Every once in a while you play a game that really feels differently than the rest. It’s as if the developers ‘get it’ and know what you want, how you want to do it, and they know how to execute it. ‘God of War’ is one of those games. Based on Greek Mythology, you play as Kratos- an ex-spartan leader with a haunting past that is hell bent on killing Ares- the God of War. Ares has waged war on Athens and the rest of the gods are helpless since Zeus forbids the gods from declaring war on each other. ‘Only a mortal trained by a god can defeat Ares’.
The graphics are pretty damn good for it being a PS2 game. It supports widescreen and progressive scan display which makes everything much clearer. Right from the beginning you’re set to fight some deamon drones, fools that are easily dispatched as you get a feel for the weapon controls. The game starts teaching you basic moves and attacks using text at the bottom of the screen as you’re fighting. Before you know it you’re battling the Hydra- a bad ass water serpent that puts other games’ final boss battles to shame.
By using combos, blocks, special attacks, and quicktime event button presses during cut scenes, you’ll slay that bitch and feel like a bad ass doing so. I can’t think of another videogame moment like first facing the Hydra in God of War. An epic boss battle to start off the game, the QTE events make you feel like you’re still in control as you’re watching Kratos dismantle the beast. Anyone watching you do it will be impressed and likely wish they were the ones playing- whether they play games or not. The game only gets better from here.
The story telling, the controls, constant action, puzzles, and gradual increase in power and moves, bad ass music, this is what makes this game dope. This is what I mean by developers ‘getting it’ – you get a cinematic experience which you can control, along with empowerment that should come with videogames but not without challenging enemies. Frequently you’ll face big ass dudes that can cut you up in a few hits yet you have your own devastating moves and agility. Rarely do you feel underpowered, you just feel like a bad-ass the whole time.
There are classic story elements that show you how Kratos became OTFABS, you see the fruits of this as he has a threesome with two broads and tells them “be gone when I come back”. Classic.