SCE Studios Santa Monica
Sony Computer Entertainment
March 22, 2005
M - Mature
About 20 minutes
500 KB, Playstation 2 Memory Card
God of War, a game that has been in development for three years. A game which was rated as the best PS2 game at E3 2004, and the second best overall game at E3. The story brings ancient greek mythology to life as you take control of a very dark, very angry individual named Kratos. Kratos lead the army of Sparta into battle many times, and they were victorious, but when his army is nearly suffering defeat, he begs the God of War, Aries, to destroy his enemies in return for his servitude. But when the God of War goes too far, Kratos declares revenge on Aries, and vows to kill him.
God of War sports one of the fastest fighting engines in all of gaming, and an excellent ancient greek feeling soundtrack. You will be sucked into ancient Greece as you hit the power button on your Playstation 2, and once the game starts, you will feel the rage of Kratos.
Lets get started on the amazing look of this game. If you could imagine what Ancient Greece would look like, this would be it, the developers have ressurrected the ancient Athens in God of War, and damn does it look awesome. It has the most fantastic architecture, with giant statues of the gods, and very complicated designs all over the place, and all of it is looking top notch. God of War really pushes the Playstation 2's graphics engine to it's limits, and if this is as far as it can go, I'm f*cking impressed, as this game could pass as a next generation game. The frame rate runs very smoothly, and I never once experienced any slow down, through the long epic adventure, through the intense number of polygons on screen, the frame rate never drops once. The animations are perfect, the enemies all have several different animations, and all of them look very vivid, as the characters are brought to life with this terrific engine. One thing that really stands out, are the amazing CG cutscenes, I mean, we've all seen these amazing cut scenes, but this game shows what we want to see in a CG cutscene, very intense gore. All of the blood and guts look very real, and often, your jaw will be dropped wondering how all of this gore (and NUDITY! :happy) could be portrayed so well. I praise the developers of God of War for making the best looking game on Playstation 2. Congragulations, three years of development, and the graphics don't dissapoint one bit. 10.0
God of War is programmed with a perfect suiting soundtrack. All of the music just breathes ancient greece, and it helps suit the mood so well. For example, the music becomes creepy in dark areas, faint in desert areas, and very prestigious in mountain areas. So aside from the soundtrack, what else is the sound like? Well, the voice acting is top notch. I couldn't imagine Kratos having a better voice, and the voice actor did a stand up job on him. The rest of the characters, although there aren't any other that have such a big role, all sound awesome, and the voices are suited quite well. Sound effects sound great, and althought they aren't a large focus on the game, as you don't really notice them as much, they sound perfect. From the sounds of the blades of chaos, to the insanity of the Minotaur roars, sound effects are top notch. So all in all, the sound is great. 9.0
Now let's get started on my favourite part of the review, the gameplay, a part of the review, that I feel that I write best. So here we go.
To start things off, let's talk about the best f*cking combat engine to ever grace the console generation. Yes, I said it, it beats any fighting game, any action adventure game, any shoot em' up games, and pretty much any game imaginable. This combat engine is so unbelieveably fast and brutal that you will struggle to keep your jaw closed as you command Kratos to do one of his insane combos that hits the enemy 30 times before you hit the ground. The combat engine look complicated, considering how fast it is, but it's quite easy to control. Of course it consists of the basic attacks, square for a normal attack, triangle for a strong attack, and circle for a grab. Then there's the blocking with L1, and evasion with the right analog stick, which is all relatively easy to control. But if you tie them all together, then you'll have Kratos mangling cyclopses in a matter of seconds.
Platforming is another cruical part of God of War, and the jumping and maneuvering controls are quite easy to use. Tap X for a normal jump, and tap it twice for a double jump. Kratos is easy to control while he's in the air as well, which makes it a bit easier to move around the roatating meat grinders that you'll eventually encounter. So that put Jumping and Combat on the perfect list. Let's move on to the more intellectual part of God of War.
Just like Prince of Persia, God of War has a number of puzzles and mini games. You'll definitely get stuck at least once in this game, and you'll have to think about the solution to the puzzles, as you explore the depths of the game. There is even a Tetris-esque puzzle that you'll encounter late in the game, which was a very cool bonus, for all of you tetra-holics that spent hours and hours mastering the maneuvers of one of the greatest puzzle games.
Another aspect of the gameplay is the magic system. Throughout the game, the gods will grant you different magics, such as Posiedon's Rage, Medusa's Gaze, Fury of Zeus, and the Army of Hades. Posiedon's Rage unleashes an explosive amount of electricity that attacks your enemies multiple times. Medusa's Gaze turns your enemies to stone the longer the gaze lasts, and you can break them apart with a strike of your blades. The Fury of Zeus shoots a lightning bolt from your hands, which is very useful for killing out of range opponents such as archers. Lastly, the Army of Hades, the last, and greatest magic you'll recieve, unleashes the souls of the underworld upon your enemies, which is very useful.
So there you have it, the gameplay mechanics of God of War, and I'd go as far to say as the gameplay is perfect, not great, not amazing, but perfect. 10.0
God of War lasted me about, 10-15 hours the first time through, which was on Normal, which should be the time that it should take the average gamer to conquer the game. But once you beat the game, it's not going to get boring at all. You unlock all of the Treasures of Olympus once you beat the game, not ot mention you unlock God Mode, Challenge of the Gods, and Deleted Levels. You can even watch the making of God of War, which is a very interesting development. Not to mention that once you beat the game, you'll want to play through it again, just to experience all of the insane challenges, and the insane quest to find Pandora's Box. This game will last you a long time. 9.5
God of War is the best game on the Playstation 2, it surpasses all of the greats, and it will easily go down in the books as one of the greatest gaming accomplishments of the decade. I recommend a buy, but if you're not up to it, then I strongly urge you to rent the game. Because not renting the game is like taking meat out of your diet, you're totally missing out. So in the end, you definitely need to play this game if you own a PS2, it's a great excuse to clean off the dust that's covering the system, and pull out that old controller. Do it, do it now.
Overall Rating: 9.9