Review by That1DudeO8
A semi-fun game, but at its heart still a button masher
This is one of those games that gets both a lot of praise and a lot of criticism that ends up falling in the middle of the spectrum. One thing I think everyone who has played this game, regardless of whether they liked it or not can all agree on one thing: it is not innovative.
The game starts out explaining the plot about how Kratos has nightmares because he killed his family, or something like that; it just feels generic like everything in the game and is really only an excuse to start hacking away at enemies with your "bad ass" character Kratos, who is possibly the most one dimensional character in video game history.
Enough about the story (or lack of), the game essentially plays as a 3D fighter and features a combo system but throughout the whole game you will pretty much only be using the same 3 combos over and over. The difficulty comes through the sheer number of enemies you will face and you will probably die a lot throughout the game. You receive red experience orbs for enemies that you kill and receive bonus orbs for consecutive hits; trying to string together the highest possible combo you can plus the variation of enemies is really the only redeeming part of the combat.
You can also use spells which you acquire at certain points in the game, usually after passing a test which consists of using that spell to kill a number of enemies. However, your limited magic meter means that you will usually only be using them against bosses or large groups of enemies, usually the latter.
The errr, adventure part of the game is really just a linear exploration game. For just taking the time to look around, you will be handsomely rewarded with health and magic bar increases (which you will need). The puzzles are easy and I'm pretty sure a 12 year old could solve all of them.
I remember playing the opening level of this game (the Hydra level) in a demo and being absolutely stunned by what I saw. I think the best developed part of this game is the graphics. God of War features a variety of different levels and backgrounds including Athens, the Lost Desert, Pandora's Temple and more; the graphics and rich environments are the only thing keeping this game from being an insufferable bore.
I know I've gone over this point before but would it have killed the developers to give the character an identify other than "bad ass". Not only does it make Kratos unlikeable, it spills over into the sound effects were you will constantly hear his grunting and yelling among the other bad ass things that he does :sigh:. I suppose not all is lost as the narrator tries to make the story some more epic than it actually is and the music during some of the larger battles is a nice touch.
To be honest, I've beaten this game on hard and am currently struggling to get through God mode, not that the game is that hard per se, but despite all the miscellaneous "treasures" you can unlock, I have no motivation to playthrough again. In fact, the whole game I could only handle in doses before saving and quiting, the game is just that repetitive.
At its heart, you know the game had the right intentions but gets bogged down in its engine, storyline and character issues. It's still an above average action adventure game, but being the premiere mythology game in the industry, you only can only wonder at what the series could have been.
Rating: 3.5 - Good
Product Release: God of War (US, 03/22/05)
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