God of War

May 31, 2005

[floatleft]http://www.snackbar-games.com/images/reviews/godofwar/cover.jpg[/floatleft]What can I possibly say that can do [i]God of War[/i] any justice? That is a tough question to answer, as I could say nothing and let the game speak for itself, or I could go on for hours and hours. Fortunately for you readers, I won’t do either. I will instead try to give you a brief picture of just how wonderful, exciting, and awe-inspiring this game really is.

Let’s start with the basic story. It’s nothing overly complicated, but it’s based on Greek mythology when the gods ruled the earth’s dominions. As the name implies, the story centers around Ares, the God of War, or rather an individual who has been touched by Ares’s destructive power. Kratos is a man whom, at the outset, we know nothing about, but as we learn more about him, we discover that he led an army into a battle that could not be won and sold his soul to Ares so that he and his men could conquer. This affected him so painfully that the game begins with him jumping off a cliff and plummeting to his death, while the actual gameplay takes place in a flashback. During this flashback, he only has one objective: destroy Ares and reclaim that lost part of his soul as well as his freedom.

[floatright]http://www.snackbar-games.com/images/reviews/godofwar/ss03_thumb.jpg[/floatright]I will hold none of my praise back. This game is simply fantastic and has replaced [i]Shadow of Rome[/i] as the biggest sleeper of the year. The action is your simple hack-and-slash type, but it tosses several mini-games into the fray to keep it interesting. For example, when Kratos damages a monster badly enough with his incredibly awesome swords attached to chains that are grafted into his arms, a button will appear over the beast’s head (usually the circle button). When you press this button, the game prompts you to perform an action, be it press a button rapidly or press a sequential order of buttons to match the screen’s prompts. As you successfully accomplish this, Kratos performs one or several devastating maneuvers to demolish his unfortunate foe. If you’re sick of hacking, you are given aid from different gods in the form of magic spells. My ultimate favorite: you are given the souls of the Army of Hades to command at your will, and at this point the game becomes totally unfair to your advantage.

To keep the game challenging, it tosses in several puzzles, none of which are too terribly challenging if you are good at remembering things you pass along the way. I was not good at this, but I still had loads of fun figuring out the solutions anyway, even if it took me much longer than it should have. Nonetheless, the graphics were flat-out amazing, and the music was very appropriate for the game. Seeing how fluid the game moves along made my jaw drop the very first time I saw it. The animations are near realistic, and the cutscenes almost look like you’re watching a live-action movie. I had more fun playing this game than I have anything in the last couple of months, [i]Knights of the Old Republic[/i] aside.

I’ll get this out of the way nowA

Score: 5/5

Questions? Check out our review guide.