Friday, January 2, 2009

The God of War series is only three years old, but it already has two blockbuster titles to its name. Amazing graphics, a truly "epic" feel and some pretty tight control, along with next-to-no loading times to speak of, have made it one of the most popular games of the past generation, and has made God of War 3 one of the hottest upcoming titles on the PS3. God of War: Chains of Olympus is a solid title that continues the tradition, but comes up just a little bit short to the console versions in just about every area.

You play as the Spartan warrior Kratos, who is in servitude to the gods of Olympus. Why? Well, we don't know. The game never alludes to why. Those who've played the later titles know exactly why. The game starts off with a bang when Kratos is thrown into a battle surrounding the Persian assault. As soon as he's finished, he's thrown into godly affairs unlike anything he's ever dreamed of...Everything about God of War is based off of Greek mythology and that's exactly what Kratos does. He writes himself into it. By tearing out the hearts of minions of evil gods and never saying sorry. If you're worried about overwhelming storyline, or long, drawn out monologues then worry no longer! It's built well, clear, cut and precise. Yet there are many surprises waiting for even veterans to God of War.

Cry for bloodlust and rush to buy this. God of War: Chains of Olympus is a definite buy for anyone who is a fan of Kratos, or action games in general.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

God of War 2

If the original God of War was any indication of what to expect from future action games, expectations for God of War II were naturally quite high. From the moment you start a new game in God of War II, it is clearly evident that the developers set out to completely outdo the original, and boy did they ever.

God of War II begins shortly after the ending of the first game when Kratos defeated Ares in combat and became the new god of war. As shown by the original game's ending, Kratos was not content with simply just becoming a god. After his ascension to Olympus the armies of Sparta left destruction in their wake, and did so in the name of Kratos. Threatened and angered by Kratos, Zeus betrays Kratos by tricking him into draining his powers into the Sword of Olympus, which Zeus then kills Kratos with. Fortunately for Kratos he is revived by Gaia and given the opportunity to seek out the Sisters of Fate, where he can hope to go back in time and change his destiny.

God of War was for the most part, a fantastic looking game, but God of War II surprisingly raises the graphical level quite a bit higher than the original. There is a ton of really amazing lighting throughout the game, and the character models all look much better. You can really tell the PlayStation 2 is working up a sweat, especially due to the occasional screen-tearing. It can be kind of annoying at times, but this was also present in the first game. If occasional screen-tearing is the price to pay for amazing graphics and no slow-down whatsoever, then there isn't much to complain about. Chances are you won't pay much attention to it anyways. The cinematics in God of War II deserve a special mention because the cinematics are absolutely breath-taking. The cinematics in God of War II are also effectively placed at key points in the game and the ending cinematic is especially awesome.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Hello my name is Alvin. I'm a big fan of the game God of War (GOW). When GOW 1 was released, I've asked my friend to get me a copy. That was March of 2005. You'll know if a game is superb just by looking at the opening scene. This original game has actually been in development for roughly two years at the Southern California studio under the direction of David Jaffe, a Sony veteran whose work on the early Twisted Metal games and Twisted Metal Black Online proves there's something not quite right about him. GoW may not have the most original gameplay ever given to us, but it pulls everything off to perfection. The heavy action is complemented by a healthy dose of puzzles.

Let's talk about the story. Most action games don't typically put much effort into stories of action games. But of course GOW rises above the rest and delivers a completely original story in a fascinating environment of Greek mythology. The game starts with Kratos about to jump off a cliff but right before he reaches the bottom we get a flashback to 3 weeks earlier where he battles the hydra and an undead army on a ship in the Aegean Sea. This is where your adventure begins, the game tells the story with well scripted flashbacks that slowly tell who you are. The flair and timing of the FMVs help deliver an amazing level intensity to the game. But basically the short version is you want to kill Ares, but you will meet a variety of gods Greek beasts. And the big catcher is only Pandora's Box can kill a god, which of course is far away and heavily guarded.

About the graphics, when my friend came over to play with me after watching an FMV he actually said “wow”. The FMVs themselves look like their paintings. There are features about the making of the enemies and the environments to show how much effort went into this game. The environments are enormous and huge to say the least. The sense of scale portrayed in this game is unlike anything you have ever seen. The enemies are all recognizable from Greek mythos but unique too. Every enemy also has a least one animated sequence of death, some are pretty hardcore like ripping a guy in half with your bare hands! This of course adds another layer on the badass meter. With all this great design you think they could have made Ares look badass to right? The minotaurs are the coolest looking in my opinion.

The controls of the game, with a fairly large combat system at hand, button sequences can get fairly intricate. There are also mini games that require quick button selections. All of this is pulled off without any problem or lag. All of this is pulled off without any problem or lag. In fact GoW probably features the most responsive block of any game, EVER. Mastering this is key to mastering the game and God mode. Of course I do have one complaint though, BUTTON SMASHING AARGHHH!! I am absolutely horrible at this game “skill”. But some enemy death sequences require this. For example the Minotaur has one of the coolest death scenes, but you must smash O as fast as you can. In my opinion this is THE hardest thing to do in the game. Fortunately you skip these by just pummeling them with your blades of chaos.Score 9.

Like the graphics the sound is on an epic scale. The music is really is fantastic, featuring Greek sounding scores that add flair and tension by the bundle. All the music is very well suited and cuts off when you would want it to. The voice acting is also top notch. The actress that plays the future teller in Chronicles of Riddick (the movie) plays sort of a narrator, which really helps set the tone during the incredible FMVs. Kratos and Ares play out their parts with realistic emotion and passion. This is truly one of the most dramatic games ever. There aren't any other characters that really have any major lines but the sound effects from all creatures and characters sound very good too. Score 10.

Go buy this game! Seriously, this isn't just PS2's best action adventure game, this one of best games of all time, period. No game will give better presentation than GoW and the game features a unique and fun combat system. Really this is a game that all mature audiences will love, so go now!


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