You are Kratos, and you will MURDER the God of War!
God of war is an over the top fighter / platformer that will keep you glued to your console. Its not just the gameplay, which is awesome for this genre, it the total style that will absolutely suck you in.
Style and Graphics:
Think Greek mythology, you know satyrs, minotaurs, gorgons. Think of that mythos, jealous gods fighting over petty things which larger than life consequences. Now, add some attitude to that mix. No, add some super attitude that will chop you up and grind you into some hamburger meat. That is this game and that is Kratos.
Kratos is the center of this game, and you are going to learn a lot about this guy. He's bad, I mean tougher that any stinking junkyard Cerebus. He's mean and nasty, and if you get in his way, he won't mind sticking his nasty weapons in you. Thank goodness he is only interested in killing Aries, and only some of the nastiest versions of your favorite Greek monsters are in his way.
And these are not your claymation monsters from Clash of the Titans. These beasts come straight from hell and are made that way with powers that fit well to the combat ethos. Minotaurs are big and strong and love to slash you, Gorgons are quick and snakelike, but will often try to turn you to stone with their lovely gaze you must avoid. And harpies are annoying enemies that will drive you crazy when you need to concentrate on more difficult enemies. And the Cerberus and Cyclops are as big and bad as ever. Meeting Aries is almost a let down after defeating all those other enemies.
And this style is never laughable, never falters. It holds you up and grabs you and makes you actually sympathize with what you might consider a monster of monsters, Kratos.
Kratos is a bad ass, and he gets a bad ass weapon. He fights with two serrated blades that are welded to his hands with chains, so you can throw them quite a ways and still have them for your next fight.
You use those chained swords and magic to kill your enemies and gather red orbs from them. The more you get, the more experience you can add, so your skills in magic and weapons increase, making them stronger and adding new combos.
And, you'll need those combos, as each enemy is different, requiring different fighting techniques. You also will need to block as well, but be careful. The block key can unleash some of the most powerful combos, as well as a devastating parry.
But enjoy, for the battle promise to challenge you, especially the end fight. Its a well made ending that never feels cheap, though you will be screaming at the screen at times trying to finish it.
The music is very good, especially the main theme which never gets too tiring. It adds to the action without overwhelming. The sound effects are good and visceral, sometime too gross. The sound of swords hitting stone or wood is well differentiated, and using a large siege crossbow sound every bit as difficult as I'd imagine. Finally, the voice acting is superb, especially Kratos and the Narrator. I love the narrator, as this is a voice that fits with a movie on Greek mythos and truly sets the tone.
I'm impressed with what they did with the PS2. They really pushed the limit on this, though sometimes that creates problems. Each visual is well designed and harsh as is needed for this game. Each place feels super real, and some of the amazing scenes, such as seeing Aries for the first time, crushing armies with his feet, are just amazing to behold. You can't believe this is not a PC game if it weren't for the limitations.
And the cut scenes are well worth it. You'll want to see them all again at the end of the game, with great visuals and voice acting. They really are as good as any Squaresoft title, with much more of an edge. It really is like seeing a movie between the gameplay.
There is little I did not like, but here it is anyway.
The graphics can sometimes overwhelm the PS2. Sometime scenes can blur if too much action is going on. Other times cut scenes won't appear for a few seconds.
Also, the second to last level is completely frustrating and gets boring. You will die a lot because of cheap gameplay where one misstep leads to your fall to doom. Really, tough it out because the finale is worth it.
Finally, the game can be too violent. There are cut scenes where soldiers are bursting with blood like a bad pimple. One or two times seeing this is enough, but they show such scenes over and over, really feeling gratuitous and not mood setting.
ADDED AS EDIT: I forgot one other bad thing that may drive the short of time a little mad. The save spots can seem somewhat arbitrary. You can finish a big battle, only to find no save space until much later. It’s not too bad in the main game, as you will discover all the areas between saves can usually be done in under an hour with practice. But, the Challenge of the gods will drive you crazy as it takes quite a long time without a save spot, especially when one of the challenges takes a half hour by itself. I just left my console running so I did not have to fight through all the challenges again and again to get to the difficult one
The Bottom Line
You are Kratos, and you Will kill the God of War.
It’s a simple premise, but aaaah, it so much more than that.
You will be fighting on the edge of your seat, desperately trying to make it to the next save spot. And you will love every minute of it. It’s a grand, bloody, heart pulsing epic, and it’s worth every penny you will pay for it.