God of War (Playstation 2)  » Games  »
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  • You hit your enemies, you block or dodge their attacks, you avoid getting hit
  • I know that at the time this game came out, this type of gameplay was not as terribly abused as it is in games today, I still find it to be an unnecessary piece of busy work
  • There are some that I actually enjoyed while others that just made me groan, like the very first puzzle of the game

    • by Richard Coombs

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      Greek mythology is a fantastic venue for creating games. While their morals are slightly skewed, the myths do lend themselves well to epic battles and great creatures and heroes. While games focusing on this subject have been around since near the beginning of the industry (Altered Beast and Gods come to mind) the most famous of all games using this setting nowadays is the God of War series. And, of course, we start with the very first game in the series.

      The game is the heart-wrenching story of Kratos, a Spartan warrior who, after leading his army into a battle they cannot possibly win, is forced to become a slave to Ares, the God of War, which led to him committing many terrible acts, including murdering his own wife and daughter in a fit of blind rage. As penance, he gave his life to the gods and now works as their servant, basically heeding any commands they make. His most recent task: find a way to kill Ares, for good. I love this storyline a whole lot. It has great elements of love, loss, betrayal, and fall from grace that were so prevalent in most Greek myths of the time. Add to it, Kratos is one of those people who can’t really be called a hero in the true sense of the word. He’s willing to kill, murder, and destroy anyone and anything that stands in his way, including innocent people. He’s a character that’s very hard to cheer for, but at the same time, I can’t help but feel sympathy for him. He’s pretty much been forced into a situation that

      requires him to be bloodthirsty if he wants to reach the end of his quest. Besides, let’s not forget that most heroes in this sect of mythology weren’t really averse to taking innocent life for their own quests.

      The gameplay is relatively simple because this is pretty much a straightforward hack and slash adventure. All your enemies are creatures of the mythos, such as harpies, gorgons, satyrs, and hydras. You have a light attack, heavy attack, you can upgrade your equipment, learn special spells, and are thrown into dozens of life or death situations that require you to mash the attack buttons as much as you can. I will admit, this pretty much exactly like the Devil May Cry series. You hit your enemies, you block or dodge their attacks, you avoid getting hit. The one difference is the implementation of fatality moves. After damaging an enemy enough, a button prompt appears above their head. Getting close to the enemy and pressing the circle button will start off a short minigame sequence where you have to press the button shown to you, or end up being on the brunt end of a counter attack. Completing the sequence will often result in the instant death of the enemy. In fact, there are certain monsters (especially the bosses) who can only be killed by successfully completing these sequences. I know that at the time this game came out, this type of gameplay was not as terribly abused as it is in games today, I still find it to be an unnecessary piece of busy work. While it’s fun at first, I quickly got tired ...

      • of it by the end of the second area.

        But the quicktime events are not as annoying as the puzzles in the game. Now, none of the puzzles in this game are brain-busters, and if you’re a halfway smart individual, chances are you won’t ever really get stuck on any of them, with the possible exception of a few puzzles on the Cliffs of Madness late in the game. Now, these puzzles can actually be a nice reprieve from all the fighting and hacking and blood and gore, but there are several sections of the game where there are several puzzles in a row, leading to the game grinding to a very sudden halt. The puzzles in this game are pretty much a love or hate aspect. There are some that I actually enjoyed while others that just made me groan, like the very first puzzle of the game: Babysitting a wooden crate that I have to push across a ship deck while demonic archers fire flaming arrows at me from a distance.

        Moving away from the more annoying aspects of the game, allow me to say that the graphics in this game are phenomenal. Every single character is given boatloads of detail and personality, to the point where even the most minor enemy is just such a joy to look at. Their movements and animations seem so natural that you wonder if they motion-captured animals to get some of the sleek movements of creatures like the gorgons and the Cerberus. If there’s anything that is more fun to look at than the characters, it’s the environments, which look amazingly authentic. From the

        high roofs of Athens to the catacombs of the underworld, you feel like you really are in ancient Greece, during a time of great turmoil, but also great artistic beauty. One could wonder at some of the more steampunk elements of some of the areas (flamethrowers in the temples, for example) but suspension of disbelief is easy to give to a game like this.

        The music is also masterful, with very powerful emotional pieces, and some stunning orchestral interludes. While the music compliments the game perfectly, I can’t really see myself listening to the music casually, mostly because it’s just not the kind of music that I listen to very often. But that aside, it compliments every situation perfectly, to the point where the game calms down and you have a moment of silence, you notice it, and you really miss the music. Voice acting is in the same tier of excellence, with even the most minor character given a whole lot of personality just through those few lines they are given. Kratos, especially, is a joy to listen to, just for the intensity in every line he delivers.

        This game gets a hearty recommendation to me. It has a fantastic story and while the gameplay can get rather repetitive, it manages to hold onto a level of high intensity from start to finish. If you’re a fan of Greek mythology, hack and slash games, or just tragic tales in general, you should at least give this game a rental. It actually ends itself well to that format since the main quest is only about six hours long, and is really easy to find, very cheap.

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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in March, 2012. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 282031567310331/k2311a032/3.2.12
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