Saturday, December 19, 2009

God of War for the PS2 review




God of War 2 has to be one of my favorite games of all time. All the weapons, enemies, boss fights, and plat-forming sections make it a classic, but it bothered me that I had not played the first God of War game, so that time is now that I play and review this hallmark classic for the Playstation 2. However, how much of a classic is this game? Let’s dig into the Greek mythology and find out how deep we can get into this game.

God of War takes place before God of War 2, of course. This is when Kratos is still working for the gods. Kratos is sent through the ocean to take care of a problem that is caused by the hydra. After killing the hydra, Kratos is told to go to Athens to stop Ares, the god of war. Kratos learns that the only way to destroy Ares and stop the horrendous memories of his past of appearing in his head, is to find Pandora’s box. So, Kratos is set off on an adventure to find Pandora’s box and stop Ares from his reign of chaos over Athens. Krato’s past is seen through multiple flashbacks during the game, so I won’t say how he became a violent psycho-path who is hell-bent on killing Ares.

The gameplay is of an epic hack-and-slash adventure game where you control the violent warrior Kratos as you drag him through huge levels, solving puzzles and beating down on enemies and giant monsters. You use one of the coolest weapons ever made, the Blades of Chaos. During the game, you find multiple magic attacks like lighting, Medusa’s gaze, and even summoning an army of soldiers from Hades. This game also introduced to the mass media quick-time events where you press a button at the right time and watch a cool little death scene. You also gain red orbs to upgrade all your weapons and magic powers to make them stronger and gain newer attacks.

Graphically, it looks great even by today’s standards. Well, both God of War and God of War 2 did show off that the Playstation 2 could do more than a lot of games that seem to have experimented with the processing power of the Playstation 2. The music is solid and very fun to listen to. The music was composed by Mike Reagan, who also did the soundtrack for the 2007 Conan game, Darkwatch, Twisted Metal Black, Brute Force, and Rise of Kasai, to name a few of his work. The voice work is also solid with Terrence C. Carson who is famous for works like Mace Windu in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars cartoon, and Malcolm from Unreal Tournament 3. I also like the whole Greek mythology theme still, and it holds up pretty well. The whole story is told through the game very well.

Even though I adore the God of War series, there are a couple things that don’t age well with this one. These are the reasons that held this game back from being a ‘triple A’ title, but still a ‘double A’ title, if that even exists. In this game, you do A LOT of puzzle solving, and it just makes the game boring and move at a sluggish pace. It grinds the game to a halt when you have to do more puzzle-solving than decapitating harpies and Minotaurs. The enemy variety is also very boring, since you fight the same thing every time. The changes are only in appearance, and it makes me think of multiple things Kratos could kill, instead of just zombies, harpies, Minotaurs, medusas, and cyclops. Another issue I have with this game is that it can be pretty tedious, due to an annoying difficulty setting even on the easiest setting. What I mean by this is, that you lose magic too easily and too quickly. Upgrading your weapons and magic are also a chore. It just takes forever to upgrade your attacks, and it doesn’t seem worth it. I am really glad God of War 2 is the better of the two home console God of War games out right now because it just made everything better.

However, I think God of War is still a great game and is highly recommended to people looking to put great games in their PS2 collection. It might not be my favorite, but it is still a very good game and ages pretty well, even with its flaws. This is just making me more excited for the upcoming God of War 3 that is coming out in 2010. This game might be on its last legs as a franchise, but it will go out with a bang.

This game gets an 8.9 out of 10.

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