God of War: Ghost of Sparta
4th Nov 2010 | 18:00
In ancient times, gods had more to worry about than dwindling church attendance and Richard Dawkins.
There were wars to start, political infighting to pursue and an endless parade of mortals to punish in horrifically unusual ways.
In God of War: Ghost of Sparta, Kratos finds himself elbow-deep in all three of these, but his solution never wavers.
The result is a game that does little to explore any unearthly powers that Mr Grumpy has gained as Ares' replacement, but instead concentrates on combat.
Is it good? God yes. The latest PSP version of the series finds Kratos close to the top of his game. Deftly directed cinematic action rubs up against artful button mashing.
Our anti-hero navigates the crumbling city of Atlantis, tussles with creatures of legend and even challenges death itself. It's the kind of thrilling pulp action we've come to expect from the series.
DON'T GO CHANGIN'
However, it's a series that's also running short of ideas. Aside from the story
- which amounts to a blood family reunion thick with revelations - there's little to surprise the games' fans here.
There's a handful of new magic attacks, nifty new ranged weapons and some fearsome new faces lifted from the pages of myth, but again these simply play to Kratos' existing strengths.
It's hard to avoid the question: 'Where can God of War go, when there are no more gods to war against?'
Perhaps we're over-thinking it. After all, the true joy of a God of War game is in dividing and conquering ferocious enemies and then, er, dividing them again in the bloodiest way possible.
And on that count, Ghost of Sparta is an unprecedented success.