"How easy is too easy?"

God of War had the makings to be one of the greatest action games ever. Mixing classic mythological characters with intense action and platforming sounds like the recipe for a great game but unfortunately it fails in multiple ways to live up to its reputation.

Gameplay - 7/10

How easy is too easy? Thats the question that I asked myself as I played this game. We all know how frustrating a game can be when it is to difficult but a game is just as frustrating when it is to easy. The game relies on the fast/powerful attack combos that we all know and love, with one button being devoted to fast but weak attacks and one to powerful slow attacks. Not exactly original but if done correctly it wouldn't be too bad. Unfortunately the developers made the difference in speed extreme and the difference in power minuscule which basically means that you can mash fast attack throughout the whole game to dispatch every single enemy (at least on the first two difficulties, I didn't have time to play god mode). With the exception of maybe two enemies, all your foes will rely on the same basic short range melee attack to dispatch you, which wouldn't be a bad thing if your range wasn't 10 times the range of their weapons, meaning you don't have to ever put yourself in danger. There are some classic action game staples for you to fall back on. You do receive a number of weapons/abilities, most of which are extremely fun to use and innovative to say the least. You can also upgrade them through the collection of red orbs (surprised...right??). The platforming is well done, and surprisingly the camera caused no problems for me (wow never thought I would say that in a review). I thought the game could have used more puzzles, but the few that they have are very original and entertaining. Unfortunately the testing of this game was apparently rushed since it contains a number of gamestopping glitches. So I would suggest making it a common practice to keep multiple save slots. Now that thats all said I will say that this game is fun to play. There will always be a certain charm about a game you can pick up and play without an extreme learning curve. The bosses (though there are only three) are very well done and will have you on the edge of your seat. One of the things that really bothered me though was that you never really felt like you were making any headway, you spend 75% of the game in a single location with a single objective. There's nothing more frustrating then the feeling of going nowhere in a game, and thats exactly the feeling this game leaves you with.

Sound - 9/10

No complaints really. An uninspired yet fitting musical score will set the mood perfectly for this games locale. The voice actors were excellent. This was the first game I played in a long while where I didn't cringe everytime there was a cutscene for fear of bad dialogue and acting. Kratos VA fit his character perfectly and was a good choice.

Graphics - 10/10

The graphics in this game are fantastic. All the character and enemy models look extremely good down to the last detail. The game runs at a very high framerate with no slowdown even with a dozen enemies on screen. The environment is well detailed and will really make you believe you are walking through ancient Athens, or along the mountaintops. Most of the cutscenes are done in a "still frame" manner which is a nice change from the usual action game art style.

Plot - 5/10

This is where this game really starts to fall apart unfortunately. It's one thing if you borrow Greek mythology and use it correctly, its another when you take it just so you can say "look we have Greek mythology" and then use it however you want. Anyone even vaguely familiar with the Greek stories will be throwing their hands up in anger over the desecration of classic characters. Even if you can get by that, the plot is still little more than your classic "double cross...time for revenge" story. Ares is running rampant through the city of Athens, the gods for some reason don't want to interfere (though according to Greek mythology, basically all they did was interfere with humans). So they ask for you, a mere human, to defeat Ares. Looks like its showdown time. The plot is not without its high points but on a whole it is average at best.

Overall - 7/10

Don't believe the hype, this game is certainly entertaining but it isn't the masterpiece that it was made out to be. The lack of a new game + (where you start the game with all the items you found last time through) makes the replay value very low, but I would recommend that you at least rent it.


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 04/19/05


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