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Are you going to buy an Xbox One X This Holiday Season?

Hope to Receive it as a Gift

Game Profile
PlayStation 2
Sony Studios Santa Monica
GENRE: Action
March 22, 2005

God of War: Origins Collection

God of War: Ghost of Sparta

God of War III

God of War Collection

God of War: Chains of Olympus

More in this Series
 Written by Chris Reiter  on April 01, 2005

Review: The God-liest game of the year is also the bloodiest, most sinful one. Oh the irony of it all.

Let me think. Great? No, no, wait. Awesome? Hmm... Oh, I got it. Bitching! Yeah, that'll do. Since the beginning of last year, Sony's action/adventure game, God of War, has been quite the talk of the town. When originally announced, gamers knew the game sounded cool from little details like how you would live as a muscle-bound warrior in ancient Greece while on the verge of this man's own annihilation, diving straight through his recollected past. How these story circumstances evolved weren't really unveiled until last year's E3 when the general gamer masses finally got a chance to inhabit the livelihood of the killing machine called Kratos -- a combo linking madman with moves so sweet they rotted your teeth. Also knowing that the head of Incognito Studios (the vulgar brains behind Twisted Metal 1, 2, and Black) David Jaffe was on board and directing his creation with the SCE Studios Santa Monica team helped to push the hype for this upcoming game. From what has been previously witnessed, gamers had a pretty good idea God of War would be spectacular. But, I don't think anyone could've estimated it'd turn into THIS...

Who is Kratos? Where did he come from? What is his story? Why is this champion of the Spartan people so hell-bent on killing the god of war: the towering figure known as Ares? Kratos was a man just like any other. However, people are known to change when certain events affect their life. Like war. Kratos got hungry for power. He wanted it. He could taste it. His army rose, and he with it became a brutal figure no one would think could be stopped. A tragic incident in the past has led him up to this point. Soldiers hate and respect Kratos's awesome might just the same. For, Kratos is not just a mere mortal anymore. He is a cold soul whose ability in life to be able to slay any number of beasts make him a threat to anyone or anything that challenges this gladiator. Maybe that is why the goddess of wisdom, Athena, has chosen Kratos to be the savior of Athens, to do what no ordinary man could possibly accomplish. Kratos must kill her brother Ares, God of War.

Backup to the end of 2002, and you might remember Tecmo putting out their upgrade to the classic NES series of Rygar. Like Rygar: The Legendary Adventure was set in a Greco-Roman time period, God of War is placed in a similar time frame around that time. As you can imagine then, God of War's concept isn't completely original. Rygar was also an action/adventure type of game, where as the warrior Rygar, your tasks involved defeating ancient evils of many forms by using a chained yo-yo-like diskarmor. God of War's hero Kratos chains his weapons up as well. His tools of destruction: dual-wielded blades on a very long leash. Kratos has enemies of the mythological lineage too. Only, the creatures Kratos faces resonate from a more traditional family tree than the less recognizable (or generic) ones Tecmo's game contained, like giant slugs and insects. Minotaurs, the cyclops, hydras, cerebus, centaurs, sirens, and even the slithery gorgon lady herself, Medusa. These selections of creatures (which have been depicted into folklore's teachings throughout several generations) are just some of the beasts Kratos gets to toy with in a near nonstop cycle of combat mixed in with a very special additional element that applies to the reason as to why God of War retains a uniqueness and a highly entertaining stature above all other Greeky games: puzzles.

That's right: puzzles. Of course, as it's well-known, puzzles themselves are nothing new at all to game players. But, stop and think about this. How many times have the majority of the very enigmas you solved been integrated right into the action? I thought so. God of War fuses the two properties together so elegantly, so seamlessly, and so brilliantly, that it becomes hard not to admire the game's seductive pull. One button that can only be stepped on to lower a gate at the other end of the room is keeping you from escaping a never-ending cycle of minotaurs manifesting with a hammer in hand. Looking at your options, you can step on the switch and hope you're able to make it in time to the doorway in order to escape (which is an impossibility), or you can enable a stone gazing trick you've just acquired from killing Medusa to capture that minotaur for a while on top of the switch while Kratos hurriedly rushes out the door. A scripture reads that a sacrifice must be made in order to progress up ahead. In the room before you were an upward hill and a bunch of soldiers in cages. Hey, well someone's got to be the sacrifice -- right? Push that screaming wussy up the sliding pathway and a bunch of demon ghouls will continually appear to slow down your progress of getting that cage into the middle of a fiery compressor. Kratos will even get a chance to comb a blinding desert in search of the musical wailings three villainous sirens sing. When these gals can move around randomly, and are found and beaten in near-invisible sandstorm conditions, it's all in a hard day's work for our hero Kratos.

And that's just a small sampling of what's in store for Kratos puzzle-wise. Not all riddles have relations with killing some type of ugly, though. There are some that just involve the hazards of traps, or none at all. One such example deals with an entire room full of crisscrossing saw blades. The room is divided by squares, with one blade passing back and forth between the lines that connect these adjacent safe spots. The door up ahead is locked. Two switches in the room must be pulled to access this path. The problem is, both switches must be triggered within a short time span. So ducking and dodging the blades quickly is the idea at this particular juncture. Another brainteaser places Kratos inside a room to obtain a directly inaccesible necklace item -- which leads us to the clues. There's a moveable wheel in the back of the room that allows for Kratos to manually twist stone blocks in a specific direction so that he's able to fit each of these pieces with unfamiliar shapes and form an adjoining jigsaw puzzle. A much more involved (and interesting) brain game besides these ones, sets upon Kratos a damsel in distress. Hanging off a rope and edging near her demise; with the use an elevator, two enormous statues, and a couple of rooftop jumps, the idea is to get to a scalable wall. Once there, an hourglass starts the countdown before this woman falls and paints the town red -- literally. God of War features loads of puzzle play besides these examples that not only can sometimes cause your brain to go insane from the more toughie challenges, but unraveling the mystery behind each one is fun and will really surprise you that you, of all people, can be that intelligent.

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