God of War Review

Disclosure: We may earn a commission from links on this page

Developer: SCEA Santa Monica Publisher: SCEA
Release Date: March 22, 2005 Also On: None

The gods have bestowed upon me the talent of review writing. A path was chosen by the gods, to enlighten those ignorant of a game’s content. It is no coincidence that the gods gave me this talent either: they wanted an insider to write the review of a game based on Greek mythology, and give it a high score for the god of gaming, Sony.

God of War tells the tale of a chosen warrior, a Spartan named Kratos. Kratos, who lie on death’s door, was given a second chance by Ares, the god of war. In exchange, Kratos became Ares’ servant, the ultimate warrior, whose Blades of Chaos dismembered and debilitated thousands of foes.

Kratos’ blades are emblazoned into his skin by metallic chain. The dual swords can be wielded lethally to incapacitate anyone foolish enough to get in your way. Combo attacks can be pulled off using the face buttons, combined with L1 for a second level of attacks (which must be unlocked through upgrades). Later, you will gain a larger sword for which you can damage your enemies even greater.

Using the power of the gods, you can do one of four special moves that require blue magic orbs. Pressing the directional pad in the way of an ability, press L2 to use one of four abilities. They include a summon spell for souls from Hades, Zeus’ lightning bolt, Medusa’s freezing power, and Poseidon’s Rage, for which in a small radius, all enemies will be damaged.

The powers that Kratos will receive, like the Blades of Chaos, can be upgraded with red orbs. An upgrading system allows you to buy weapon upgrades, which in turn gives you a stronger weapon, and in some instances, new moves. Red orbs, like green orbs (health), and blue orbs (magic) are obtained through chests, killing enemies, etc.

From the moment you pick up God of War, you will feel right at home with the controls. I myself am not a big fan of memorizing combo moves. For this game, I not only forced myself to learn every move, I wanted to learn them all. You could just as easily win the game without the finesse that most players will display. If you are going to play, why not play with style? It is like dribbling a ball in for a lay-up. Sure the point will count, but you want it to look as good as possible.

The first level you start off in will throw you directly into the action against the undead minions of Ares. You will slice, dice, spin, and split your way through the army of the dead as you just as enthusiastically will be attempting to kill the Hydra. This multi-headed beast will be quite literally pierced to death by the end of the level.

Among other mythological creatures that you will encounter are the undead army, Minotaur, Cyclops, Gorgons, Harpies, Wraiths, Cerberus Dogs, Sirens, Centaurs, and Satyrs, among others, including Medusa, whose head you obtain relatively early on in the game, for which you can turn others into stone temporarily.

The structure of God of War is straightforward enough. You combat whatever enemies you face between one point and the next. Your overall goal is to defeat Ares, who is attempting (and succeeding at) destroying Athens. By the time you reach the point where you see Ares destroying the city (third level or so), you are nearly done with the city.

In fact, most of the game takes place within the temple holding Pandora’s Box, which is needed to defeat Ares. The temple is filled with quirky surprises, deadly disasters, and a large array of puzzles. One of my favorites had you solve a jig-saw type puzzle using Tetris-shaped stones. You will rearrange them; twist them, etc., until they fit perfectly against the wall. If you do not have a somewhat imaginative brain, God of War’s puzzles may be more challenging than the combat.

There is relatively little backtracking, though I would classify it as more of an intersection of paths. The type of response you will have throughout the game is, “oh, now I know why that was there?” So while there really is no backtracking per se, you will run across some of the same areas, but only to complete something that was left unfinished. The design of the game is seamless. It flows much better than I could ever imagine.

How do the graphics hold up? The narrative is near Hollywood-quality. The visuals are awe-inspiring, as this is one of the best looking PlayStation 2 games on the market. I would go so far as to say it rivals the best across all platforms this generation. Even better, the frame rate remains steady, and the fixed camera angles will rarely, if ever, get in the way of action.

Be warned though: this game is not meant for children. The violence, and soon-to-be infamous sex mini-game (I guess you could call it) are all testaments to the intended audience of 18 and older. It leads you to ponder why the Adult Only rating is never used, as it probably should have been on this game. Suffice to say, if you are of the intended audience and do not find the infinite violence and sexual openness offensive, you are going to have a hell of a time with God of War, because it is a hell of a game.

Greek mythology geek or not, you are going to love this game. I am not a mythology geek, nor have I ever been inclined to reading Greek mythology. I have found a renewed interest in it due to playing God of War. The action is intense, the puzzles will bend your brain, and the storyline will keep you enthralled. If you can only buy one game this spring, God of War should be your pick.

Graphics: 10
Sound: 9.5
Gameplay: 10
Creativity: 9.5
Replay Value/Game Length: 8.5
Final: 9.8
Written by Kyle Review Guide

Leave a Comment