It's not the instant classic you'd expect from an outing with Kratos himself, but the mechanics and ambition are enough to make it a viable distraction from all the Greek God murdering.
The moment you see a needless dragon roaring upon a fortress wall, you realise Tehra Dark Warrior is gunning for Kratos' throne. Sort of. While it has the ambition of a God Of War epic, it's clearly aware that it can never meet the same execution - Sony Santa Monica threw $40million into crafting God Of War III, and Ready At Dawn are likely to break the bank in terms of PSP budgets when it comes to Ghost Of Sparta. Tehra Dark Warrior, therefore, is a cheap alternative.
Concocted around the premise of century-long wars, Urka'h's, and mystical lands - Tehra Dark Warrior's plot is merely a distraction to the action. A reason to run around cutting people up with a sword. We're fine by that.
The world and art-style is fairly generic. There are orcs, there are skeletons. Your protagonist even, is a digital stereotype - a gaudy half-being with penchant for showing flesh. It's clear Tehra ain't keen on breaking the mould with any area of its presentation. It looks sharp on both the PSP and PS3 though, with some decent animation and clear textures.
The world and characters are simply a means to an end though, really. This is a hack and slash game, and you'll spend most of your time doing exactly that. Hack. Slash. It gets repetitive, but even the holy grail of Kratos can be accused of that. Tehra's gormless but enjoyable. The combat never exactly feels exceptional, but smacking skeletons in the head never really gets old, does it? You'll also get magic attacks and access to new abilities by collecting Mana from fallen enemies.
The game includes two main modes: Story and Challenge. Both involve hitting things on the head. Challenge mode feels a little more varied than the story by its very nature — here you'll be tasked with survival missions of differing circumstances, among others.
Tehra's open about what it is trying to be and is never anything more than that. It's a poor-man's God Of War, and it never assumes to be anything more. But it's a playable experience for little more than a few quid, and it's pretty hard to understate the few hours of entertainment it could provide. If you like God Of War, and you want to check out something cheap to fill the void between now and Ghost Of Sparta, you could do worse. Just don't go into this thinking it is God Of War, 'cos then you'll be disappointed.
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