Review by DanLionheart
Best PS2 Game? As far as I'm concerned, yes.
I'm quite a fan of the Action genre. I love the games and they tend to be the ones I play non stop until I complete them. I remember Devil May Cry on the PS2, and it felt like it set the bar for Action of that console generation. Then I remember Ninja Gaiden on the Xbox, and if Devil May Cry was the bar, then Ninja Gaiden was the ninja swinging on the bar and propelling itself far into the sky.
Then came God of War. If Devil May Cry was the bar, and Ninja Gaiden flung itself higher then the bar, then God of War was the bad mamma jamma that took the bar, pole vaulted into the sky, beat down the ninja, and crowned itself king. Devil May Cry is great, and Ninja Gaiden is amazing, but God of War is simply a breed of excellence that made every action game before it (including it's own sequel) have to step it up almost infinitely in order to survive. When I play any action game now, I have to compare it to God of War.
Within good reason of course. The game immerses you from the beginning with Kratos committing suicide and then the story flashes back to him being angry with Athena for the gods not ridding Kratos of horrible nightmares of his family's death. As the tale unfolds, we find the motivation behind Kratos, how he became what he is, the tale behind the blades of chaos, the grey skin, even who killed his family. You partake in an epic journey across some beautiful environments (this puts the PS2 to the test) and make your way to challenge Ares, the god of war himself, which results in one of the most interesting tales of vengeance there ever was.
Story-wise, this is very well done, especially for an Action game. If you don't recall, most of them have no story, or no non-cliche story, or just no focus. God of War isn't like that. Kratos keeps me interested. more important than the game's ability to tell a story is the gameplay, which is key for an action title. Everything is very fluid, upgrading is great, the variety of powers, moves, and weapons in your arsenal is extremely well done. The mixture of puzzles and platforming is also very welcomed and provides a nice change of pace to keep the game from becoming repetitive.
All this and I haven't touched on the replay value or the soundtrack. The atmosphere is pleasantly matched with hard hitting tones, from the menu music to the themes that play in the most epic boss fights, it's all very well done. After completing the game, you unlock a plethora of content, from behind the scenes development videos to cut storylines of Kratos' brother (which really should be done for God of War 3 or 4), to new costumes and a very challenging and aptly named mode called Challenge of the Gods.
If you have a PS2, and you don't have God of War, you're missing out on the single best title on the platform. This isn't one of those games that gets a sequel that infinitely outdoes it. You could have God of War II and would still be missing out on a lot because you don't have this. God of War is a classic, and one of my top ten favorite games that was ever put out.
Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Product Release: God of War (US, 03/22/05)
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