Review by redbuck
Haven't played GoW yet? ... What's wrong with you...?
Ok, obviously there's not something 'wrong' with not playing God of War other than the fact that it's a ridiculously good game, but seriously, this is a MUST HAVE for any gamer who claims to be a hard-core gamer, or even casual. At the time of making this review, God of War III has recently been released, so I thought I'd try to convince a few people to try out the series. So, why should you not only play God of War, but actually BUY IT too? Let's find out!
Honestly, I don't think the graphics are great, but good enough to keep people satisfied. Sure, the blood looks fake, but it looks real enough to get you into the mood to do some serious damage to anyone and anything that crosses your path, and gets you in touch with your inner animal (humans are in the animal kingdom, after all). Personally, considering the creatures are from Greek MYTHOLOGY, I thought the designs were very well done and should not be criticized as being unrealistic or any other such blasphemy as I like to think of it. When you fight a cyclops, you know it's a cyclops. You know harpies when you see them, and you know the gorgons, centaurs, minotaurs, and so on. Overall, good graphics, but nothing worth bragging about.
~-~-~Sound FX & Music~-~-~
Since I listed it first, I'll get the sound FX out of the way before music. The sound effects are just great in my opinion. You can hear the roar of the ocean, the screams of humans being slaughtered, and the dying sounds of whatever the hell might have been unlucky enough to cross the path of the main character, Kratos; they all sound very realistic in my opinion. What about the music? Absolutely amazing! You get that ancient Greek feel listening to the music in this game. No rock, hip-hop, metal, or deathcore or whatever is in this game; just some ancient Greek music to pump you up, calm you down, or just keep you in the mood to keep moving forward. Fighting a lot of enemies? Got just the right music to keep you fighting, and trust me, there is a lot of killing. Searching for something? It has that too. Very slow, mysterious sounding music that fits perfectly for each situation. Fighting a boss? Let's just say you will really feel like you're fighting a MONSTER of an enemy.
Ah, the story the story. Mind you I've never been much of a story teller, so bear with me a bit here. The story may be much better than the way I explain it. Anyway, you start off watching the main character, Kratos, jump off of a cliff. You may automatically think "Wow, I die first thing in the entire game?!" Well, no. Not exactly. It's one of those moments when you get a small glimpse of the end, then get thrown back into the past to see everything that lead up to that point. Kratos serves the gods of Greece in order for them to erase the memories of making the horrible mistake of slaughtering his own family. Why'd he do it? Well, it wasn't on purpose; I'll tell you that much, but you'll have to play the game to find out the rest. Anyway, like I said, Kratos serves the gods to erase those memories, and must go on a quest to find none other than Pandora's Box.
Gameplay, gameplay, gameplay - THE most important part of any video game. As you may have noticed, God of War is an Action/Adventure game, but it takes the action to a new level. Ever go into a room and get swarmed by monsters? This has it, but it's not that you just get swarmed; you stay swarmed for a good few minutes. Perfect. }:) The gameplay is pretty simple. By pressing square, Kratos will do much faster but lighter attacks. By pressing triangle, Kratos will do a bit slower but stronger attacks. Both can be used in combos, and more combos can be unlocked throughout the game. You will also run across different weapons that have their own sets of combos, which is basically the same, but can be used for different situations. I found myself using Kratos's initial weapons, the Blades of Chaos as they're known in the first game, but did happen to use the others as well if I thought they weren't quite getting the job done. Is there magic? You're damn right there's magic! Call upon lightning from Poseidon's magic, hurl Zeus's thunderbolts at long-distance enemies, and hell, why not rip off Madusa's head and use it to turn your enemies to stone? There are just so many different ways to kill people, and rest assured that Kratos will use the most violent methods to do it with. There's also a challenge mode after you beat the game where you must defeat enemies using only a certain method, within a certain amount of time, or both. It can be easy, but quickly gets very difficult. Pretty fun if you ask me.
Well, I can't say I found myself replaying this a hundred times, but two, three, maybe four times just because of how great this game is. I replayed it simply for the different difficulty levels. I started with easy, beat it, then normal, Hard (which I believe is called Spartan), and then there's GOD MODE! It's not in all caps like that, but it looks better, I think. I'd say at least one replay for the difficulties, but more if you're a perfectionist who has to unlock everything. As I said in the Gameplay section, there's a challenge mode after you beat the game where you must defeat enemies using only a certain method, within a certain amount of time, or both. This can add a lot of hours to your play time due to its difficulty.
~-~-~Summary - Rent or Buy?~-~-~
Well that depends. If you just want to play through it once just to say you beat it, I'd say rent it because it's a fairly short game. However, if you'd like to play through it a few times, unlock the different costumes, and play the extra challenge mode after beating the game, then I'd definitely say buy it. It's probably $20, maybe even less by now, so I think it would be well worth the purchase either way. With beautiful music, extremely violent gameplay, and what I think is a very compelling story, what's not to love? I'm not really sure, but... some people just don't like it.
Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Product Release: God of War (US, 03/22/05)
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