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Plasma Housefly
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Old Really though, God Of War @ 06-24-2007, 09:30 PM
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I've been a fan of video games for some few years, and I have to say that the God Of War games are among the best (I've been attached to my Zeldas and Starfoxes longer, so I'm not going to call God Of War the best) games I've ever played. It's like Sony looked at 3D action platformers like Prince Of Persia and Devil May Cry and decided that the most apocalyptic and epic moments in those games weren't apocalyptic and epic enough. The result is a bloodbath of insane proportions, a battle around every corner, a frantic orgy of ludicrously over-the-top violence that sometimes leaves me feeling physically weakened. Even solving a puzzle is accompanied by a clanging gong and high-decibel orchestral melody. The opening scene is about a minute long and then you're plunged straight into action against the hordes of Hades in the pouring rain. It gets bigger and badder-ass from there, until you reach Pandora's Temple, at which point the epic vistas take something of a back seat to the puzzles and platforming sections. I won't lie, some of these can get a bit tedious. But the relief when you escape from a tedious jumping-puzzle into a room full of cyclops monsters is unbelievable. And as main character Kratos makes his way back to Athens with a God-killing weapon, the stage is set for the ultimate confrontation with the God Of War who, as we learn through FMV sequences as the game progresses, has done more harm to Kratos than good over the years(and through these sequences we feel for Kratos. We don't pity him, or love him- he's very much a psychopathic antihero whose only use is as a walking sword- but we feel something).
At least, it seems like the ultimate confrontation at the time, until God Of War 2 begins and Kratos is the victim of a dastardly deception by the gods. So many little gameplay niggles of the first game are fixed in the second, it's unbelievable. Now you can jump up ladders, move while using magic, get experience as well as health for performing special kills on enemies, there are more bosses, more powerups, more extras and much more epicness. High-definition computer-animated sequences showing the war between the Titans and the Olympians? Yeah, maybe a couple. Baffling, time-bending puzzles and an air ride which out-Panzer Dragoon Ortas Panzer Dragoon Orta? Here, fill up your plate.
You can moan at the way the games mangle Greek mythology, I'm not really that bothered. In the second game especially, the storyline is very much secondary- it has to be to stop you wondering how Kratos can have killed Prometheus, Theseus, Jason, Icarus and Perseus all in the same day, within a few miles of each other, not to mention Pegasus, the Kraken and the Colossus of Rhodes. And how did that kid get as far as you without magic powers and an inexhaustible flying horse to ride? How can you be destined to avert your destiny? And is Hades really just a fat guy in a spiky mask? What was wrong with his character's appearance in the first game? Still, Kratos is in enough of a predicament that you're satisfied when you get him out of it- and salivating at the ending, and the prospect of what might be turning up in God Of War 3, which will be the game I buy a PS3 for. Until then, I just played through God Of War the first again. I thought it'd take me a few days. It took two. I just couldn't tear myself away from it for long enough to stretch it out longer.

If you own a PS2 and don't have both God Of War games then you need to find a mental hospital and check yourself in, fast.
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"Who knew what evil lurked in the hearts of men? A copper, that's who. After ten years you thought you'd seen it all, but the shadows always dished up more. You saw how close men lived to the beast. You realised that people like Carcer were not mad. They were incredibly sane. They were simply men without a shield. They'd looked at the world and realised that all the rules didn't have to apply to them, not if they didn't want them to. They weren't fooled by all the little stories. They shook hands with the beast."
Terry Pratchett, "Night Watch"
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