"Lives up to its expectations in my book"

Basically, I was one of the people who had been looking forward to this game for quite some time before it came out. Upon finishing the game, I have to say I am not disappointed with it.

The most important category first: Gameplay: 9
It seems that this game has caused quite a bit of controversy since its release not very long ago in terms of how good the gameplay is. Everyone wants to compare the game to something like Ninja Gaiden or Devil May Cry 3, but it is neither of those games. God of War is a fun game with a good combat system, and it's easy to get into. I feel like the best comparison I can make is that it reminds me of Prince of Persia: Warrior Within, but the gameplay is much easier to get into, and the combat is a bit more fluid. There is no blatant flaw in the gameplay unless you try to compare it to another game. It does what it does well. Different combos are more useful than others for certain situations. The magic abilities, while not a main part of combat, help in adding a good variety to the gameplay, as well as provide the turning point in a sticky situation.

This game is made for basically anyone. It is simple enough for a new or casual gamer to pick up and play, but it is complex and difficult enough for a frequent gamer to maintain interest in it. The incorporation of a button combination and timing system that occurs at key moments in boss fights and sometimes in smaller battles as well keep the gameplay from getting stale too quickly from massive button-mashing, and reward the player with cool death animations, for the most part. The only thing I had a problem with in the gameplay category was the length of the game, which I will discuss below.

Graphics: 10
I think the graphics are among the best seen to date for the Playstation 2 console. Not only does it show the nicest looking graphics I've seen in a PS2 game in a while, but it also uses many original models for different mythological creatures in the game. Ultimately they combine to provide one of the most aesthetically pleasing game possible given the brutal nature of the game. Also, a warning, there is nudity in this game. It is not excessive, but as a warning, just know that there are nipples to be seen before playing the game as someone who might be offended, or around someone else who might not appreciate it. The blood and gore is expected from a game like this, so there is no warning necessary.

Sound: 9
In a great movie, sometimes you don't even consciously notice the music in the background. This has been the case for me with God of War. I felt that the music fit so well that it was not even something to take specific interest in until I actually realized that I wasn't noticing it.
The sound effects are good as well, though I didn't think they were spectacular or anything like that. The voiceovers were very good, in my opinion, as well, so I give God of War a 9 in the sound category.

Story: 10
The story was introduced much like a movie. The first scene begins with Kratos, the protagonist, stepping off the edge of a cliff, exclaiming "The gods have abandoned me." The narrative then begins and flashes back to three weeks before this attempt to take his own life.

The story unfolds gradually, with the explanation of what his mission is, and why he is such a troubled man. The influence of games like Twisted Metal: Black in the storytelling is apparent in some of the story scenes, which makes sense as Dave Jaffe was one of the main men involved in both projects. Ultimately, the story is brought forward at just the right times, not overloading at any time, and not leaving the player with too little information, either.

Extras/Replayability: ?
The '?' rating is hardly ever used anymore, if you ask me. Honestly, this one is up to each person. The game has many unlockables, including a look at many of the models and levels that didn't make it into the final version of the game. The challenges are fun to do, and can be rather difficult. God mode is a way to turn up the difficulty if you thought Hard wasn't enough of a challenge.

If these things interest you, the replayability/extra features should get a 9 or a 10. However, if you are the extreme casual gamer, who would not be willing to play through again since you lose all your stats from the last play through, it may be the situation that the game deserves a 6 or a 7 in extra features.

All in all, the only flaw I've seen in the game is that it is relatively short. My first play through, with no help of any kind, took approximately 9 hours. Depending on how much of a gamer you are it may be less or more. However, if you are only going to play it once through, I would suggest this game as merely a rental. If you intend to look at all the behind the scenes videos, and do the challenges and play through God mode, this game is probably worth a purchase.

Ultimately this game gets a 9/10 from me.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 03/28/05


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