Review by Mr_Socks
"Simply put, the best game I have ever played"
Seeing as I am not yet 17, I had my brother pick up this game for me last year. It is one of the only games that I can continue to play over and over again. God of War combines all of the elements that make a good game to make a great game. It has a compelling story, great graphics, fluid game play, awe-inspiring music, short loading times (and very few at that), and to top it all off great replay value. My only complaint with this game is the length, about 8-10 hours on your first play through. The replay value makes up for that, however.
Last year at school we studied a little bit of Greek mythology. I fell in love with the subject and when I heard that God of War was coming out I knew that I had to play it. I heard that it is very gory, which it is, so I knew better than to ask my mom to go to the store and pick it up for me. So I had to wait until my brother came home from his house which was about a month after this game came out. So before I jumped out and bought it I decided to see what the professional reviewers and fellow gamers had to say about it. I was amazed at what I saw. Never had I seen a game (that I wanted to play) get such great reviews. I borrowed a friend's demo that came with one of his gaming magazines and beat it 5 times. It was time, my brother was coming home, and I could finally get the full version of this game in all its glory.
From the moment I put the game in my system until I beat it the fun never stopped. My brother and I got it early in the afternoon and stayed up until 2 in the morning playing it. That, was only the beginning however, I would play and beat God of War many more times. To this day I am still putting this game into my Playstation 2. Now, let's get down to the details. I'll try to not spoil anything for you.
Story: The game starts with Kratos, the anti-hero, standing on top of Mount Olympus. He says "The Gods of Olympus have abandoned me, now there is no hope", and jumps to his death. Then the game starts with a screen saying 3 weeks earlier. You then unravel the epic story of Kratos, and you soon learn of the rage that is in him. Without spoiling too much, Kratos was a captain of the Spartan army. His numbers quickly grew and he considered himself invincible. It was that pride that took him to a battle he had no hope of winning. Just as he was about to die, he called upon Ares, the God of War, to save him. Ares killed his enemies and made Kratos his warrior. Kratos trusted the God of War, and did many tasks for him. Ares then tricked him into a sin that would then haunt him for the rest of his life, and Kratos vowed to kill the God of War. I can't tell you any more, for perhaps I have already said too much. You will have to play the game to find out how this incredible story ends.
Gameplay: Just sheer fun. You wield the Blades of Chaos, which are blades attached to chains that are permanently grafted on to your arms. This makes God of War very unique. As you level up your blades you learn new moves to use with them. It can be said that this game is a button masher, but that just depends on your style of play. I am playing on God mode (very hard) and there is no way to survive by just simple button mashing. You need to carefully use your attacks and block or dodge just at the right moment or you will die very quickly. It makes the game much more fun if you use different combos. You also will obtain the Artemis blade, which is a very big, very powerful sword you can use to defeat the minions of Ares. A normal game would call it a day after giving you those great weapons, but God of War is not a normal game. You also have 4 different types of magic to help you on your quest. You actually start out with no magic but earn those techniques later on in the game. I have never seen a game with better boss fights than God of War. There are only 3, but each one is unique and amazing in its own way.
Warning, the following sections contain spoilers about the bosses in God of War. Skip down until you see the end of spoilers sign if you wish.
The Hydra: This is your first boss battle, which takes place about 15-30 minutes into the game. Right before you set off to face this treacherous beast you meet Poseidon, and he gives you your first magic skill. You are now able create a wave of power around you, damaging everything that gets in its path. As you level up this skill you will be able to do more damage each time and it had a much bigger circumference, making you capable of damaging everything on the screen at once. Now, back to the Hydra. In this battle you have to fight 3 sea-monsters, 2 at the same time, and then the final Hydra by itself. I can't spoil what makes this boss fight creative; you'll just have to find out that by yourself. I can tell you the feeling you get when you fight this creatures. They are huge! You'll think to yourself there is no way you can defeat these beasts. With each kill of the monsters you'll smile, knowing how awesome those kills were. Then you fight the big one. You can feel its power from the minute you start to fight it. When it roars, the screen even blurs, just to let you know how powerful the Hydra is.
The Minotaur: Your second boss battle, taking place near the end of the game is just as epic the first. This Minotaur is huge; you come up to its ankle! It is also covered in armor. You have to carefully dodge all of its attacks and completely unload your greatest attacks/magic you have to break off the armor. After his armor is off, he is filled with rage and his attacks will come faster and you have to dodge even quicker and start to damage him all over again. After he is severely weakened, you get to perform a stellar finishing move on him. Sorry, I'm not going to tell you, go play the game.
Ares: The final boss you face is the God of War himself. This is a three part boss battle and is very difficult on high difficulty settings. Ares shows you his complete form and shows you what it takes to be the God of War. He uses a huge sword and has many tentacles on his back that will fly out to hit you. He also uses magic, some similar to yours, others completely unique. You beat him, good job! Oh, oh, wait. The game's not over yet. Ares has sent you into a portal where you must defeat tons of your clones. Some will use the Blades of Chaos, and some will use the Artemis blade. Sounds easy, right? Wrong. I won't completely spoil it for you but you have to protect people in this fight, if they or you die then its game over. After a few tries and maybe throwing your controller occasionally, you'll finally beat all of the clones. Hooray! Oh, wait, that's right, you have to fight Ares again. Only this time, you don't get to use any of your magic of even the Blades of Chaos. That's right; Ares tears them from your skin. What are you to do with no weapon? Quickly you'll spy another sword that can be used to defeat Ares, seeing as you can't use the Artemis blade either. In this final battle you play tug of war with your life. You share the same life bar and the more damage you do to him the more life you'll have and the less he will and vice versa. This is no easy task, at least on harder difficulties, for he does massive damage to you and it seems that you do little damage to him. After many tires, you will finally kill the God of War.
End of Spoilers
Sound: A great game isn't complete without great music, and if you remember me saying it before, this is a great game. The music really sets a mood for each level. And, unless I'm mistaken, I remember hearing about God of War winning awards for its music. There is also very good voice acting. The voices are not the best I have ever heard but they still definitely add to the game as a whole. Kratos particularly has a great voice actor, Terrence Carson.
Replay Value: The replay value is what truly makes this game amazing. As I mentioned before, it's pretty short, so it needed something to counter that. The replay value definitely makes up for it. Upon completing the game you unlock the Challenge of the Gods. There are 10 challenges total, ranging from breaking pots, to killing the most challenging enemies in the game to make the small platform you're standing on rise, so you can reach the final platform. These challenges will test your skills but will ultimately pay off. If you complete the Challenge of the Gods you will unlock 5 alternate costumes for you to play in, each with their own enhanced skill. Some can be kind of weird, the cow costume mainly, but others are rather neat, such as the Ares armor. You can't use these costumes on God mode, however, but that's a good thing seeing as they would most likely take all of the challenge out of God mode.
Bottom Line: Buy this game! You will not regret it. Anyone with a Playstation 2 that does not have this game does not know what true fun is. Sure, there are many other great games that you can play, but this one is at the top of the peak in gaming today. Nobody should miss out on this game.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 05/30/06
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