GOD OF WAR: CHAINS OF OLYMPUS
The shrunken Spartan thrives in pretty, super-peeved PSP hit
Kratos’ brand of hack ‘n’ slash slaughter really shouldn’t be able to fit onto PSP. You’d think all that grandiose set-piece flair and those spectacular battles against bosses the size of skyscrapers would rule the Spartan from ever setting up on the shores of Sony’s handheld. And yet, despite all the technical hurdles, Kratos arrived on PSP as a mini, maiming marvel. In the fullness of time, putting the series’ reputation on the line by trying to squeeze it onto the portable looks like much less of a risk than it must have appeared back in early 2008. Since churning out the superbly optimised Chains Of Olympus, Ready At Dawn has gone on to develop one of the most technically capable releases ever, in the shape of PS4’s The Order: 1886. Back then, though, the studio could only point to a CV propped up by PSP’s merely decent Daxter to suggest it was up to the colossal task at hand.
We really needn’t have worried. Chains Of Olympus not only successfully ferries Kratos’ killer combat onto the handheld completely unscathed and uncompromised, it actually makes the Ghost Of Sparta semi-sympathetic… well, at least for a teensy while. There’s a touching section near the end where he forsakes his daughter to save the world.
Like any God Of War worth its slaying salt, Chains also starts with a truly belting battle. Holed up in the war-ravaged city of Attica, Kratos must defeat a monstrous basilisk over a sustained set-piece that’s as thrilling as any one moment the first two PS2 adventures can offer.
It’s also a treat to see this smartly produced prequel whisk the warrior to iconic, mythical locations like the River Styx, in what’s a truly heroic handheld effort.
“CHAINS STARTS WITH A TRULY BELTING BATTLE AGAINST A BASILISK.”
The game is set before God Of War. Kratos is serving the gods.
GOW’s opening battles are usually outstanding, and this one with the basilisk is no exception.
FORMAT PSP RELEASED 2008 PUB SONY DEV READY AT DAWN