Developed by California-based Ready at Dawn Studios, God of War: Chains of Olympus serves as a prequel to the God of War series and marks the first time the series has appeared on a platform other than the PlayStation 2.
Holding true to the PS2 originals, the gameplay remains essentially unchanged, with the exception of rolling being mapped to the shoulder buttons to compensate for the PSP’s lack of a second analog stick. The core gameplay of hacking through enemies and bosses and finishing them off in brutal Quick Time Events remains the same. New weapons have been added such as the Gauntlet of Zeus and the Sun Shield. New magic spells such as Charon’s Wrath, Light of Dawn, and Efreet have also been introduced.
The game also served as an unofficial announcement of the upcoming PlayStation 3 title God of War III by including a teaser image on the back of the instruction manual. The page consisted of the God of War “omega” logo in the background with a PS3 style 3 with “coming soon” at the bottom.
The game begins as Kratos, who is a servant to the gods of Olympus, is sent to the city of Atticus because he is in
servitude to the gods at this point to help defend against a invading Persian army. A fearsome Basilisk and a large army has laid siege upon the city when Kratos arrives. Kratos makes his way through the city when he engages in battle with the Basilisk in what be the first of many encounters. He is able to injure it by damaging one of its eyes and the Basilisk escapes. Kratos then fights his way through the city until he encounters the Persian king who boasts about the might of his army and the fearsome basilisk that he has unleashed. Kratos challenges the king to fight and severely injures him. The king tries to bribe Kratos with money, power and women but Kratos refuses and the player is allowed to finish off the king by beating down on his face with a chest. After defeating the King and acquiring his magic, Efreet. He continues through the city and finally finds the Basilisk again and finally kills it.
As Kratos begins to leave the city, he witnesses the sun abruptly drop out of the sky, leaving the world in darkness. Curious about what just happened, Kratos makes his way to the crash site from where the only light still left is emanating. As he makes his way to the crash he passes through the city of Marathon where there is a dark fog that has started to seep through and is starting to fill everywhere. He makes his way through the fog with the help of light and finally makes it to the crash site where he finds the Sun Chariot of Helios that houses Helios’ temple. Here Kratos is informed by Athena that the God Helios has been kidnapped and without their master the steeds that pull the sun chariot have driven the chariot into the ground. She further explains that without Helios’ light to keep him in check, the god of dreams, Morpheus’ fog has taken hold of the world causing everyone to fall asleep, even the gods. She orders Kratos to find Helios before the whole world falls asleep and is lost.
He fights his way through the Temple, where he finds a statue of Eos, the goddess of dawn and Helios’ sister. She tells him that she needs his help in finding Helios and shows him how he can reach her cave in the temple of Olympus. When Kratos finally reaches her she explains that the Titan Atlas has escaped Tartarus and has enslaved her brother. She states that Helios has great power that can not fall into the hands of a titan. She tells Kratos that if he can get the steeds back up they will find where their master has been taken and if Kratos does this she will ask Helios to talk to the gods and have his nightmares removed. Kratos is not very optimistic about the Gods keeping their word but decides to help her as it will protect the world from destruction. Once Kratos brings the steeds back up they pull the chariot to the underworld, from where he makes his way to cross the river Styx. The ferryman, Charon, does not allow him passage, Kratos challeges Charon ultimately dropping him into Tartarus. There, Kratos escapes and finds the broken chains of Atlas. He climbs back up to the ferry and defeats Charon. Kratos takes the ferry downriver to the Temple of Persephone, Queen of the Underworld. There he sees his deceased daughter, Calliope. He chases Calliope to the gardens of the temple, where he meets Persephone. She tells him that he must decide between his daughter, and the world. Kratos, knowing that his daughter will perish with the world and himself, pushes her away painfully. He goes to stop Atlas, where Persephone stops him. She wants Morpheus to succeed, knowing that she will be freed of eternal life if he does. Kratos kills her and chains Atlas up, keeping him to hold up the world forever. He fulfills the gods wishes and returns Helios to the sky, but he is not satisfied, knowing that he will truly never be freed from his nightmares, and never see his beloved family again.
Metacritic score: 91 (2008 PSP Game of the Year)
GameRankings average: 91%
VGChartz sales estimate: 1.81 million sold (as of July 2009)
IGN: Best of 2008
GameSpot’s Best Games of 2008
GameTrailers Game of the Year Awards 2008
1UP 2008 Readers’ Choice Awards
Blades of Chaos
Blades that are connected to Kratos by chains that are fused to his arm. Was given to him by Ares after he asked him to grant him power in order to defeat his enemies.
Gauntlet of Zeus
Kratos gains this weapon later on in the game. Unlike the blades of chaos, it is a more close range weapon and more powerful.
This shield not only allows Kratos to block incoming attacking but if timed correctly allows Kratos to return back projectiles thrown back at him.
Gained after defeating the Persian King, unleashing Efreet results in a flame blast that burns everyone around Kratos.
Gained after defeating Charon, this magic spell unleashes a green mist around enemies which continuously damages them for fixed period of time.
Light of Dawn
A projectile ball of light is thrown by Kratos allowing him to damage enemies from far away
The game also includes a challenge mode with six different challenges that require you to do such things as kill a certain number of enemies without being hit or kill enemies whilst your health is draining. Completion of these challenges will unlock various things in the ‘Treasures’ menu.