A ‘God’ of video games
April 28, 2005
Filed under Features
As a child of the late ’70s, I have always found the movie “Clash of the Titans” to be a bit of a guilty pleasure. Now it has nothing to do with Harry Hamlin’s acting ability or watching that annoying metal owl fly about.
The new Playstation 2 game “God of War” allows you to visit that magical land and meet those colorful people and creatures, and brutally slaughter every single one of them.
Let’s get this out of the way: “God of War” is a violent game. In fact, along with THQ’s “The Punisher,” which was released earlier this year, it is probably the most violent game I have ever played. This game makes the “Grand Theft Auto” series look like “Sesame Street.”
I have never played a game that not only encourages the player to think in the most morally deprived ways to solve puzzles and go through the game but actually rewards you for it. You are a walking, talking bloodthirsty ID in “God of War,” where you are allowed to act out your most base and inhuman fantasies.
In “God of War,” Kratos is a general in the Spartan army who makes the mistake of making a pact with the God of War, Aries, in order to save his life. Players take control of Kratos, who spends the rest of the game trying to get revenge by killing Aries. Throughout the course of the game, flashbacks tell the story of what kind of person Kratos was and what were the events that led him to make a deal with the devil.
I have never been known as a person who likes to strangle puppies or who dropkicks kittens into distant garbage bins, but I couldn’t help but love this game’s encouraged moralistic decay. If I end up going to hell because I played this game, then at least I’ll go with a smile on my face.
The graphics in this game are simply astounding. Who knew that the PS2 was capable of creating this level of beauty? I often found myself just pausing to look around and take in the lush, rich landscapes (with particular attention seemingly paid to the water effects), before continuing on with my wanton acts of manslaughter.
What really stands out is the attention to detail, like when you are just walking down a hallway, the music will soften but when you are about to enter a room filled with horrible monsters and heinous creatures the sound track will pick up, foreshadowing the upcoming confrontation.
The combat is handled with a unique “Tony Hawk Underground” inspired combat system, but instead of pulling off tricks in a half pipe you end up pulling off arms, legs, wings and other extremities.
About the only drawbacks I could find in “God of War” was at times a wonky camera system, which didn’t always provide the most opportune viewing angle. The game has a difficulty curve that although starts off easy enough, will soon be handing you your lunch when you get to the later parts. Also there are parts of the game that just feel tacked on, like their only purpose is to extend the overall playing time (i.e. having to repeatedly run up and down long spiral stairwells).
Although it should go without saying, I feel that this game is not for kids, the weak at heart or those easily offended. What more can I say about a game that has you use a decapitated head on not one but three separate occasions, once as a weapon and twice as keys to open locked doors?
When Congress finds out that this game exists, I foresee a great deal of controversy and maybe even a few coronaries coming from their direction. I give “God of War” an 8.5 out of 10.