You can't see it any of these screen shots, but the star of God of War is pretty good with a spear and shield, one of the angry Spartan's newest tricks in his new PSP adventure.
God of War: Ghost of Sparta is the follow-up to God of War: Chains of Olympus, a PSP game that somewhat remarkably captured the intense action and epic story of Kratos' struggle against the gods. Developer Ready At Dawn has upped the ante in the PSP sequel, set after the original God of War, with bigger bosses, like the massive Scylla, supposedly bigger in scale than anything Chains of Olympus could muster.
While Kratos still has his trademark chain blades, which I used to dispatch the Scylla in a multi-stage boss battle, he also has a new Spartan shield and spear at his disposal. The shield, of course, can block incoming attacks while Kratos has it raised. It also slows his walking speed, so you may want to use it sparingly. The shield can also reflect projectiles, a trick that will be employed in solving some of the game's puzzles.
The spear can be used as a stabbing weapon, or it can be charged and thrown (in energy form) at foes at a distance.
Kratos will also pick up new weapons and artifacts throughout his journey. In the demo I played, he found an Eye of Atlantis. A tap of the PSPgo's crosspad to the right and the Eye would fire a bolt of energy. That bolt could be aimed while moving around, making it easier to take out a group of foes.
In addition to a new arsenal, Kratos has a new set of attacks dubbed "Combat Rush." It'll let Kratos pummel his foes to the ground and throw them around. All of these varied combat moves have been well implemented onto the PSP's smaller button count, with weapon switching and spell casting performed on the crosspad.
God of War: Ghost of Sparta looks visually improved over its predecessor. In the waterlogged level I played, rain slicked across the floors of a ship and rooms filled with enemies, all of which animated smoothly.
In short, if you like God of War and loved the PSP take on the series, Ready At Dawn is giving you more of what you want. It looks sharp, plays well and adds some new tricks to the franchise. Plus, it may skip the tiresome harpy riding from God of War III! That's a bonus!
God of War: Ghost of Sparta will hit the PSP and PSPgo this fall.