Hi 75 / Lo 55
|Volume 70, Issue 113,
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
Life & Arts
Sony's latest reaches mythical proportions
By Derek Lanphier
Every once and a while, a game that not many people know much about comes out and really blows everyone away. God of War is one of those games. Although a well-known developer made it, and the game stars characters not normally associated with video games, this incredible piece of work really shines in a genre of games that normally seem uninspired and dull. Not only does God of War rock hard alongside established games like Devil May Cry 3, but it is the reason many gamers are buying a new PS2 since their old ones have broken down.
In God of War, players assume the role of Kratos, a powerful Spartan warrior who was mentored by the god of war himself, Ares. Kratos is anything but a hero; he might save a life or two while fighting evil monsters, but he does it for the killing, not the recognition.
In God of War gamers are given the chance to become the Spartan Kratos, who is working with the Greek gods to save humanity from the titular character Ares.
Image courtesy of PlayStation2
However, that he does not care for life but inadvertently saves innocents -- well, at least the ones who don't get caught in the fray -- is what makes Kratos such an interesting character to play.
The Greek gods call upon Kratos to destroy the titular entity, Ares, who has gone insane and is bent on destroying the human world. Destroying a god is a bit harder than it sounds even for Kratos; so the other gods guide him and bestow powers to the warrior as he searches for Pandora's Box, the only thing powerful enough to eliminate Ares.
As you may gather, the game does a wonderful job of incorporating all of the most popular creatures and gods from Greek mythology, which makes for a very interesting story.
The only thing more enthralling than the story is the game-play itself. God of War blends elements from action platform games like Devil May Cry and Prince of Persia and makes it something all its own.
Unlike the impossible Devil May Cry 3, players will be able to jump into the game right from the start and really have a lot of fun. The game perfectly balances action, fighting, epic boss battles, puzzles and a little exploration. The pacing is great, and the game runs smoothly. As any good action game should have, there will be plenty of "Holy crap, I can't believe I just did that," moments in the game.
Graphics are top notch. In fact, the artwork of the game is really what grabs the player and holds onto them. The visual presentation envelops players in a Greek fantasy world to a point where they might feel they are actually experiencing the adventure from the Spartan warrior's view. Not to mention the game runs smoother than most PS2 games, as the frame rate rarely drops.
Sound is also amazing. The soundtrack is killer and easily noticeable-even during the most epic of battles.
Although the game is amazing, a few nit-picky problems must be addressed. First, an graphic filter comes with the game by default. It is obviously used to smooth the edges on polygons, but all it really does is hide some of the gorgeous detail on environments. Luckily, this feature can be turned off in the options screen.
Another issue with the game is it is very mature. Do not let your kid brother play this game as it incorporates suicide, blood, gore, body part removal, death, female nudity, scary monsters, swearing and all sorts of other things that congressmen would have a field day over. Of course, the game does it with class and never seems to cross the line.
Finally, the game is only on the PS2, so gamers who only own one video game console that isn't a PlayStation are really missing out. (And if you fall into this category, you hereby have your gamer status revoked until further action is taken to correct this heresy.)
Despite the dangers of saying it, this game could be better than other established titles that have been recently released, like Devil May Cry and Metal Gear Solid 3. Actually, God of War is probably one of the best games out on the PS2 to date.
God of War
Rated: M for mature
For Playstation 2
Verdict: Buy this game or suffer the wrath
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