God of War: Ghost of Sparta Review
God of War: Ghost of Sparta box art
System: PSP Review Rating Legend
Dev: Ready at Dawn Studios 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: SCE Santa Monica 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Nov. 2, 2010 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Mature 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

What little extra power the PSP hadn't yet revealed is finally juiced by this game. I sincerely doubt that any PSP game after this one will arrive and look markedly better. Kratos himself looks splendid, detailed, and well-animated. Both in cutscenes and in gameplay the environments and characters look fantastic.

God of War: Ghost of Sparta screenshot

The audio is another area where this game excels. The PSP isn't always the best game for achieving clear audio, but Ghost of Sparta still manages to deliver good sound. Terrence “T.C.” Carson reprises the role of Kratos, and he's solid as usual. The score is similarly powerful, but (at risk of sounding like a broken record) it won’t blow you away. It enhances the experience, but it's almost invisible due to how standard it is for this series.

The leveling-up mechanic also works much the same as it always has. The red orbs that the series has employed since the first game are still collected and funneled into specific weapons and powers. It's limited customization, but at least it allows you some choice in how you want to play the game. If I hate one of the weapons, for instance, I can choose not to devote experience points to that weapon and level up others.

Overall, Ghost of Sparta is an extremely polished experience that nails the core tenants of the God of War formula. But at this point I have to wonder if that formula might finally be getting stale. Sony has released a new God of War game every single year since 2005, and the experience hasn't really evolved at all since the very first game. So far the series is still doing fine and will probably sell a couple million copies. However, I have a hunch that the next God of War game that fails to evolve the design of the game will probably be met with sighs from gamers. How long can Sony rest on its laurels and pump out new levels for David Jaffe's original God of War design?

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If they're not careful, they'll end up like Devil May Cry, which slowly turned off fans, before eventually needing a marquis developer to completely reboot the series. As much as I would love to see a God of War reboot, Sony needs to be more careful than that. Why not try stretching God of War into new genres? Introduce an open world, stretch into Roman mythology, or add motorcycle riding mini-games. OK, I'm kidding about that last one (although Kratos on a motorcycle would be totally badass). But I think this is the last time Sony can get away with ignoring innovation.

By Andrew Groen
CCC Freelance Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.5
Graphics
God of War has really pushed the limits of the PSP, but the system is starting to show its age. Beautiful, but we've seen it before.
4.0
Control
The God of War combat system has been honed since the first game, and they're getting better. But some things are too difficult on the PSP.
4.2
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Kratos' voice actor is solid as usual and the soundtrack is standard GoW fare. Again, great but entirely unsurprising.
4.5
Play Value
The God of War formula hasn't yet gone stale. It's still riveting to participate in new and old Greek myths. Plus there are several modes to unlock after beating the game.
4.3
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Enhanced melee combat system that allows a variety of finishing moves, air-to-air attacks, and devastating grappling combos.
  • Bigger and more diverse gameplay than Chains of Olympus. Larger bosses, double the enemies on-screen, and more complex puzzles.
  • Stunning visuals that have never been seen before on the PSP system.


  • Screenshots / Images
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