Review by NeoNess

Reviewed: 04/06/05

God Of War: Where Kicking Mythological Booty Is Fun!

Gameplay: (9/10)
Set in ancient Greece, God Of War puts you in the shoes of Kratos, a mysterious man with a gruesome past. Once the commander of his own army, he was feared throughout the land as a brutal and murderous leader. The game starts off with Kratos standing upon the highest mountain of Greece, looking down to the sea below. The gods of Olympus have abandoned him, and Kratos states there is no hope. He plummets himself off the mountain, hoping that death would relieve him of the visions that haunt him. The game pans back 3 weeks into the past, and the adventure starts there. Not much is known about Kratos at first, but as you progress through the game, many things become known about his character and background. (The good and bad) With Devil May Cry inspired game play, God Of War could very well be the most polished action game that the Playstation 2 has seen to date.

Having been betrayed by the god Ares, the main plot of the game revolves around Kratos' journey to take down the god that has betrayed him. It is said that no mere mortal can ever even accomplish taking down a god, so Kratos sets forth on his journey to obtain Pandora's Box. A mythological treasure that is said to bestow great power on anyone who opens it. Destroying the very town of Athens, Ares is on a power-trip rampage to destroy everything in his sight. Kratos will do anything and take down anything in his path to kill the so-called God Of War.

If the storyline hasn't already suggested, God Of War is an extremely violent game. It sometimes pushes its M rating, given the intense amount of violence there is in the game. Tons of enemies are in your way trying to slow you from taking down Ares, so many gory battles will be found along your adventure. Battling consists of three techniques: Brute force, magic, and grabbing. With brute force, you use your chain-axes in various combos on the enemy until the O button appears over their head. Once pressed, you'll sometimes go into a little 'minigame' to take down the enemy in a quicker, more bloody style. (Think Parappa the Rapper, just more bloody) Some boss battles also depend on this, which is very cool indeed.

However, Magic and grabbing are a whole different story. Throughout the game you'll collect 'red orbs' from enemies and smashable stuff, that you can use to power up your weapons/magic attacks that you collect while playing the game. Each magic attack can be leveled up several times, unlocking more powerful and wide-ranged attacks in doing so. A total of 2 different weapons can be found, and those are also able to be leveled up. (Complete with new/stronger attacks and combos) The last aspect, grabbing, can be performed on almost every enemy. If you grab the enemy, you'll perform a tactic on them otherwise unavailable with normal fighting. From ripping off wings of birds, to tying Skeletons on your chainaxe and whirling them around, grabbing combos can be a pretty interesting mix-up. If the enemy won't allow you to grab them, it just means you need to wear them down first.

There's a ton of ancient Greek mythological creatures in this game, and they've all seem to come to a consensus to screw with you. Every enemy and beast in this game is legendary, and you'll most likely recognize every single one of them. From Cyclops, Hydra, Medusa, Minotaur and even Cerberus, this game has you battling each and every one of them. They're a blast to play, and every character/enemy in the game is overflowing with personality. Kratos, by far, is one of the most interesting characters in gaming history. (Just play it, you'll see)

Don't let anyone fool you into believing so, this game is definitely not easy. Each enemy's intent is on taking you down, so you'll have to choose wisely which magic/weapons to upgrade. You start off with the Blades Of Fury, but you'll find many magic attacks along the way. (And even a sword) The puzzles in the game aren't too difficult, and will never have you throwing the controller at the screen and turning amish. God Of War mixes the difficulty factor and the fun factor just right, creating a fun yet gory atmosphere to play in.

Graphics: (10/10)
The graphics in this game are amazing, and sometimes the FMVs alone look movie-worthy. Very few chances of errors occur, but when they do, it's mainly because of how much power this game is requesting from the Playstation 2. Every enemy, landscape and special effect is awe inspiring - and downright the best looking game I've seen to date.

Sound: (8/10)
Every track and sound effect in this game is top notch, and could be ripped straight out of a movie. The background music fits the environments perfectly, and will suck you into the world that is God Of War.

Replay Value: Very High
Upon finishing God Of War, a plethora of unlockables are available. From the nail-biting God Mode, to the various movies with commentary from the creators, there is very high replay value on this title. If you manage to beat God Mode, the hardest difficulty setting, you'll even unlock more stuff. Other companies should take a note. Adding stuff like this is what separates great games from mediocre games.

Good Points +
+ Great storyline
+ Incredible graphics
+ Kratos!
+ Excellent, well rounded game play.

Bad Points -
- Sex minigame feels out of place

Overall: (9/10)
Overall, God Of War is an incredible game that if given a chance, anyone is going to love this title. Although the sex minigame does feel out of place, it's not too obscure to drag down the game. With supurb visuals, excellent soundtrack, remarkable game play and killer storyline - there's nothing really bad to be said about God Of war. It's the best game to come out in a long time, and worth every penny of the $50 asking price. Rent it, buy it, do anything to play this game. You won't regret it.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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