For most PlayStation 3 owners, today's download is the first opportunity to see and play Heavenly Sword. However brief, the experience does highlight some of the combat differences between Ninja Theory's forthcoming epic hackumup and the God of War series; namely an inability to jump (except at key moments with a touchy Sixaxis jerk) and a focus on defense and counter-attacks (some, but not too many, with accented camera angles). Still, the demo is cramped into three small game spaces (outdoor "rooms" separated by timed-press rope running), with one that lacks anyone to maul, and another that's cut maddeningly short.
After the five minutes are up, the naysayer won't be convinced that the "Goddess of War" plays up to the Kratos-sized billing, unless perhaps he watches the included trailer, which launches from the start screen (note to demo makers: less trailer, more chop-chop, swing, slash, hack). For the rest: here's to enjoying these same five minutes over and over -- and over and over -- again for the next 40 days!
Does the demo do its job? Well, our itch is still itching. (Joytip: try picking up something -- or someone -- with the X-button, and then press and hold X again to control the airborne object with Sixaxis motions.)