So, how does Chains of Olympus tie in to the rest of the God of War storyline? Well, the game hasn’t made much of a ripple in the series, but its effects can be seen here and there:
- We now know exactly why Atlas was so mad at Kratos in God of War II, although his reason was entirely explained during their dialogue. Atlas helped Kratos almost immediately afterwards, proving that even though someone had chained you to the world and forced you to bear its weight for all eternity, you shouldn’t burn bridges.
- In God of War III, Hades was still bitter about Kratos killing his wife. Then again, Hades did list a lot of other reasons why he hated Kratos.
- As mentioned before, Helios appears in God of War III. He tells Kratos that he hasn’t forgotten about his rescue from Atlas. Kratos proceeds to violently murder Helios.
Basically, Chains of Olympus had a negligible improvement on the overall storyline; God of War could have arguably been the same without it. On the other hand, Chains of Olympus did add a bit more confusion to the original game in the series:
In God of War, there’s a large area of the Temple of Pandora known as the Challenge of Atlas. Inside, there’s a statue of Atlas, depicted as a guy with a robe and a beard, holding a giant sphere. Now, I could ponder whether or not the world in God of War was actually flat, but that would be beside the point. If you examine the statue, it is described as “ancient”. Kratos served the gods for 10 years, and made Atlas bear the world during that time. I don’t think “less than a decade” is synonymous with “ancient”.
- Hades helps Kratos out in God of War, giving him the ability to summon an army of souls. At this point in time, Hades seemed really cool with the fact that Kratos killed his wife.
Because this prequel had barely any impact on the rest of the series, I find it to be unnecessary; it’s as gratuitous as Eos’s nipples. The game plays more or less the same as any other God of War title, but it is nowhere near as engaging or cathartic. I can see the appeal: if you’ve enjoyed any of the other God of War games, then you’d probably want more of the same. If that’s the case, then I’d recommend that you play one of the other games on a harder difficulty setting, rather than play Chains of Olympus.
I’d like to conclude my bloated rambling for this game by discussing trophies. When Chains of Olympus was ported over to the PS3, trophy support was added. Trophies are, of course, little awards dispensed by the PS3 whenever the player accomplishes certain feats. Chains of Olympus frequently doles out these accolades, even when nothing is accomplished. Furthermore, the names given to these trophies suggest that they were written by a college intern, or one of the programmers’ kids. Here’s a selection of some of the trophies that can be awarded:
|Trophy||How to obtain|
|All Beam Walks Completed||Complete the only beam walk in the entire game.|
|Persian History X||Defeat the Persian king. This is a reference to American History X, wherein Edward Norton kills a Persian king with a treasure chest.|
|Morpheus Defeated||Push a flaming cart to the other side of the black fog. Apparently, this defeats Morpheus.|
|Almost There…||You get this one just for running down a chain, shortly before climbing out of Tartarus. Nothing was really accomplished here. Perhaps they had some spare trophies lying around?|
|Old Softie||Fail to pry Calliope from your leg for a solid minute. When you inevitably succeed in pushing the small girl away from you, you will receive another trophy (Dead Beat Dad), because both of these are accomplishments.|
|Cool Story Bro.||From the creators of such douchebag platitudes as Haters Gonna Hate and Deal With It comes Cool Story, Bro! This phrase is most often invoked to dismiss something that someone doesn’t want to comprehend, usually because it’s more than 7 words long. As for the trophy, it is awarded to you after the third time you watch the unskippable cutscene where Persephone and Kratos fly up to the top of the pillar. In other words, an award for dying, and repeatedly watching a cutscene. Think about this for a second: the original PSP version didn’t have trophies, and they made additional modifications for the PS3 release. By adding this trophy, they are acknowledging that this sequence is annoying, and yet they could have easily changed it to skip this cutscene after Persephone kills you. And to top it all off, they had to name the trophy Cool Story Bro. This is an uncharacteristically sophisticated act of douchebaggery.|
|Hades Needs a New Wife||Who says he does? Did you see how he treated his last one? Maybe Hades should hold off on the wives for a while.|