Kratos–the man-turned-god in Sony’s God of War series–met a tragic end at the close of God of War III. (Or did he?) However, you’ll still get to play as the angriest Spartan ever when God of War: Ghost of Sparta hits the PSP in November.
So, yeah. There’s a brother in the mix. Deimos was mentioned in the very first GOW game on PS2 but that plot thread hasn’t been followed up on until now. I had a chance to play a complete build of the game this week and it’s the sharpest portable effort yet from development studio Ready At Dawn. Visually, the first thing you notice is that there’s no difference between the Kratos in cutscenes and the model used during gameplay. It’s an impressive feat considering how much else the game engine if pulling off. The number of on-screen enemies have increased but Kratos have a few new moves that let him deal with all the added threats.
I played through two sections of the game and the first puts you on a ship sailing for Atlantis as Kratos begins his search for answers. The Hyperion Rush is a new move that lets players do a running tackle on the nearest enemy. Once you’ve felled them, Kratos can brutally punch and stab them to death. And just as God of War III‘s bow and arrows brought ranged attacks to Kratos’s arsenal, Ghost of Sparta introduces a spear and shield set that give the pale Spartan a way to kill from afar. Several new types of magic are being introduced in GOW:GOS, too. Kratos wielded a ice blast that froze nearby enemies and there’s also a fire modifier to his blade attacks that sets ghouls on fire. Fiery attacks also have a sticky-bomb effect that makes enemies explode after you thrash them.
Of course, the giant boss battles are back, as I played a fight with a giant sea monster showed Kratos’ improved dodging. And what would a God of War game be without abuse of a Greco-Roman mythological figure? The one I got to beat up was King Midas, whose golden touch turned a lava waterfall into a climbable surface. Of course, I had to throw him into the lava flow first. Them’s the breaks, guy.
God of War: Ghost of Sparta hits the PSP in November.