God of War (NA)
God of War: Chains of Olympus’ story takes place before the first God of War game on the PlayStation 2, which is a little confusing because you find yourself trying to remember just what had and hadn’t happened in Kratos’ twisted life at the time of the first game. At this particular point in the God of War timeline, Kratos is a general whose sole purpose is to serve the gods of Olympus. During the course of Chains of Olympus, the gods’ orders create a certain moral dilemma for Kratos, and he finds himself faced with the decision of whether or not to do the bidding of his gods or do what is best for him. The story doesn’t play a prominent role here, but this is God of War, so all you really need to know is why Kratos is pissed off so you can go off and slaughter mythical creatures with reckless abandon.
With few exceptions, the combat in Chains of Olympus is just as you’ve come to know and love. The controls are tight and in general quite good. Learning to evade attacks requires a bit of an adjustment, given that you need to hold both of the shoulder buttons and then move the analog stick, but you get used to it and it works fine. Kratos can make light and heavy attacks using his blades of chaos, and you can perform combos by pressing specific, simple button patterns. Eventually you’ll get your hands on a second weapon, the Gauntlet of Zeus, which is essentially a giant glove that Kratos can use to pummel his foes. It’s a great addition to Kratos’ armament and a ton of fun to use. It’s just too bad that it’s the only alternate weapon in the game. Magic is a bit limited as well, but you’ll eventually acquire a few other abilities. Most useful to us was the first one you get, the efreet, which damaged all nearby enemies; the other abilities were of little use. For every successful kill, you’re rewarded with red orbs that can be used to learn new attacks as well as upgrade weapons and magic. Once again you can find hidden treasure chests that contain red orbs, as well as others that offer gorgon eyes and phoenix feathers.