over the years.
Very few PSP games have been able to do what Chains of Olympus has accomplished on the PSP. It has managed to take what was once a great console game and managed to keep mostly everything intact and bring the full experience to the PSP. Although the game is a bit more heavy on the action, a bit more linear, and a bit sparse on the puzzles, none of this brings down the experience at all. In fact, in some cases it works better on the PSP. I can’t say enough how enjoyable the game is, it has all the makings of what a great portable action game should be.
Fans of God of War are going to eat this game up. It really is the complete package just on a smaller screen. The experience, although a bit on the short side, provides a great experience and is one that actually could deserve a second go around. It doesn’t necessarily bring anything new to the table, but it refines what it needs to and provides a great PSP action experience. If you own a PSP there is no excuse not to have this game be part of your library.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.