Review by Nights_Requiem
"Night's Review of GOW, warning spoiler"
In my personal opinion God of War is one of the best PS2 games out there. Here's why.
In God of War you start as the fiery spartan Kratos. Kratos is in a ship crossing the Aegean Sea when it is attacked by Hydras. The first mission, or tutorial mission, is very linear and enables the gamer to experience all types of platforming and fighting that they will experience in the game. The graphics are amazing. Light and shadow are formed perfectly.
You move on to Athens. The whole story or plot is that you have been sent by Athena to kill Ares the God of War. Ares is currently in the process of destroying Athens. Since Zeus has forbidden his children to battle, Athena has chosen you to take down Ares in her name. You learn at the beginning that Kratos has some hidden dark secret that haunts him and that the gods have offered, in reward for his services, to rid him of his shame and his nightmares.
In Athens you find the Oracle. Of course she has gotten herself into some deep trouble and you have a gauntlet of platforming to do. Once you save her, she tells you of Pandora's Box. Pandora's Box is an item that gives its user the power to kill a god. Pandora's Box was locked away in a temple which is mounted on the Titan Kronos. Kronos wanders the dessert with a mountain strapped to his back.
You leave Athens and enter the Dessert of Sorrows. The dessert was expertly made with no visibility. You must rely on your speakers and your ears to locate three sirens. Once finding them you must kill them. Their souls show you the path through the dessert. Once doing this you proceed until and nifty cut scene shows Kratos climbing the Goliath Kronos.
You learn that Kratos had once been a Spartan captain. He was the most fierce and victorious Captain of Sparta. But one day he came upon a enemy he couldn't beat. The Barbarian Army. And just as he was about to be killed by the Barbarian General he yells, "Ares! Give me the power to kill my enemies and my life shall be yours!" So Ares falls from the heavens in true god fashion and bestows upon him the powers of a god. He also receives the Blades of Chaos. Swords whose chains burn into the users flesh never to be removed.
Once on the first level of the temple you encounter the Body Burner. He is doubtful but opens the gate anyway. The temple is in two sections. The lower rings and the Upper rings. The designers were both geniuses and sickos in creating an elaborate maze where you have to turn circular walls so that a beam of light will connect with its receiver causing a large tower to extend into the sky allowing you to progress to the shorter, Upper ring. The way it is designed is flawless and beautiful. You have to pass certain gauntlets or challenges in order to open doors to the smaller rings or to enable you to turn the rings. Along the way you pick up highly detailed magic spells and exp with which you can upgrade your weaponry.
Graphics in Pandora's Temple are amazing. When you are on the outside ledges of the temple you can actually look down and see Kronos. I thought this was the icing on the cake for an already intricate and magnificent view.
You spend about 75% of the game in Pandora's Temple. There are some times when the gauntlet is too difficult or the enemies just keep coming that slow the game down. But overall you move at a fast pace. After you finally obtain Pandora's Box you get killed...game over. Just kidding. You are now in the Underworld.
The underworld is an...interesting place. All it really serves as is a final place for you to use your platforming skills and swear words. The Blades of Hades are the hardest platforming you will have to do in the game. The designers didn't even enjoy them. While you are doing all this jumping and running, you are serenaded by the screams of souls falling down from the world above. You can even see them falling in the back ground and occasionally around you. Nice touch in my opinion. You get out by way of The grave digger who you briefly met the second "level". You go on to fight Ares.
Before you fight there is a cut scene describing why Kratos hates Ares. Kratos was told to destroy a village that was worshiping Athena. The town burned as Kratos stepped into the temple to kill the inferior worshipers of an inferior god. When the dust settles Kratos cries out in despair. Ares had tricked him in to killing his own wife and daughter. The oracle of the temple curses Kratos to always have his skin whitened by the ashes of his family.
So, Kratos's fury against Ares ignites as he walks in the the arena in which you will fight the final battle. You steal back Pandora's Box in true Kratos style, use it, and become Big. Ares is surprisingly easy if you leveled all your weapons and magic accordingly. After beating him he sends you to an alternate dimension in which you have to relive that horrible night. Your family stands before you. Kratos (you) refuses to kill his family again and dopplegangers start appearing. They are easy but high in numbers. You must kill them all while protecting your family. You can even hug your family to give them some of your life. As you destroy the dopplegangers the temple/alternate dimension falls apart. You finally save them but Ares make you watch them be killed. You are brought back but you have been stripped of the Blades of Chaos. All seems lost when you notice what you thought was a bridge was actually a really big sword. You use that to defeat Ares one more time. A cut scene shows Ares bleeding profusely and then exploding.
The next scene is Kratos talking to Athena. Athena informs him that he has been forgiven for what he has done against the gods under Ares's orders. But she also tells him that the gods never actually promised to rid him of his nightmares. They say that not even a god can rid him of what he has done. So Kratos casts himself into the Aegean Sea. But the gods save him. They cannot let someone who has done so much for them take his own life. They offer him a position as the new God of War. Supposedly Kratos watches over all conflicts from there on.
You unlock several interesting easter eggs. Like God Mode. No it's not invincibility. That would be too easy. Its super hard mode. If you beat the game on God Mode you get some new costumes. Like Chef Kratos. You also get making of GOW, character graveyard, and a preview to what GOW2 might be like.
God of War is not a game i would recommend for a light gamer. There are parts where the difficulty is quite above average. Also, I wouldn't suggest it to anyone who has a weak constitution. The gore reaches unimaginable levels. Also most, if not all of the "female" demons/monsters have nipples. In the Char. Graveyard you also learn that the cyclops also was at one time designed with a very large schlong. Unfortunately this took to much to animate and it was...removed. Poor cyclops. Also there are several scenes with nude women in them. There is even a sex mini game at the beginning. You don't get to see anything, but it does give you a nice sum of exp. I would suggest taking the time to do it.
Flawless fighting system that keeps you guessing.
Glorious graphics, and high detail.
Fast paced most of the time.
Enemy and challenge difficulty almost perfectly balanced
Very slow and tedious parts between fast parts.
Easy last boss.
All and all, I give it a 9-9.5
I apologize for any misspelling/grammatical errors or offense that you may have received.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 03/06/06
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