Review by Zylo the wolf
"Just like many other Ps2 classics, this game didn't really impress me like I hope it would..."
When the first Sony Playstation was new Sony tried to give the company a mascot that could represent it's company, and since platform games where hot during that time we got Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon, Spike the Ape catcher e.t.c, but none of them really stuck and the system went on without a mascot. The same thing seemed to happen with the Playstation 2, until very late of it's lifetime when God of War was released, and since action games are the "cool" thing in these days Kratos quickly became just as important to Sony as Masterchief was to Microsoft and now only 5 years after it's release the series is now up to 6 games. Today God of War is considered to be one the absolute best games the Sony Playstation 2 has to offer, a system which are by many considered to be the best gaming system of all time. A man in the ancient greek fighting mythologhy monsters in a more brutal way than what we are used to in video games really was a great move to get popular, but is it worth all the praise?
Normally I save what I dislike about a game at the end but this time I have to start with something bad because the this is how the game begins. The mighty warrior jumps of a cliff in order to commit suicide. No this is not the ending of the game or a game over cut-scene, the game actually begins with that the character tries to kill himself, and then a narrator talks about why the mighty warrior commit suicide, and the player are going to play through the whole game just to find out why a spartanic warrior decided to commit suicide instead of dying in a battle just like how every warrior is supposed to do.
I admit that I'm a bit unproffesional here because I played through the first part of the game two years ago and then came back and finished this year, so I don't remember exactly how Kratos got in contact with the warrior Goddess Athena who is the only one who can free his spirit. In order to do that he must prevent the God of War Ares from destroying Athens. In order to do this Kratos must escape from Athens, and go out in the desert to find the temple where Pandora's Box lies and bring the box back to Athens and use it's power to kill Ares. During the whole game we get to know more about Kratos's life, which is actually more interesting plot than what I expected from a hack n slash, who would've figured that the only one who didn't fear Kratos was his wife?
Instead of being a typical barbarian that either uses a twohanded sword or a gigantic axe Kratos fights with two chains with two blades at tip attached to his body, and can swing them in at one line of enemies and cause a lot damage or he can swing them and do damage to even more enemies. Just like other popular action games like Ninja Gaiden and Devil May Cry, it's possible to perform combos and you get even more points from the enemies if you can hit the enemies more times without stopping doing damage to them. Except from using his chains, Kratos will also learn a couple of spells that will help a lot in some situations. I think it's optional but later in the game you can also find an alternative weapon.
When you have defeat an enemy you will get points, which can be used to either increase the power in your weapons or in your spells. Since I'm a guy who tries to not use "magic" in games against regular enemies and save it for the boss fights I maxed the weapon I used the most before I even used anything on the spells, and then I had to learn the hard way that the final boss is very difficult with this weapon and that I've maxed the wrong spells to so my advice is that you think really carefully before you use any of these points.
One cool thing in this game is that it really shows the advantage of so called quick time events. When some regular enemies are about to die you can grab them and press the button that comes up to the screen and Kratos will kill it in a more fun way than just normal attacks, and you will also get more points if you kill the enemies this way. At boss fights it's very important that you press the correct buttons when these quick time events are possible, because they will do a lot more damage on the bosses and if you screw up by either doing nothing or pressing the wrong button Kratos might even take damage instead of the enemy, and we don't want that to happen do we?
Speaking of the boss fights, they are by far the thing I liked the most about this game. Instead of just button mashing on the boss, I had to figure out a strategy to not get hit to much while doing regular damage, and then figure out what I'm supposed to do to deliver that thing that does a lot of damage to the boss. This was also the most difficult part of the game, unlike the puzzles. I can only think one puzzle that I had any trouble to solve, the others felt like they were only there to make the game different from a random hack n slash, very few of these puzzles forced me to think.
But the most annoying thing that absolutely makes no sense is all these chests which contains either green or blue light that either refills Kratos's health or mana. They can be found everywhere in the game, even in battle zones. My problem with this is that Kratos, the man who is supposed to be the ultimate human warrior takes 5 or 6 seconds to open these chests, try to open these chests when you are fighting 6 or 7 monsters.
As I said before I really like the boss fights, but there are only 3 bosses in this game. Since they were all so fun, I really want to have more of those and less of all the random enemy battles were I have to kill all enemies to advance. I'm not a huge fan of all the climbing in this game either, especially when a couple of enemies shows up and I can barely move. As for this fighting in this game I really don't see why it would be better than say Ninja Gaiden or Devil May Cry. Lets face it the main reason why God of War is so popular is because all it's brutal gore.
When you beat the game you unlock some movies that shows what was supposed to be in the game but had to be cut, and I think the game would be much better with a pair of icarus wings or more platforming levels, instead of a hack n slash with a couple of puzzle movements. When I finally began to care about this "badass" Kratos, the game was over because it's only takes about 9 hours to beat, so at least I don't have to spend to much time with it. I still recommend people to try God of War, but there are games that are very similar that I like more...
Reviewer's Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Originally Posted: 07/22/10
Game Release: God of War (EU, 07/08/05)
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