Review by Mr RockMan

Reviewed: 03/24/05

Its not for everyone, but those its for will have a hell of a time.

God of War is an action/adventure title with a Greek theme. The story doesn't seem all that complicated at first. Aries is throwing a tantrum and burning Athens to the ground. Something that Athena isn't quite happy with, nor are the other gods. So the gods call upon the service of a Spartan by the name of Kratos to find Pandora's Box and use its power to defeat Aries.

Story 7/10

The main quest of the game is spelled out at the very beginning. The parts of the story that unfold throughout the game center on the backstory of Kratos himself. The game dishes out the info on Kratos little by little but its nothing too impressive. The creators of the game aren't bashful about the liberties they've taken with Greek mythology which might upset those looking for a more historically correct experience.

The voice-overs in the game are done very well, and the narrator is none other than Oscar winner Linda Hunt who does an exceptional job of setting the tone of the game with her voice.

A brief advisory, I hope you like the color red. Because you'll be seeing A LOT of it in this game. Its very, very, very violent. Its MA rating is well warranted. Also for some reason the developers felt the need to include some bare breasted women, nipples and all. There's only about three of them in the entire game if I recall and they're only around in the very beginning. So short is their appearance that one has to wonder why they were even included in the first place?

Such an inclusion seems more immature to me than mature. Two of the three exhibitionists are laying in Kratos' bed with him at the start of the second level by climbing onto the bed and pressing circle Kratos can initiate a sexual mini game that results in an increase in the experience the game uses to upgrade weapons.

Nothing is shown mind you, the camera moves to the side and you press buttons until a vase is shaken off the bedside table. All right, you've been officially warned. Lots of blood, with a dash of nudity for no apparent reason.

Graphics 8/10

They're nicely done. The game uses is own blurr system to smooth things over but I would recommend that you turn that option off because the game actually looks better without it. There's very little in this game to complain about graphically if you could find anything at all. The only thing I could complain about is that the Heads Up Display is rather simplistic and looks kind of out of place when the production values for the rest of the game are taken into consideration.

Sound 10/10

The game comes with an option to download the soundtrack for free, and again this is something that I recommend you do immediately. It is exceptional. A wonderfully orchestrated experience if I do say so myself. And I do. The second you walk into an area you're going to have a grasp of the kind of experience you'll be having there from the first few notes in the background music. It does that good of a job of reflecting whats going on in the game.

Gameplay 8/10

Kratos main weapons are a pair of blades attached to chains that are seared onto his forearms. Attacking with the Blades of Chaos, as the game calls them is a thing of art. Kratos' movements from one attack to the next are smooth and fluid and easy to get the hang of. The button set up isn't anything out of the ordinary for the most part. Square is attack, Triangle is hard attack, X is jump, Circle is grapple, and holding down L2 and pressing Circle uses one of Kratos' four magical attacks that will become available to him.

The grapple button and its related features are where God of War begins to deviate from your typical action/adventure title. After enough damage is done to a foe the circle button will appear over their head thus enabling Kratos to grab them and preform a finishing move of sorts [Most of which are rather, how shall we say....mean]. On minor foes, just the simple press of the circle button then another button to determine which finishing move you want to use. On the larger foes this escalates into a sort of mini-game with buttons appearing on screen in sequence and at random. Succeed in pressing them all and Kratos dispatches the large foe with its own custom death scene. Finishing foes this way nets him more experience to use in powering up his weapons and magic and will also cause some enemies to release life and/or magic at the same time.

Speaking of the upgrade system, here it is. Kratos' weapon can be enhanced up to level 5 which gives more damage and additional moves for him to use with each level up and each spell can level up to level 3 increase the spells damage, attack radius and sometimes granting it a secondary feature. Increases in maximum life and magic revolve around collecting 6 of a specific item for each. Experience for the upgrading of Weapons and magic is found by defeating enemies and inside chests located in out of the way spots in some areas.

Replay Value 7/10

All in all you'll be able to finish God of War with nearly all of your equipment at their maximum upgraded level in under 10 hours easily. Finishing the game once on any difficulty unlocks most of the special features the game has to offer. Kratos also has some different costumes to wear on your next outing. A plus game option however was not implemented for some reason and you really have to wonder why?

In Conclusion 8/10

God of War is very fun, but its also very short and after its over you'll be left wanting more. Its a definite rental by any means. Paying 50 bucks to keep it? Thats up to you and I hope my review has helped somewhat in that regard.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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