241 of 254 people found the following review helpful
, March 28, 2005
This review is from: God of War - PlayStation 2 (Video Game)
Do you remember that thrill when you played Devil May Cry for the first time? That experience that was familiar in some aspects but so different in a completely bad ass way? The opening moments of God of War exceed that thrill. In fact it brings to mind what comedian Dane Cook would call a BAMF. I'll let you do the math.
The opening moments are filled with creatures both small and large that you can effortlessly kill, the game subtly teaching you the mechanics. But all of that is just setup for a truly epic first boss fight against the Hydra that not only kicks the game into high gear, but also is better than practically any "end boss" fights of most games. With context sensitive button pushes, the game incorporates a cinematic experience into your fighting. By pushing buttons at the right time, you are dodging, climbing and killing each Hydra head thrown at you. It is intense and immensely satisfying. Never before have I felt this immersion in a video game. Instead of watching a cutscene of Kratos finishing a Hydra, YOU are doing it. You are swinging off its nose, jamming your blades into its eyes. It is awesome.
Graphically, the game excels. I have been constantly surprised recently with the graphic quality of PS2 games. God of War is almost seamless. The game moves from gameplay, to cutscene, to gameplay, level to level without a load screen. In fact, with the exception of the initial load, I don't remember ever seeing a load screen. It is beautiful to watch, gruesome to play and just fantastic.
Sound-wise, the game also is gold. It has a fully orchestrated soundtrack that fits perfectly with the Greek time period. In fact, the soundtrack is available for a free download if you buy the game and its definitely worth it to those who like this kind of music. The voice work is well done and the lip synching for once matches perfectly.
For all of the graphic prowess, there are some problems. The biggest of which is a kind of scanning problem. When the camera moves, sometimes the areas get...squiggly?...I don't how to explain it, but there's lines moving through the game because it can't handle it. There's also a little bit of slowdown when battles get hectic. Neither of these are major problems but it does detract from what really are wonderful graphics.
The camera also generally shows the best angle for the action. You can't control the camera, it's preset like Devil May Cry. There are a couple instances, however, where you can get sandwiched between two or more huge brutes and you can't see yourself because of the camera. It can be incredibly annoying when it happens but it is so rare that it isn't much of a complaint.
Finally, the game isn't too long. It's a 10-15 hour game depending on how well you play and what difficulty setting you choose. They actually had to cut the game down to get it done on time. You can check out the levels and monsters that were cut after finishing the game. Along with the shortness, there aren't many bosses. In fact, there's only three. But man, when they throw a boss at you, they really throw a boss at you.
Note of warning: This game is definitely rated M. The violence and gore is in your face as there are decapitations, breaking necks, wings ripped off, people cut in half, violence against women, etc. And there's nudity and sexual situations. Copious breast shots follow suit.
I can't recommend this game enough. If you are a fan of action games, this game redefines the stylish action Devil May Cry heralded back in the day. Playing as Kratos gives you the same bad ass feeling Dante did, only God of War ramps this up to the extremes. Play this game, you'll be glad you did.
UPDATE: I don't know if there's anyone out there who hasn't played this game yet, but if you haven't, why not? At 19.99, this game is a complete steal! There is a sequel on the way, coming out on the PS2 in early 2007.
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