Review by Sour DieseL
"Five Years Later, Still an Awesome Game!"
In 2005, Sony released another one of their first party games, which, up to this point, had been pretty mediocre. But God of War was actually very well received, to the point where it might as well now be considered Sony's major flagship title, the hero, Kratos, being Sony's Mario to Nintendo. It's been five years since the initial release and the original two games even ended up getting ported to the PS3. God of War will stand the test of time as perhaps one of the greatest Sony games of all time, and David Jaffe's second money-making brainchild (the first being Twisted Metal). The game features thrilling epic action with great storytelling, and a soundtrack that provides the perfect atmosphere. The masses have always been drawn to epic Spartan warriors, and Kratos is the greatest fictional one of them all.
Story 10/10: You play as Kratos, the protagonist of the game and subsequent sequels and prequels, and midquels between prequels. We open with a sequence of him jumping off of a cliff, and the narrative begins. Kratos was a Spartan warrior who dutifully served Ares during his time as a Spartan soldier. However, Ares tricked Kratos into kill his own wife and child. Once Kratos had realized what he had done, he renounces his servitude to the God of War, Ares. The Goddess Athena approaches Kratos and tells him that if he can kill Ares, he will be forgiven of his past misgivings. Already being motivated by revenge, Kratos begins his mission to take down the legendary God of War. He must seek out Pandora's Box, which gives any human the power to destroy a god. The Temple of Pandora sits on the back of the Titan Cronos, who wanders the Desert of Lost Souls for all of eternity. Kratos will have to fight his way through the temple and receive the power of Pandora to destroy his former employer. Many of the cut-scenes are very Frank Miller comic book-ish in style and the narrative is fantastic.
Gameplay: 10/10: Kratos has been bound by Ares to weapons known as The Blades of Chaos. These are almost like second arms to Kratos. They are blades bound to chains, which are bound to his body. The combat system feels really fluid and the controls are easy to pick up, and easy to master. You run around with the left joystick and the right joystick changes your camera angle. It's a really fun and gory hack and slash adventure that you won't soon forget. In addition to the basic combat system, there will be quick time events where you are prompted to press certain buttons at certain times to help you achieve your goals These moments are usually during boss fights. This often involves a lot of button mashing but there are some parts where there is a rhythm to it. And in addition to using your Blades of Chaos to mow enemies down, you'll also get various spells from beating bosses that can often attack more enemies at once. There is also a finisher that can be performed that will score you more points to but more spells and upgrade your current weapons (The Blades of Chaos aren't all that you get for weapons).
The game's other strengths come from puzzle solving. This should feel very familiar to Zelda and Soul Reaver fans. You'll have to solve puzzles and riddles to make it to your next destination. So aside from the hack and slash gore-fest that is God of War, you'll actually have to do some thinking. So all together you have tons of gory hack and slash action with a bit of problem solving. That's the thing about this game, it's really simple and really fun. The game does thankfully have a difficulty setting and you'll definitely want to play it on the hardest mode for a good challenge, especially in the end game, trust me on that.
Graphics: 10/10: God of War's graphics look absolutely fantastic. You'll love the Frank Miller-esque cut-scenes and the in-game graphics are nothing to sneeze at. The visuals are clear and crisp without really any pixelation, which really smooths the game out. There's never really any lag either no matter how many enemies are on screen. The visuals flow smoothly and are very pleasant to the eyes. The environments are detailed beautifully from skin texture to every brick in the walls. The gore is aplenty and it's fun to impale, decapitate, and overall tear your enemies into tiny bits. Everything in this game comes through crystal clear and is presented wonderfully. It looks even more fantastic on the Playstation 3 re-release. You definitely won't be disappointed with this game if all you care about is graphics, though, you shouldn't be disappointed at all with this game anyway because it really is a masterpiece.
Audio: 10/10: The music is very atmospheric and it's upbeat when it needs to be, such as during epic boss battles. There's a reason why this game is so tauted for it's soundtrack, and that's because it's so great. It's both orchestrated and primal sounding, with choirs chanting various latin phrases. The voice acting and narrative is also all done very well. The sound effects of the monsters are also fantastic. It's just all-around awesomeness like the rest of the game and you won't be disappointed. It's something you've got to hear for yourself.
Overall: 10/10: God of War Is one of the greatest PS2 games of all time and perhaps one of the greatest video games ever, some might claim. One thing's for sure, it is definitely a fantastic game and if you've got a PS2, go ahead and get this game! If you've got a PS3, pick up the re-release set of 1 and 2 for even better graphics! This franchise is worth owning without a doubt, so what are you waiting for? Go ahead and snag yourself a copy today.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 05/17/10
Game Release: God of War (US, 03/22/05)
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