Review by Darkv1

Reviewed: 03/28/05

God of the Awesome

There have not been many games based on Greek mythology, and to put it nicely the ones that have been have not been that good…or in the case of the series of games based on Hercules, sucked period. It was about time that a good game based on Greek Mythology came about, and that is what God of War delivers.

First to set something straight, many people classify God of War as a hack and slash. Well…to a point that is true, but I would move to say that the game plays a lot more like Ninja Gaiden. Yes that’s right, I made a reference to an Xbox game in a PS2 review, holy crap! Sorry, now to get back on topic. The style of God of War is not really like many of the hack and slashes.

The fighting system actually resembles that of the Lord of the Rings Games, you gain extra points for getting massive combos and you have a combo meter which tells you how many hits you have gotten. This is also similar to the karma system in Ninja Gaiden. So you take your points, or I suppose you could call it XP (experience points) and use them to upgrade your weapons and magic.

Earlier I mentioned that the game was based on Greek mythology. With that said some people may think that you will just be playing a series of well known myths … wrong. God of War, while being based on Greek mythology, does a superb job of presenting an original story. For a quick overview of the story, you are Kratos, the ultimate bad-ass Spartan, who is on a mission to kill the God of War, Ares. To accurately describe Kratos, I would say the following: take Rambo, give him swords instead of guns, and put him in ancient Greece.

Gameplay is linear to a point but there are puzzles and other things, like breaking though obstacles, which keep gameplay from getting too repetitive. Another good aspect of the gameplay is the pace. This game throws you into a no holds barred, kill anything and everything that gets in your path, bloody slaughter fest from the second you get into the game. The gameplay is definitely exciting. I mean what other game has you going head to head with a Hydra, quite literally, in the first five minutes? This game has had some of the best excitement value I have ever seen. If you want to get your adrenaline pumping, play God of War.

The controls of God of War are quite good. You don’t run into the problems of many games where a button does like 50 different things. The controls are simple but effective. There is, however, no roaming camera controls. This messed with me at first but the camera never really seems to be a problem. The only place I have seen it be a problem is if you have to walk across a narrow beam or something. When platforming it is always preferable to able to center the camera behind your character, but God of War seems to control fine without free camera controls.

Next on the list to review is graphics. The first thing I have to say is wow. These are some of the best graphics I have ever seen on PS2. I would say that the in-game graphics rival those of Metal Gear Solid 3. The cut scenes on the other hand are by far some of the best I have seen. The game looks good and for the most part the game also runs smoothly, and yes I said for the most part. There are some minor graphical bugs in God of War. One of these bugs is being horizontal tearing. In some areas, mainly hallways there sometimes will be horizontal tearing as well as possible texture flicker. This though is not enough to detract from the experience.

Another huge plus to this game is the near complete absence of load times. The game does not stop to load areas very often, and when it does, the load time is very short. This is great for a PS2 game because most of the time I quickly tire of staring at loading screens for minutes on end.

The game’s musical score is fantastic. The rich orchestral music and the choirs in the background really help pull you into the experience. Combine the music with all the familiar creatures from Greek mythology and add a kick-ass hero, and you feel like you are in Clash of the Titans…only with a gore factor similar if not exceeding Gladiator.

One word of caution about this game: It is not for kids. This is a very adult-oriented game. There is a crap-load of gore and nudity. In fact, while on the topic of nudity and sexual content, there is actually a mini-game where you can have sex to gain upgrade points.

The only large problem I had with this game was the fact that it uses save points. The game does have a checkpoint system so if you die you never really start too far away from where you were. However, the game doesn’t save at these checkpoints. This means that in order to save and quit your game, you need to play to the next save area. This majorly sucks ass because I have seen save points twenty minutes or more apart. To me, that is a hell of a lot of game to redo. I frown heavily on this because many games now allow you to save and quite exactly where you are, or they save you at specific checkpoints, or they have game saves which are quite close together. This means that the game doesn’t work too well if you only have short bursts of time to play it.

In closing, I will say this. God of War is one of the best games I have ever played. It defiantly makes my top ten. The game is for the most part superb, however there are flaws with the save system that I didn’t like as well as there were some graphical flaws. I am giving God of War a 9 out of 10.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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