God of War II Review

Action game fans rejoice – Kratos is back. God of War II is everything that God of War was and then some. It’s hard to believe that this is not a PlayStation 3 game. Everything about it – graphics, gameplsy, sound, story,… – can go head to head with just about anything next-gen has to offer. Sony could have taken God of War II and put it onto a PS3 game disk and most people wouldn’t have even noticed. About the only people who I can’t recommend this game too are the squeamish and those who aren’t too good at video games because God of War II is bloody and hard. Bloody and challenging indeed, but also really bloody good.

God of War II opens with Kratos using his powers as the new god of war to lead the men of Sparta to one victory after another against the other city states of Greece. The gods begin to grow wary of Kratos’ growing power and look down on his hands-on approach to the matters of man. Betrayed by the gods and stripped of his powers, Kratos is saved from the depths of hell by the Earth mother Gaia who has had her fill of Zeus and the other gods. She sends Kratos on a journey to the Fates themselves to turn back time and prevent his betrayal at the hands of Zeus. The story in God of War II is worth mentioning because it is head and shoulders above the usual throwaway stories found in video games. The game’s story is worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster and the imaginative and well-produce cutscenes serve to bring it to life while it draws you into its world. The fact that all the events take place within the framework of Greek mythology and integrates itself so seamlessly with the mythos makes it all the more impressive.

God of War 2 backs up this story with gameplay to match. If you played God of War, then the basics of the gameplay will be familiar to you. Attacks are initiated with heavy and light attack buttons, but the combo is king in the game. The two attack buttons along with a jump and grab button result in an amazing number of brutal but acrobatic attacks. The attacks are context sensitive, so the type of enemy that you’re facing, the number, and their relative position to you all factor into the type of attack and combos. To be honest there’s not a lot of strategy involved in selecting the combos, or even in when to use them, as the game is pretty much a button masher. However, you’ll be having far too much fun to even notice. When faced with larger foes or some of the games monstrous boss creatures you’ll have the opportunity to perform special finishing moves that are so imaginative and well-choreographed that they’re an absolute blast to watch. These are performed in a button-matching mini game sequence that aren’t all that challenging although you’ll find yourself missing the occasional button in the heat of battle.

The difficulty in the game comes primarily through the boss battles and puzzles. The boss battles can be long multi-round affairs that need to be played almost perfectly in order to come out on top. The puzzles run from the simple to some that are pretty clever, but some of them must be solved while you’re being attacked or fired upon from a distance which can make things a lot trickier.

The biggest problem with games that tend to be button-mashers is that the action can grow old quickly. God of War II manages to avoid this fate for a number of reasons. The first is that the action is varied. I’m not sure how many different ways there are for Kratos to send his enemies to Hades in the game, but the number of ways is definitely impressive. Next is the story, which is engrossing enough to keep you playing on its own and takes you to a variety of exotic locations that always keep things interesting. There are also a variety of exciting sequences to mix things up like midair battles while riding Pegasus. Get close to an attacking griffin and you can jump on its back to tear its wings off – fun stuff!

God of War II is a masterpiece of action gaming. Story, production values, gameplay, … it’s the whole package, and it runs just beautifully on the PS3 too in case you’re interested. Unless you absolutely hate action gamers, you’ll absolutely love God of War II.

In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 100%. The god of war is the god of action games.


RSS Feed Widget