God of War

Overview

To me, and I am sure many of you as well, the whole Greek Mythology strikes me as an extremely interesting subject matter. With all of the different gods and ideas of what life was about, it is one that can take lifetimes to study and fully understand. We don’t see many games based on this mythology, but this all might change after SCEA’s latest game, which puts you smack down the middle of ancient Greece in God of War for the PS2. Is this a game to help keep the PS2 flying strong? Read our full review to find out!

Gameplay

I think ten years from now when we look at the console wars between the PS2 and Xbox (sorry Cube), we are going to see some differences that really helped the PS2. I think first and for most it’s the originality of a lot of the games the PS2 has. It seems as though there are a lot of weird games that flop, but there are also a lot of weird games that turn out to be absolute gems. Today we look at a PS2 game that is a bit different from most of the other crowd. God of War provides quite a unique action/adventure/platforming experience that incorporate ideas from those genres and almost all of them end up working out for the greater good of the game.

You play as the character of Kratos, one of the most distinct and toughest guy I have ever seen. He is one of those characters that if you saw walking down the street, you’ll silently pray he does nothing to you when he passes by you. Basically you get the see the whole back-story and plot of God of War at the beginning, and it is from there that you are launched into the game, on a mission to kill the god of war Ares. To be honest God of War does one of the most remarkable jobs I think I have seen in ages with its story, as it draws you in from the beginning and holds you tight to the very end.

If you can’t tell I absolutely am a fan of God of War, but why you might ask and what is this game all about? Well as mentioned earlier you play as Kratos in a third person perspective, and let’s just say the developers found a way to mix things up so much that you just never get sick of the extremely gory action in the game. The developers used some different techniques, like for example some combos where you see the button to press and once you press it Kratos pulls off some insane maneuvers. The game just has so many combos to use at your disposal and has so much unique enemies and levels that it is extremely hard to complain.

I think probably the most enjoyable aspect of God of War is the over the top boss battles that the game throws at you. What is so neat about these bosses is that they really require a lot of mind and strength. Strategy is of course very key in these boss fights, as they usually are quite strong and require quite a bit taking them down. The first few bosses are pretty easy but past that the game does pick up the difficulty level and make for an extremely challenging experience.

What I think I liked most about God of War is that it is not just a plain old action game that you do the same thing over and over again. Instead in God of War, you get a lot of different action, whether it is some platforming sequences or puzzle-solving, this game covers all grounds quite beautifully. And what’s great about this diversity is that it all works perfectly and really makes for a very well rounded experience.

Now God of War does have a significant downside in my opinion, and this can be found right at the beginning of the game. I would classify God of War as a mature take on the Zelda series, and with that you get a lot of gruesome action sequences, but not only that but you get quite a bit of nudity. Now here is my problem, and many may disagree, but I just did not find this necessary at all, and it really just left me with a bad taste in my mouth. I understand that the Greeks were all about the human body but to take this nudity into a game that we all know is going to be played on TV’s across the globe, I just don’t see the purpose of this. I think the fact that you have this nudity on there is going to make guys like me who actually want to be faithful to their significant other in a sticky situation. Taking this all in at a purely professional standpoint, I just never saw the need of having two naked women on a bed, in which you could play a ridiculous mini game with. In my personal opinion it really shows a low sense of class and the unfortunate route I could see many video games taking in the next few years.

When you leave the nudity to the side I think you still have a great playing video game that really captures what it means to be a great well rounded playing game.

Graphics

The gameplay is not the only thing that is great about God of War but also the visuals, which really ranks as one of the best looking game I think this console has ever seen. I think what is so remarkable about this, is that we are getting to the end of the PS2’s life cycle and yet the console is still pushing out beautiful games not only in this game but also games like Gran Turismo 4.

What makes God of War such a brilliant game visually, is the close attention to detail from start to finish. The environments in God of War are absolutely stunning, with a great amount of color detail and lighting there is really nothing about the environments that leave room for complaint. But what is probably most impressive about the games visuals are the character models, which have to be the most detailed and well thought out models on the market today. Once you see Kratos and his really unique look, you are going to be impressed.

The games visuals however are not perfect, as we do seem some camera problems when the game gets in tight corridors. This can be a slight annoyance, although luckily the camera for the most part works with you for most of the game.

Fun Factor

When I put aside my extreme disappointment of the nudity in the game, I must say that God of War is an extremely fun-filled experience, and there are two reasons for this. First off the game really takes in so many different gaming aspects and makes them all work in one game that really helps the game feel fresh from start to finish. And the second thing about God of War that is so impressive is the storyline, which keeps you interested and glued to your television set from start to finish.

Overall

You know when it is all said and done, and you look at the game as a whole, this is one of the most impressive PS2 games ever made. Although I have extreme reservations for the nudity incorporated by the developers, which I hope won’t carry over to the sequel, God of War provides an engaging storyline, backup with by a stunning graphics engine and solid gameplay elements. Definitely a ’keeper’ for your games collection.

The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.