God of War
Reviewed by Didi Cardoso
Review Date Platform Genre Rating Production
2005-07-15 PS2 Action/RPG M (Mature) Sony / SCEA Santa Monica

Greek mythology is a fascinating subject. I have read a lot about it in the past, but unfortunately I don't remember many of those stories. God of War came as a nice memory-refreshing tool for my long-lost knowledge of Greek legends.

The protagonist of the game, Kratos, is an ex-Spartan warrior who has promised himself to the service of Ares - the Greek God of War - in return for his life. Of course Gods are tricky, and Ares' gift of strength and power consists of two blades chained and fused to Kratos arms. With the great strength and power of the Blades of Chaos, comes a sad tragedy: Kratos kills his wife and child, their ashes permanently embedded onto his skin, giving him the pale appearance.

The story begins with Kratos leaping off a cliff into his death and rewinds to a few weeks earlier, the scene taking place on the Aegean Sea, where ships are sinking and sailors are being chomped on by the Hydra. It puts you right where the action is from the start.

At first glance, God of War looks like your regular hack and slash, but you soon find out that there's a lot more to it. Mashing buttons results in spectacular attacks, combos and violent finishing moves.

It's amazing to see how the attacks work for different types of enemies, since there are different animations for each. For instance, you attack a harpy and rip its wings off; you finish off a Minotaur by stabbing it in the mouth; you grab skeletons and swirl them around before tossing them like a rag doll. The same applies to spell casting: if you petrify a flying monster, it will turn to stone, fall and crumble into pieces.

You can also attack while climbing scaffolds and vine-covered walls or hanging on a rope, even pull your attackers right off tossing them to their deaths, or smash their heads against the walls.

Include a good dose of pushing crates, dodging deadly traps, balancing on beams, using gigantic crossbows to knock down walls and a human sacrifice here and there, and you can clearly see this is not your regular action/adventure.

If you like blood and gore, this is the game for you. If you like hack and slash types, this is the game for you. If an involving storyline is your main reason to purchase a new title, this is the game for you. If Greek mythology fascinates you, this is a game for you. And if you like boobs, this is also the game for you, since there are some lovely ladies (not exaggerated in proportions) to be found along the way that fit the theme perfectly, as they are reminiscent of the statues of the Minoan Snake Goddess from Crete.

But back to the gameplay, we follow Kratos' journey to avenge his family, destroy Ares and save Athens. The task is not an easy one and there will be much to kill and some godly powers and weapons to unveil along the way. Kratos ultimate weapon against Ares will be Pandora's box, but things never turn out the way we think, and Kratos ends up going to hell... literally.

This is where a perfect game gets ruined. Getting out of Hades is the worst thing in the storyline. Although it relates to the tale of Orpheus and Eurydice and it's a worthy piece of the plot (escaping the underworld back to the land of the living), the experience came to a halt on this horrid series of vertical spinning columns adorned with blades. Ok, what do you expect me to do, draw a diagram of how the blades are placed in each column, and then make a working 3D model so I can time everything and find the way to get up there? That's retarded.

At least there should have been a small platform between pillars so we wouldn't have to start all over again. Whoever designed that obstacle wasn't really thinking. Or maybe that person is just very sadistic.

Aside from that hellish contraption and some nasty camera angles, God of War is a challenging action-packed game, beautiful cinematics, awsome music, great voice acting and an outstanding storyline. I'd highly recommend it to anyone. Even if you're in it just for the boobs.