God of War 2

Review

posted 4/17/2007 by Cyril Lachel
other articles by Cyril Lachel
One Page Platforms: PS2
Kratos is one pissed off dude. Just one look at this killing machine and you'll be convinced that this is one angry hombre. Not that he doesn't have every right to be, but of all the really angry video game characters you've played as over the past twenty years, Kratos is the meanest one of all. After murdering his family, taking out thousands of soldiers and fighting his way to the top, Kratos has become the God of War and oversees the world he once was a part of. You would think that life was pretty darn good, even for an angry guy like Kratos.
 
But life as a God is not all it's cracked up to be, apparently there's some in-fighting and not everybody is happy that the big ash-colored guy with the two deadly blades on chains is a God. Zeus, the supreme ruler of the Gods, decides that it's about time for somebody to deal with Kratos and turns him into a mere mortal.  As you can imagine this turns and already angry Kratos into the single most pissed off action hero you'll ever seen, not the kind of guy you want to run into in a dark alley, abandoned castle, or really anywhere else.
 
This is how God of War II starts; you go from being a giant God that towers over cities and mountains to a small insignificant human who is the same size as everybody else. And on top of that you're stuck battling a gigantic colossus that should have no problem kicking your butt. Needless to say this isn't the best day, but at least it gives Kratos (and the person controlling him) a chance to enjoy everything that made the original God of War so much fun.
 
Like any good sequel, God of War II retains everything that was fun about the original game and improves on all the stuff that was bad. The good news is that there wasn't a lot of bad in the 2005 God of War. The game play remains the same and there's not a major shift in the way the game looks or feels, but what you do get is a great adventure full of fantastic bosses, tons of mythological cameos, and combat that never gets boring. God of War II is everything you could hope for in a PlayStation 2 action game, and for a few hours it actually got me to not care about the newest game consoles.
 
Once again you have the chance to become Kratos as he journeys far and wide in search of the Sisters of Fate. The plan is that if Kratos can find these Sisters of Fate he will be able to turn back time and go to the moment when Zeus changed him from a God to a normal human being. Of course, finding the Sisters of Fat e is not going to be an easy task, you're going to have to deal with large creatures, numerous puzzles and a whole bunch of characters you've probably heard of. Everything that was great about the original God of War is here in full force, and in a lot of ways this game is even better.
 
From beginning to end God of War II feels like a roller coaster ride through Greek mythology, it grabs you from the very first fight and doesn't let go until you've completed your task and witnessed the exciting (and somewhat anticlimactic) ending cinema. Considering that this will likely be the last major first party title released for the PlayStation 2, God of War II Is a fitting ending to a system that brought us so many games and so many good times. If there was any doubt that this action series had legs and could sustain multiple sequels I think those worries have been put to rest, it's hard to imagine an action game being more exciting and more enthralling than this.
 
There are so many things that stand out about God of War II, from the amazing graphics to the fitting voice acting to the spectacular boss battles. But the thing I'm the most impressed with has to be the variety of areas to fight in and the fantastic level designs. While the original game was certainly a great game in its own right, there were times when I felt like we were getting bogged down in too many similar looking environments. But the pacing is completely different in this sequel, about the time you start to get sick and tired of your surroundings the entire level will change and you'll be thrown into something completely new and exciting. The fact that you never really know where you're going to go next works to the game's advantage, it definitely kept me glued to the screen working my way through the crazy world full of Gods and monsters.
 
The first hour or two alone should be enough to keep that wired PlayStation 2 control stuck to your hands. First you fight a giant colossus, then you escape from the underworld, after that you ride on your flying horse (Pegasus) while battling countless enemies, only to get caught in an elaborate cave area with a giant creature made entire out of rocks. And that's just in the first couple hours of the game, if you keep at it you'll be fighting through the forest, clearing out castles, diving underwater and over mountains. And while all of those parts of the game are cool and worth experiencing, I haven't even addressed the coolest locations in fear of spoiling the entire experience. Needless to say, God of War II delivers a fully realized world full of tiny details, regardless of how dark and dreary this world is there's a certain beauty to it all, something that you have to see for yourself to fully appreciate.
 
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