GHOST OF SPARTA is a major improvement over CHAINS OF OLYMPUS. Whereas the latter game felt like a dumbed down "budget" version of GOD OF WAR, this one feels like a fully realized entry in the series that could easily stand alongside its console brethren. The graphics have been vastly pumped up with textures, colors and art design that rival some of the greatest PS2 games out there. The cinematic direction has also been tightened up. No more does Kratos resort to pale imitations of his "killing moves" from the console games, such as monotonously slitting throats and beheading enemies with such a controlled manner you'd think he was working at an office job. Now his violent efforts are far more over the top and filled with rage, just as they should be in a GOD OF WAR title. When Kratos grabs an enemy, he swings them around like he's in a hammer throw competition and sends them flying into crowds. When he grabs a small opponent, he breaks their arms, slits them down the middle and their entrails spill out everywhere. Bloody good fun. There are some great interactive movie segments where your sliding down a crumbling fortress or running away while a volcanic eruption occurs beneath you that are real intense and could stand alongside the best moments of the UNCHARTED series. The story is also more compelling this time around; Kratos determined quest to save his brother from the underworld may even get your blood boiling, especially the climax where the two warriors brandish arms side by side to face the great evil that threatens Earth.
An age old story of fraternal kinship (GILGAMESH comes to mind) coupled with an amazing presentation and easy to pick up and smash gameplay ensures that GOD OF WAR: GHOST OF SPARTA as one of the most addictive and epic handheld titles for the PSP. My only problem with GHOST OF SPARTA is that, being the fifth entry in the series, it's clear that the formula is beginning to wear out it's welcome. Kratos has been using those same set of double chain blades with that exact same moveset since 2005. The enemies he fights: the cyclops, the medusa's, the zombie soldiers, etc. are all predictable. And how many times per game can Kratos roar "I will have my revenge on the Gods!!" before you begin to roll your eyes at the efforts of the scriptwriters? The franchise has become too content with copying itself, which is never a good sign. It needs to move forward. Hopefully GOD OF WAR: ASCENSION will represent that evolution, and if not, there's always the PS4 era.
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