Review by Mykas0
"A sequel is, in this case, good."
The first "God of War" was a revolutionary title, perhaps one of the best action titles available for this console. Obviously, players would have high expectations for a possible sequel, granting this game an higher chance of disappointing the fans. Fortunately, such disappointment never came, as this title turned out being as good as the first one, if not better.
The story starts some time after the end of the first one. Kratos is now the God of War, following the events seen in the last game, and became a ruthless ruler, invading several towns and killing everything that crossed his path. Eventually, other gods became displeased with this situation, with Athena and Zeus both intervening to remove Kratos' godly powers. Deprived of the powers he acquired in the first game, this hero will have his hands full with a new (and harder) quest, where he not only has to gain new abilities but also face unexpected events. Without spoiling the rest of the storyline, I can state that players will enjoy it, as it presents us with the same quality of the first game, putting the player in an environment and battles that can be easily interpreted as ones from Ancient Greece.
Oddly, the producers also managed to surpass themselves in many other areas. Graphics are more clear than before, without a single pixel out of their proper place and suffering of no important slowdowns. The overall environment perfectly resembles the one of Classical environments, with the hero passing across several temples and fighting lots of different enemies, which you can easily identify, as they are more detailed than before. The mythical Cyclops, for example, now has a depiction more truthful to the myths, presenting a single eye and a large muscled body, which he uses to attack the player with a huge club. Several other monsters, such as the undead soldiers or the gorgons, are also back, more detailed than ever and looking more fierce than before.
As for the sound, it doesn't seem to have notably changed. Basically, this means its quality is as good as before, fitting the game and its environment in all possible ways, with tunes that improve the quality of your gaming experience even more.
Looks and sounds are not everything that compose a game, with the gameplay playing an obvious major role. All your favourite combos, acquired in the last game, also become accessible in this one, sooner or later. Such detail, instead of turning this title into a mere re-edition of the last one, will please older fans and newer players alike, as many new functions were added to the game.
You can continue to decimate all your opponents with the very same combos as before, but with the absence of the older spells, you'll have to adapt to the newer ones, all of which have their strong and weak points. For example, Typhon's Bane, a new spell introduced in this game, allows you to strike your opponents from far away.
Kratos now has the ability to use different weapons, which you gain access to as you advance further in your adventure. Obviously, you can stick to Kratos' famous blades, but for better results you should also use the other ones, as they may prove useful more than once. Eventually, this hero even acquires the likes of the Golden Fleece (yes, the one from the "Jason and the Argonauts" myth) or the Spear of Destiny, which, despite its name, has nothing to do with the famous Jesus-related weapon.
Both these weapons and spells can be levelled up, an action that grants you extra power and new abilities, all of which will surely be useful later in the game, when you're facing more powerful foes. As before, such improvements are unlocked by spending Red Orbs, an unusual form of experience that is usually acquired both from chests and by killing enemies.
As you may suppose, battles are as violent as before, making this one of those titles that surely isn't fit for younger players. The game now seems to focus more on those action sequences, instead of presenting some of the hard puzzles that appeared in the original game. The few puzzles available here are easy to solve and there's a single place where players may get stuck, but there are also a few special sequences for you to play, where you'll be flying on Pegasus' back.
When it comes to replay value, this game has significantly more than the last one. There is an extra mode to unlock, which is hard even for more experienced players. There are a few side quests (if we can call them that...) to complete, granting you a few bonus and extra costumes, all of which can be used when you're replaying a difficulty mode that you've already completed, like if it was a "New Game +" option. Those who like less interactive content may also enjoy the extra videos, which depict how the game was made.
I must also state that this game seems to suffer from a weird flaw: depending on what version you acquire, more or less features will be available. In some countries you'll get a bonus DVD with extra contents, while others will have no mention of it. The same goes for the High Definition version of the game, which is only available in certain places.
All those people who played (and liked) the original game should purchase this one, as it is a step closer to perfection. In case you haven't played the first some, try getting both (some stores offer them in packages), as knowledge of the first game will help you understand this one's storyline.
Be aware that this game is extremely violent, and you should in no way buy it for younger players. However, in case you're willing to play it just for the storyline, like I did, try to rent it - you won't be disappointed.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 05/11/07
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