Let’s get this part out of the way: I know this is not a new game. I don’t always play newly released titles – unless you’re a paid game journalist, how could you keep up? I, like most gamers, watch for games to go on sale or just naturally become less expensive before I pull the trigger on a purchase. Sometimes, no matter how exciting the game, you still have to wait for the stars to align before you buy. So when a “I can’t believe they let me return that” transaction occurred at Best Buy, which left me with $50 of store credit, I was compelled to purchase a PSN gift card. The second lucky break came when Sony discounted Ghost of Sparta to $19.99 on PSN. I was eager to test the PSP game quality on my Vita.
Like all God of War titles, Ghost of Sparta follows Kratos on an epic journey throughout Greece. While the places and enemies are familiar, players are given new weapons and magic to play with. From projectiles to a spear and shield, Kratos has a slightly new feel in terms of combat. Make no mistake, this is still mostly a button masher. The environments are standard for the series. There is a mix of climbing, balancing on robes, and zip lining. What I love about the series is how it incorporates Greek mythology. There is a section where Kratos comes upon another poor soul from Greek fables: King Midas. Who desires gold so much the gods grant him the ability to turn all he touches into gold. Even his own daughter. Kratos uses Midas to manipulate the environment so he can progress towards his path. Love him or hate him, Kratos is all about himself. The beauty in all God of War titles is the incorporation of Greek Mythos as necessity rather than just to be cool. Ghost of Sparta nails it.
A critical issue with the game is Kratos the character. There really isn’t anything enviable about him. So as he quests to find his long lost brother – a character new to the story that at this point is on its 4th iteration – I care very little to see the story through. A fatal flaw that plagues most games that sacrifice story for any reason. I’m not saying this was a cheap PSP title, it does stand out as a very good portable version of a PS2 series. Consequently, I can’ t be too hard on the game. But the voice acting is atrocious. I don’t know anyone who could do a worse job than this cast. Kratos is fine – no problem there. But everyone else….seriously?
Overall, this is a fun title that will give you 5-7 hours of initial gameplay. So if you play it on the Vita, have your AC power handy 🙂