Ancient mythical Greece isn't a world we often visit in games, even though it's an ideal setting. Monsters, Gods and exotic locals are just a few of the creatures you'll be able to fight your way through in God of War.
As soon as you start you're faced with one of the game's beautiful cut scenes. The main character Kratos hurls himself off a cliff in an apparent act of suicide, then you pick the game up three weeks earlier. The story takes you through what you're doing what your doing, why you're so powerful, why you're haunted by visions of the past and how you got hold of 'The Blades of Chaos'. The Blades of Chaos are your main weapons, identical swords attached to chains so you can swing them. The combat is one of the many highpoints of GoW. It's easy to get to grips with but hard to master, with a button for horizontal attacks and another for vertical. Combine grab, jump, block and roll buttons and you've got access to many combos and combat variations. When in combat you'll see a circle icon appear above enemies heads if they're weak enough, this is letting you know you can perform a ‘finisher’. These finishers are another great feature because they allow you to pull off fantastic looking moves with the press of a button or a combination of multiple button presses once the prompt comes up on screen (they look especially spectacular on the boss battles).
You'll also be able to acquire new moves by upgrading your Blades of Chaos. Along your way you'll also gain access to a number of God powers like throwing lightning, creating lighting storms and others that I’ll let you find out for yourself. You may notice that GoW has the biggest 18 age certificate logo on the case, and that’s because GoW is a brutal and bloody affair. Once you start swinging those blades you'll see a lot of the red stuff going everywhere, you'll also be able to tear people in half, stick swords in all sorts of places and see topless women. So it isn't one for the kiddies.
What sort of beasties will you be hacking up into a bloody mess? Well, there are undead soldiers, minotaurs, Medusa-like gorgons, harpies, big troll like things and all sorts. Your journey will take you through some great locations - Athens, trap-riddled temples, even a huge temple carried by a Titan. While some might say the game is a tad repetitive, I think the impressively different environments and a puzzle every now and then are enough to keep things interesting. GoW has some things to unlock, a harder difficulty, a challenge run, a chance to see things that didn't make it into the game and lots of artwork. There’s also a making of the game video which is an interesting watch.
Visually GoW is a treat to the eyes, it's easily one of the best looking games on PS2. The animation is superb, all the combat moves look stunning and even the animations of Kratos running and jumping around look great. The worlds are beautiful with demolished architecture, stuff going on in the backgrounds, big draw distances and great lighting. The special effects created from the Blades of Chaos look really nice as do the magic effects. There are also great looking reflections, sand storms, fire and water. You'd think with the visual splendour that the frame rate would be around 30ish but this is one smooth game running at a pretty solid 60fps which really adds to the visual greatness.
Does the sound match up with the great gameplay and visuals? You bet. The voice acting is great, as are the sound effects and the epic music really suits what’s going on on-screen. Play this on a surround sound system and be amazed.
If you had a list of features that made a great game GoW would tick almost all of them; great gameplay, great characters, great story, great sound, great graphics, great presentation and probably most importantly it's great fun. This is one slick action adventure title that you shouldn't really miss - sure you fight in pretty much every room, but that didn't stop games like Devil May Cry or Ninja Gaiden being great games. Go buy God of War now.
>Visit the awesome GoW website here<