God of War PS2 Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Gameplay 9.8
Graphics 9.5
Sound 9.0
Value 9.2
Distributor: Sony
Review Date:
August 2005
Andrew B


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God of War


In GOD OF WAR™ , the dark brutal world of Greek mythology comes to life before your eyes. As you take the role of a vicious warrior, a story unfolds with various plot twists and multiple endings that take the player through explosive aggressive gameplay fused with traps, stunts and story driven puzzles. Featuring over an hour of in-game cut scenes and a deep combat system built around unique double chain blade weapons, GOD OF WAR will take the player through various environments that will have them fighting fierce enemies, swinging on ropes, scaling mountain cliffs, swimming through rivers and sliding down zip lines resulting in a one-of-a-kind action-packed Greek mythology adventure.

If you believe the hype, than God of War is probably the most "perfect" game out at the moment that is an ancient Greek action epic that transformers gamers into the Spartan hero called Kratos who has been enlisted by the Gods to vanquish Ares from the face of the earth. Fortunately for Kratos, he has also been given the "powers" of the Gods and he can summon ancient magics to help eliminate his foes. Or if things get too rough, Kratos can rely on his trusty chained blades that lays waste to most mythical beasts.

The developers of God of War have done a brilliant job at including just about every ancient Greek cliché into this title from undead skeletons to hydras and the dreaded gorgons that can turn a man to stone by just their gaze alone. With that said, God of War is an action/arcade game that has the player controlling Kratos in a beautiful 3D constructed environment that recreates ancient Greece perfectly. Apart from hacking and slashing your way through a myriad of monsters, Kratos can also summon the powers of the gods (magic) and cast thunderbolts like Zeus or turn his foe into stone, thanks to the powers of Medusa. This mix of action and magic perfectly lends itself to the ancient mythos of Greece.

What really sets God of War apart from your stock standard 3D action/adventure genre is that Kratos can also perform a variety of different special maneuvers that does make the title that extra bit more entertaining. These special combos flash before the gamer on the screen just before the creature is about the die and the player must then tap their dualshock controller in whatever combination appears on the screen such as Circle, Square and Triangle to unleash a devastating kill maneuver.

God of War also contains a plethora of puzzles that are relatively easy to solve as the game generally hints to the player about certain objects or areas in the game. There are also chests littered throughout the gaming environment that contain powerups and magics to help replenish Kratos when he is low. As with all good console games, the player also has access to save points that are fortunately littered through the gaming environment. The title also does contain an RPG aspect to it and if Kratos finds enough red powerups (experience), he can upgrade his magics to double or triple his powers.

God of War also contains partial nudity (breasts) that is shown both ingame and through pre-rendered cutscenes and as we all know, the ancients were not too shy about showing their bodies. With that said, the game also contains various mini-games in the title such as Kratos having the chance to make love to two naked women. (What? That's right... this ancient Greek hero is a stud!) An entertaining side quest that can easily be completed by pushing a variety of buttons and also using the analog stick to please his lovers. This sex scene is done off camera but it once again proves that games are not just for children.

Graphically, God of War on the PlayStation 2 is phenomenal and once again shows that this "old" beast is still the top dog. Probably the first thing that gamers will notice in God of War are the extremely large gaming environments that always have something happening in the backgrounds. Whether it's a giant animated Ares crashing through the armies of Athens or the realistic water effects or the armies of Hades, one cannot help but appreciate the effort the designers have gone through to capture the feeling and wonders of ancient Greece.

The game also contains a myriad of special effects such as the magics of the Gods that your character wields, the dynamic lighting effects or the realistic mist effects, the attention to detail is awe-inspiring. With that said, the characters in the game contain a rather high polygon count with extraordinary texture detail that move with grace and realism. As mentioned before, God of War contains partial nudity which not only graces the ingame graphics but also that of the pre-rendered CGI that finally tells the world that games are not just designed for children. This is an adult's only game and if parents cannot monitor their children's gaming, then they are doing a poor job! It should also be mentioned that the frame rate of the title tears every now and then but fortunately it is very rare.

The musical score of God of War features a very Hollywood sounding score that almost feels like it has been taken from either Jason and the Argonauts or some other huge epic such as the Lords of the Rings. The voice acting of God of War has been professionally implemented and nothing sounds too forced or contrived in this exciting game. Whether it's the background screams of Athens on fire or the thunderous roars of the minotaurs, the sound effects in the game have been perfectly implemented and it's rare for the gamer to actually appreciate these sounds but God of War does.

In conclusion, God of War is a great distraction from the stale arcade/adventure genre on the PlayStation 2 that contains extraordinary graphics, a very in-depth storyline, adult content and some of the best damn gameplay to the hit the PlayStation 2 in a long time. If you only buy one game this year then make sure it's God of War! Perfect!


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