My recent trip to China allowed me to rekindle my long lost relationship with my Sony PSP (which had sadly been relegated to second fiddle after getting an iPad). I had been playing the same old games and needed something new to bring some spice back into the relationship, so I went with a can’t-miss game — God of War: Ghost of Sparta.
This is the second GOW game on the PSP, the first being the very solid, albeit slightly too short GOW: Chains of Olympus. Having played the sensational GOWIII on the PS3 last year (review here) — which was probably one of the best games I’ve ever played on the PS3 — I knew it was going to be difficult for the handheld Ghosts of Sparta to compete.
Of course, it is not exactly fair to compare a PS3 game to a PSP game, but in any case my concerns were unfounded. Ghost of Sparta is a marvellous game, a significant improvement on Chains of Olympus, and when all is said and done, will probably go down as one of the best PSP games of all time.
I believe Ghost of Sparta is set after the original God of War game, and even though I didn’t really follow the story closely, I understand it is about Kratos’s search for his younger brother Deimos. But let’s be honest here — no one plays GOW for the story.
In keeping up with tradition, Ghost of Sparta is an all out action adventure that is bloody, brutal, exciting and incredibly immersive. Visually, it is by far the best PSP game I have ever seen, and is at least on par with the PS2, if not better. The developers of the game have clearly learned something from their creation of GOWIII, as evidenced by the bigger, meaner monster battles and the epic boss fights.
The one thing that always impressed me about the GOW series was the variety in its gameplay. While other similar games might feel repetitive after a while, Ghost of Sparta keeps gamers engaged by making a conscious effort to mix it up — either by alternating terrain, throwing in a few mini-puzzles or enemies that require different combat styles to overcome. Rarely does it feel like you are simply doing the same thing over and over.
In all, this was a top-notch production that deserves to be owned by every PSP gamer. Everything from the graphics, sound (including the voice acting), the gameplay to the replay value (the game itself is longer than Chains of Olympus and there are several post-game challenges to take on which will no doubt keep you tapping away at the buttons long after your first walkthrough), Ghost of Sparta oozes class.
If only they made more games like Ghost of Sparta — I would never leave my PSP behind.
10 out of 10