Every day in the United Kingdom, we spend approximately 2.5 million pounds on coffee. I, like many others, think nothing of walking into a high street coffee shop and spending three pounds on my Massimo, Double Shot, Skinny Gingerbread Latte; so why do people baulk at the idea of paying that for a mobile game? I’m Professor Kelvin Harris, Codec Moments’ resident scientist. I am on a mission to document interesting games that cost less than your cappuccino, which might entertain you at home, on your way to work, or even during your coffee break. This week’s game for the ‘Cost of a Coffee’ is Gameloft’s Hero of Sparta which we played on the PS Vita in PS Minis format.
A few years ago, cloning was the in thing within the scientific community. Funding was thrown at cloning projects of all sizes and shapes, from cells to sheep. I even got a grant because I used the clone tool in Photoshop, repairing an image for the application. It seems that Gameloft have employed a lot of the up and coming researchers in this field in recent years. Modern Combat, Nova and Backstab clearly share some of the original genetic material of Call of Duty, Halo and Assassin’s Creed respectively. If you’ve never played a God of War game, Hero of Sparta has so many similarities that it’s uncanny; from the way enemies spawn out of holes in the ground, to the quicktime events, this game reeks of the Ghost of Sparta. If you have ever played a God of War game, imagine a lower resolution, clunky version with an even less interesting story and you get a pretty good idea. The real fun is in the simple combat and upgrade system. Combat consists of combos and blocking and is even complete with magic abilities. Basic attacks and blocking are helpful in one to one encounters, where power combos and QTE’s make boss fights more manageable. Collectibles are hidden crystals (if by hidden you mean on the path in front of you as you walk along), which upgrade your health and magic when collected.
The game is rather ugly compared to some of Gameloft’s other titles, but that shouldn’t detract greatly from the experience. Some people might consider cloning popular console titles a cheap move, which takes advantage of peoples desire to play their favourite games on their phone or tablet. In truth, I don’t think that it’s a bad thing at all. Hero of Sparta allows players to engage in a brutal Spartan battle, where they are tasked with dispatching beasts and uncovering the mysteries that the world offers. You also get to play as the King of Argos, whom I can only assume is the ruler of a chain of catalogue shops in the United Kingdom.
Hero of Sparta is available on iOS, Android for £2.99 and as a PS Mini for £3.99; of course with the God of War collection coming to the Vita this year you might want to hold out for that and enjoy your brew, rather than shell out for the lo-fi alternative. Much better though is the HD offering on Android and iPads, which at the same price as a Massimo Hazelnut Latte gives you a bit more polish for the price of your poison.
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