Review by Derkin
"Wow... really... wow."
Its great when a game that isn't a sequel or prequel of some well known franchise comes out and blows you away. A game that literally sinks it's hook into you within mere minutes of starting up your system. GoW does that. A simple control setup yields insane combos that look beautiful and deadly. The story brings you back to the ages of the Greek gods. Zeus towers over men and gods alike while Athena is forced to watch as her beloved Athens is destroyed by her own brother, Ares.
Kratos, plagued by memories of his past, receives a request from Athena to kill her brother. Zeus forbade the gods from going to war amongst themselves and the Athens Oracle predicted that only a mortal trained by the gods could stop Ares.
I truly enjoyed the gameplay. The controls worked very well with the game, they handled well and, even in their simplicity, allow for an insane multiple of combos nearly all pure fighting games miss out on. Throughout the game you learn more skills and spells as well as improving on those you already know. It also has a few features that are similar to platformers. They all fit in nicely. Double jumping, hopping wall to wall and puzzle solving. A lot of the puzzles are pretty basic, you can figure them out after a single run around the area.
As far as the story goes, different people will hold different opinions about it. I find Greek mythology to be quite interesting so I'm really enjoying it. Others might find it to be boring, to each his own. The war of the gods, the mythological creatures and weapons bring a nice change from the usual WW2 and demon fighting stories we're getting used to.
The graphics look good, fighting animations are smooth and look gorgeous. The cutscenes look even better. Enemies look as detailed as they do vicious and the humans look proportional. The reason for the 8 is well, after playing Metal Gear Solid 3, not much on the PS2 can compare graphically. A bit biased, I suppose. Nonetheless, it does look good.
This game sounds great, the sound effects and background music are awesome. Voice acting is a step above most games out there. They sound genuine which is a nice change from the usual forced, amateurish voice acting most games employ. Sony did a something which is pretty unheard of, they're offering the entire soundtrack free online. Thats saying something since the soundtrack is pretty damned good.
Replay value: 6
Replay value is generally the downfall of most action/adventure games. They try to offer extras through either massive item collecting or completing the game on different difficulties or both. GoW has a handful of unlockables, all of which are obtained through finishing the game on Normal/Hard. A couple more are only attained once you finish the game on God difficulty (Very hard). Only a certain group of patient and dedicated gamers will feel the need to finish it on each difficulty.
Buy or Rent?
With this question I usually say: Rent it and decide. The game doesn't have the replay value to keep you hooked for months. I like owning my favorite games no matter how long they'll hold my interest. In the end, you need to decide.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 03/25/05
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