Diehard fans of the God of War (GOW) franchise will remember that they were given a link to a teaser site after obtaining the platinum trophy in the most recent release. The page did not contain anything substantial, but it clearly hinted that Kratos’s story was not quite finished. Recently, the makers of the game have posted new information about the next PlayStation Portable (PSP) exclusive, God of War: Ghost of Sparta.
Developed by Ready at Dawn Studios, Ghost of Sparta is poised to be the next big release for the PSP. The new release picks up at the end of the first game, but before Kratos cements himself as the new God of War in GOW 2. Chains of Olympus, the previous GOW title for the PSP, was popular with both fans and critics. With the same development team behind the project, Ghost of Sparta should be a solid release for the PSP’s increasingly sparse library.
I find it problematic that Sony seems too eager to capitalize on the success of this beloved franchise. Although Kratos looks better than ever, the gameplay is starting to feel a bit old. At its core, GOW is still a hack and slash game with a bit of magic interspersed. I admit that I loved playing it the first time, but after playing four versions of essentially the same action game, it’s starting to get old fast. Moreover, the plot is blatantly rehashed; Kratos starts each game losing the abilities and weapons amassed from the previous. He then faces impossible odds but finds guides, gods, or titans to grant him new weapons and abilities proceeds to kick some ass. This has been the exact same story for each God of War title since its release in 2005.
Eric Levine, SCEA PR Manager at the Playstation Blog, says that in Ghost of Sparta we will finally receive answers to “long-awaited questions about Kratos’s tattoo, scar, and family”. However, these questions were answered in the first God of War game. Levine goes on to say that Ready at Dawn has created “over 25% more gameplay, an improved weapon system, and new magical powers,” which will make the Chains of Olympus sequel a must have for any God of War fan. This all sounds great, but Sony makes grand statements like these whenever they promote a new God of War title. Although hype about new weapons or “25% more gameplay” (whatever that means) used to be enticing, it may not be enough of an incentive to pick up the fifth, “updated” version of what is basically God of War 1.
Although I remain skeptical about the fighting engine, weapon system, and plot of Ghost of Sparta, it is always great to have another God of War game to play, even if it’s more of the same. Although it may not be the most revolutionary version of the established God of War franchise, it will offer the same hack and slash fun that fans of the game know and love.
Links: PlayStation Blog (US)