God Of War

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God Of War
Game: God Of War
Platform: Playstation 2
Studio: SONY
Rating: 10/10

GAME STUDIO DESCRIPTION: The storyline for God of War is based in ancient Greek mythology where players take the role of Kratos, an ex-Spartan warrior bent on military success and combat. Through the course of this epic adventure, which is told in flashback – Kratos makes a pact with Ares, the God of War, in order to save his mortal life. The decision forever changes his destiny and sets in motion an irreversible series of events that drive Kratos mad and leads him down a path of revenge against Ares. Kratos will have to overcome adversity in the form of mythological monsters, legions of undead soldiers, and amazingly dangerous and brutal landscapes to find Pandora’s box and defeat Ares.

In God of War, the gameplay involves various plot twists that take the player through explosive, aggressive action fused with traps, stunts and story-driven puzzles. Featuring up to an hour of cinematic sequences and a deep combat system built around the Blades of Chaos – unique double chain blade weapons permanently strapped onto Kratos’ forearms, God of War takes the player through various environments that has them fighting fierce enemies, swinging on ropes, scaling mountain cliffs, swimming through rivers and sliding down zip lines resulting in a one-of-a-kind action-packed Greek mythology adventure.

Additional features include an extensive combat system and innovative magic system (upgradeable to three levels for expansion of weapon power and range) where the player can use Medusa’s head to freeze enemies or strike them with Zeus’ thunderbolt. God of War also features a variety of challenging levels; players can brave deadly sandstorms, explore submerged ruins, and overcome the fiendish traps of a temple built on the back of a cursed giant.

PLAY: Kratos is the monster that makes it exciting to be good and yet so bad. He’s like the Dirty Harry with the exception that he chops his enemies in half.

Devil May Cry comparisons are dead on.

There are times when its fun just to grab on to an enemy and drive a blade through them up-close and personal. But the real weapon of choice is the double chain blades. You can string together some amazing combinations that really do a lot of damage. There are long and short range attacks that allow for the ability to take on a handful of enemies at once. When Kratos has his blades flying it’s only a matter of time before only corpses are left.

There is a grand assortment of mythological enemies; cyclops, hydra, minotaur, centaur, and more. Thankfully no one enemy is alike so prepare to use the many different powers of Kratos. One very cool addition when fighting certain monsters an O will appear above the enemies head and as you press that button a mini-game will start. The mini-game is basically Kratos pulling off devastating moves on the enemy.

There are some areas that attempt to add some length to the short game (10-15 hours depending on whether or not you have a life) like tip-toeing across logs or jumping your way over saw blades. Sure, your hands will sweat because no one wants get 90% of the way through only to have to start all over. There are also puzzles that offer challenges which are as time consuming as they are difficult.

GRAPHICS: Brilliant. The world that is God of War is spectacular. Cinematic is the first word that comes to mind. If God of War were a film it would rival that of Lord of the Rings. As far as graphics goes God of War has no equal.

God of War is bloody—bloody great and splashing with blood.

From the Athens to the Desert of Lost Souls, the environments are incredible. The monsters are straight from Greek lore and are well detailed and offer both excitement and fear. The genius is in the details. Anyone that has worked their way around a graphic program knows greatness when they see it.

What? No long loading times? Wow, perhaps other game companies can jump on that bandwagon. Sony has proven that you don’t have to make us sit for five minutes while graphics load. God of War is the new precedent for all game companies for both graphics and load times.

SOUND: The original soundtrack isn’t a rewrite of other classical pieces or borrowed from other soundtracks. It’s the real deal that could, should this ever be made into a film, grace the big screen. The sound effects don’t pal in comparison and the voice acting is a great touch. Nothing was skimped on. Bravo.

FRANKLY: There are times when it seems irresponsible to nitpick about greatness. Certainly someone could argue about perfection in different genres—is the Godfather perfect? Who cares because it is certainly one of the greatest films every made. What about the Lord of the Rings Trilogy? God of War might be the video game equivalent and nitpicking seems ridiculous. Sometimes something comes along and it works so well that you must recognize its brilliance.

God of War is as perfect a game that has been released. Nothing was compromised. Not a single thing and that means brutality is left in a nature of madness. God of War doesn’t make excuses. When you make a madman into a hero he is going to act like a madman more than a hero and that’s exactly what you get.

God of War has an M rating because of the blood, gore, and nudity. Honestly, what is most appreciated about God of War is there is no stealth, no sneakiness; God of War is a game about walking straight into hell and taking everything to task face to face. Finally, video games have always given us a form of escape and never has a game so realized such escapism as God of War.

+ Richie Wright

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