God Of War: Ghost Of Sparta Demo Impressions

By Colin Tan on September 9, 2010, 6:59PM EDT

It's raining, heck, it's pouring cats and dogs. The screams of Spartans ring out as the deck is boarded by a hoard of trident wielding creatures. There's a ton of them and they don't hesitate to surround the poor ash-covered soul before them. Flashes of blue scream across the screen only to be overwhelmed by a burst of burning red and their cries of agony drowned out by a roar of violent anger. It's now raining blood.

That, my friends, is just a day in the life of the Ghost of Sparta.

It's been said plenty of times that God of War 3 was the end of Kratos' story, but it was never the end of the God of War franchise. In fact, Ghost of Sparta takes players on a journey to explore Kratos' past all the while fighting his way through the lost city of Atlantis.

That, by the way, is exactly where the demo kicks off, with Kratos battling alongside his armada of Spartans against the giant sea monster Scylla along the banks of Atlantis. From the get-go, it already feels a whole lot larger than its predecessor, Chains of Olympus. It rains, things get wet, but that's just the start of things. Much akin to God of War 3, Kratos will constantly get covered in the blood of whoever is unfortunate enough to cross his path. In addition, not only are the visuals great, but there is a whole lot of things going on-screen at once and the one very noticeable thing about that is that there are a lot more enemies that pop up at any one time.

At this point, you're already equipped with the Blades of Athena, wreaking havoc wherever you go. In addition to that though are Kratos' Spartan shield and spear with which he can perform devastating piercing attacks all the while behind the safety of his mighty shield. What's more, the spear can be thrown, it's certainly quite handy for impaling those out-of-reach enemies. Kratos can also charge and tackle with the press of the block and grab button. In doing so, I could charge and knock down whatever enemy and then I had the choice of either pummelling the daylights out of them or granting them a quick and merciful death. But that's not Kratos' style, so pummelling the daylights out of the poor soul it was.

The demo didn't feature a ton of puzzle elements, instead it focused heavily on combat. As I moved further down the sinking ship, I had to clear a path blocked by the many tentacles of the deadly Scylla, one of which would not budge not matter how much Kratos attacked it. Instead, I had to roll across the moment it flinched upwards and left an opening.

Moving on, Kratos eventually comes face to face with the Scylla itself. The boss fight felt incredibly reminiscent of the fight with the Basilisk in Chains of Olympus and that's not necessarily a bad thing. Attacking and dodging generally feels tight and responsive although blocking could use a fair bit of tuning. After knocking the Scylla and its little spider-like minions about for a good while, a prompt came up in the usual God of War fashion, activating a cinematic quick time event that dealt massive damage to the giant sea creature before it made a hasty retreat.

Kratos also gets access to the Eye of Atlantis, a magic spell that blasts a shock of electricity at anyone within its line of sight. A useful tool as it appears to connect to nearby enemy units in addition to whoever Kratos is nuking.

A battle with an Atlas-esque creature ensues as it proceeds to instantly teleport behind the very angry God of War on a regular and predictive basis. Once again, Kratos ends the fight with a bang via quick time event. The poor creature didn't stand a chance. More so, the demo ends in all the glory of God of War tradition, the camera immediately zooms in as Kratos turns around to see the gigantic Scylla before running and leaping towards it, no doubt in order decimate the creature for but one reason: because he can.

God of War: Ghost of Sparta certainly looks to push the the PSPs capabilities. Not only does it offer cinematic cutscenes and impressive visuals, but the core gameplay itself works to tremendous effect. Couple with the new additions like tackling and even more enemies on screen at once, Ghost of Sparta definitely looks to offer the God of War experience on a handheld platform. Keep your eye on it, you don't want to miss this. God of War: Ghost of Sparta is scheduled for a November 2, 2010 release.

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