When it was revealed that God of War was heading to PSP, fans went into an excited, cold sweat. This, after all, is the action game on PlayStation 2 right now. Better news was to come when Sony revealed that its new star developer Ready At Dawn was coding the game - Daxter is still one of the best platform games on any console.
After such promise, the biggest compliment we can pay Chains of Olympus is that it plays exactly like the two God of War games on PS2. Granted, not the most memorable description, and certainly not a poster quote in-waiting, but when you consider how utterly brilliant God of War and God of War II are, then it's exactly what we want from a handheld version. The "if it ain't broke..." maxim definitely pays off in this case.
Not that it's content to simply rehash the same story and levels. The game is set before God of War but after Kratos was tricked by Ares into killing his own wife and daughter - a tragic event that made him pledge his allegiance to the Gods of Olympus for the next ten years. And when we say "allegiance," we mean slaughtering, butchering and mutilating thousands of enemies under the charade of some crusade. Nice work if you can get it. The teasing tagline reveals that Kratos will be forced to choose between personal redemption and saving the world - some choice eh? - and so we're fully expecting Chains of Olympus to pose as many new questions as it fills in the blanks.
In typical God of War fashion, the prequel opens with a spectacular battle sequence. Kratos watches from a rooftop in Attica as loads of Persian boats and soldiers arrive to lay siege - the latter immediately scaling the walls. As with the Colossus boss battle at the start of God of War II, Kratos must use a ballista to destroy the ship, at which point a hole is blown in the roof of a nearby building providing a handy escape route.