|God of War Review
God of War Review
By Carl S. Richardson
Since God of War was first demoed back in early 2004, it's been on the wish list of many action/adventure fans. God of War begins with a suicide, that of the main character. While this may sound like an exceedingly short game, it becomes clearer over time. Kratos, a tough Spartan warrior, throws himself from the highest cliff in Greece. As he plummets, you see the events leading up to the suicide. Essentially, Kratos was transformed into a killing machine by Ares, the God of War, who then tricked him into committing a sin. Kratos seeks vengeance on the Ares. This begins the combat, and the emotional tale that surrounds the action.
The setting in itself is powerful, with vast open environments that can be quite beautiful. The detail in some of the locales is quite spectacular, and the same applies to the creatures that you will encounter. Each have a number of variants.
The camera is fixed. A term which may (and probably will) put some gamers off, due to the unspectacular fixed camera in other games. However, Sony have evaded all the problems that arose from previous games, and it works tremendously well. It zooms in and out at certain times, making platforming objectives so much easier. Sony have made it seem almost beneficial to the standard manipulative camera view.
Kratos comes armed with chains that are attached to his wrists. At the end of these chains are sharp blades, for swinging and building up fierce force and power. The viciousness of the weapon fits Kranos's character neatly. Not only visually satisfying, but the sound of the swinging and clanging together of these vast blades is quite terrifying. Athena also loans her giant blade to the warrior, but most of the time it seems so much easier to just use the chained blades.
As mentioned in the Rawpulse Preview, Kratos can sweep enemies into the air, and follow with a series of juggling attacks, for an effective combination. Once enemies have been eliminated, they break up into glowing red orbs, which can be traded for upgrades. One slight problem with the AI, is that it seems to be more aggressive that smart, but you don't really notice, as you'll be battling your way through.
Button sequence attacks make a truly exciting element of the game. When an enemy is worn down from the basic attacks, Kratos can move in and perform a finishing move, or instigate a mini game fatality, which involves a series of buttons to be pressed when prompted. The tougher opponents will require a more complex series of buttons, but the reward is great. Kratos will perform some spectacular moves, complete with flips, stabbing, and a finishing move that is disturbingly violent.
Not only do creatures leave the red orbs for trading, but also some drop orbs to increase your health. Some creatures deliver magical energy, or a combination of several orbs. If you press the wrong button during a sequence attack, you will leave Kratos open for a violent counter attack. While it may be simple to just avoid this kind of attack and kill the opponent with a traditional attack, it's so tempting to unleash a damaging series of splendid attacks.
As you progress through the game, other powers are given to you by the Gods. Ripping the head from Medusa delivers her evil gaze; Poseidon donates an electrical attack, Zeus his thunderbolt, and Hades, with an Army of Hades power. These powers can be upgraded, similarly to weapons, with advantages to higher power levels. Additionally, Kratos can release the rage of the Gods, which offers invulnerability, and enhanced attack power. Combined with some of the previously stated powers, Kratos is deadly.
For an action game, God of War contains some of the best puzzles. They make sense in terms of the story and settings, and they seem to fit in with the current level position. The puzzles may not be complex, but the main theme is action, so it makes the game seem more whole and complete.
God of War provides an unprecedented thrill, and is a real pleasure to play.
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