From a weapons perspective there are a few fun additions. The first is Bane of Thera which allows you to charge your blades with fire, something that you’ll need to do to take out certain enemies in the game and to get through certain puzzles. You only get a limited amount of this before it has to charge though so you quickly learn to use it well. The other big addition is the Arms of Sparta which provides Kratos with the traditional Spartan Spear and Shield. It doesn’t sound like much but it does change the gameplay a bit to have a shield in place. The spear also provides the only ranged weapon Kratos gets in the game other than the magic spells.
As with previous games you collect three types of orbs in the game. Green orbs to up your health, blue orbs to restore your magic, and red orbs which you can use to power-up your weapons and buy new combos. The system of collecting orbs from fallen enemies and difficult to open chests also returns as does the game designers trick of hiding chests just out of the cameras view.
It’s easy to control mini-Kratos as you use the navigation nub to move him around the screen and then use the face buttons for attacking, jumping, and using items. The shoulder buttons are used to modify the attacks of the face buttons and you use both of them together to dodge. The d-pad is relegated to switching weapons and using the magic items Kratos collects on his journey.
The only real complaint I have about the control setup is that you have to take your fingers off the nub to use the magic items which can be a bit perilous in battle and sometimes forces you to waste some of the ability while you re-orient Kratos. I did experience a bit of cramped hands playing the game but there’s really nothing the folks at Ready of Dawn had any control over and I’m hopeful that they have some input over the control scheme of the rumored PSP 2.
Graphically the game is a step up on the Chains of Olympus, the last God of War game from Ready at Dawn. There’s no way the game can stand up to the graphical standards set by God of War III but the game does look good and there are a couple of nice touches here and there. My favorite is the as the flame effects on the blades which look great in contrast to the mostly dark world.. The meter that tracks the amount of fire you have for you blades is a bit hard to read in some areas but other than that this is one of the best looking PSP games on the market.
The audio side of the house is likewise stellar and features the same high level of audio you would expect from the franchise.
It’s hard to find faults with Ghost of Sparta but in some ways it does feel like Ready at Dawn worked off a checklist of things that have to be in the game. This isn’t a bad thing but I do wish they had colored outside the lines a bit more from time to time and shake things up a bit. The game does add a lot to the God of War canon though and if you’re a fan of the series this is a must have piece of the puzzle. If you haven’t played any of the God of War games in the past you might get a little lost with some of the plot lines but the game is still a very enjoyable romp through Greek mythology.
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.
A by-the books add-on to the franchise that maintains and raises the high bar of the franchise. There are a lot of nice new things to do in the game and the plot expands the canon of the franchise quite a bit. I do wish they had introduced a few new things and taken the game in some new direction but the game is still excellent
Page 2 of 2