I know it’s been a while since I last blessed (cursed?) you all with a review, but I’ve been a little busy with going to school, working, family crap and, recently, watching the SNL skit “Dick in a Box” so much I find myself singing along. That said, I’m ready to go on with the show.
Well, you start the game as Kratos; I guess I’ll let that slide. One of the novel approaches this game takes (of which there are many) is that there isn’t a ten minute intro. You know the ones I’m talking about, where you sit there for what seems like hours while people you don’t know go on and on and on and on and on about some really boring shit that has nothing to do with you until you start playing the damn game. Not God of War. There was a short movie and then BAM, I was getting hit by guys before I even knew I was playing.
I may be in the minority in saying this, but many times I really don’t care about the super long cutscenes, videos, or walking and talking that seems to be so abundant lately in videogames. I mean, it was cool when I had my TurboGrafx CD because those were the best looking graphics at that time, but now I’m bored with it. I bought this so I could play, not watch. Anyhoo, on to the game.
God of War starts out pretty simple and fairly intuitive, but slowly the game progresses into a sometimes challenging, sometimes frustrating good time. I will admit there were a few times I wanted to put my controller through my TV, but I adapted and overcame. The graphics for an action game are about as good as they’re going to get on a PS2 and the controls are exactly what you’d want at this point. One of the strong selling points for this game is that no one was trying to re-invent the wheel with this one; they just wanted to make a game that was enjoyable, could be challenging and would be fun to play. I think they really succeeded and were nice enough to throw in some nuances that really made us old-schoolers happy.
For instance: Try to find a place in the game where you aren’t playing and it’s loading. Go ahead—I’ll wait. You can’t? Really?! Neither could I. Sony used a new (for the time) technique called “fetching,” where all the information for the next section is gathered while you travel in a sparse environment. Maybe not the most groundbreaking way to go about things, but really does the job for all of us loading screen haters. Honestly, I’m surprised that nobody had thought of it before. (I’m sure some reader will prove me wrong on that one. Screw you, incidentally)
Ask anyone what the most important part of an action game is and you’ll probably get the same four-to-six answers over and over:
Weapons. Story. Levels. Enemies. Character Advancement. Ending.
God of War isn’t a perfect game, but it does, for the most part, a very good job of taking all of those wants into account for everyone. I think that, coupled with the unhateable controls, is why the game did so well with so many people. You constantly upgrade your weapons and get new abilities at every turn; the story is more than enough to keep you going; the level are some times a HUGE pain in the ass, which is what everyone secretly wants; the enemies get harder and harder (although they stay the same looking, for the most part); your character becomes less and less of an asshole; and the end gives you the closure you need. If that wasn’t enough, for all you power nerds, there’s a ton of unlockable crap.
So what’s bad about the game? Well, it does sometimes get tedious, but you can say that about almost any action game at some point. The stupid little sex sequence on Kratos’ boat could go away, as well. Other than that, I guess the best thing I can say about this game is that I didn’t notice too much, which means Sony did a pretty decent job. I will say the final boss was the cheapest piece of shit I’ve encountered in quite a while, though. That being said, this is now a Greatest Hits so you can probably buy it used for $8 or so, and it’s definitely worth that in my book.