God of War
by Charles "Chuck" Longer
I’m a new dad. This means that playing video
games has been knocked down the fun time priority scale by
responsibilities like “changing diapers,” “cleaning up spit-up,”
“cleaning up high chairs,” and “giving big hugs.” (The last one,
admittedly, isn’t so terrible.)
Needless to say, it takes a REALLY strong game
to inspire me to commit my time to try and actually see it through
to the end.
I finished God of War, and I’m thinking about
playing it again.
You are Kratos, an army general who sold his
soul to Ares (the God of War). In return, Ares has given you some
ridiculous weapons and made you the world’s greatest warrior. The
cost? You have become Ares’ pawn, killing at his command and losing
all meaning to your life.
The other gods “have had it up to HERE with
Ares’ hotshot antics,”¹ so they ask you for help. Since gods cannot
kill gods, they send you on a mission to obtain Pandora’s box, the
only item in the world that can give a mortal enough power to kill a
The next 85% of the game is spent obtaining the
box, and then the final 15% is spent fighting Ares. In true game
form, your history is revealed as you progress--why you made the
deal with Ares, why you’re haunted by your past, and most
interestingly, why your skin is ash white. (Emphasis on ash here.)
But the true joy of the game is the fighting
and gratuitous gore put on display.
A quick example: at the end of the first
stage, you face the Hydra – the three-headed sea-serpent that makes
its livelihood destroying ships. You impale two of its heads onto
the deck of a ship with anchors. Then, after repeated attacks, you
throw one of your blades through the skull of the third head, jump
on top of it, carve out one of its eyes, throw your other blade
through its skull, then jump down and yank its head onto a broken
mast, impaling it in the process. With that done, you walk down its
throat to save the ship’s captain b/c he has a key on his neck that
you need. But wait – you only came for the key, not the captain, so
after yanking the key off his neck, you let him fall down the dead
Hydra’s throat to his peril.
I actually called Bell the minute I’d finished
the stage b/c I was so giddy with what I’d just seen.
And the rest of the game is just as solid. As
you work your way through Minotaurs, Medusas, Cyclops, and other
mythological beasts, you destroy any and everything that might
hinder your quest.
To be clear – the game isn’t faultless. You
don’t have the ability to free-roam throughout the mythical lands
you travel; the gameplay is very linear and limits you to one or two
routes to accomplish your goals. In addition, you don’t have
control of the camera as you play, so you’re limited to viewpoints
defined by the game. It took some getting used to (considering most
big-time games give you total control of the cameras surrounding the
character), but it didn’t hamper the overall experience.
To this day, Tony Hawk 2 remains THE game I
couldn’t toss aside until I’d completed EVERY challenge for EVERY
character in the game. As Justin and Keith (the other roommate) can
attest, I actually made it to a point where I could complete ALL the
requirements for a level in one three-minute run. It was the
closest I’ve ever been to video-game-ninja-mastery.
That is, until I became the God of War.
Chuck is paraphrasing from the landmark 1998 hit action/comedy
Chuck loves it when you say the words "mesh shorts."
here to send him a note.
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": Buy
this game right away, and don't ask me any questions as to why
that's a good move. A game experience that will almost
guarantee repeated controller abuse, lots of ManScreaming and high
resale value, you will assuredly play this bad boy for months on end.
after games have been out for a while, they drop in price slightly,
or can be bought for slightly cheaper in combination with other new
games. Usually, that's about $40. You'll feel good
getting the game for this price, since it isn't quite
run-out-and-get-it-right-now good, but it has enough game in the box
for a few weeks' worth of enjoyment.
game is not too bad, but you'd be better off buying it used from
either half.com or eBay. You also might let a friend buy this
game, let s/he beat it, and then try to buy it from them to make
them feel better. Yes, this does tend to feel like "Sloppy
"Rental": Like my
cousin Ron, you should always rent games that you aren't sure about
first, to make sure that your $50 is going towards something
worthwhile. For games in this category, this is the maximum
amount of money ($5) and/or time (3-5 days) you'll need to either
gain satisfaction from the game, or beat the game in its entirety.
Rental-rated games are also sometimes perfect for a weekend when you
are going to be at home on your ass, with some time to kill.
Games like this should have never been released. If you play
this game for any reason, you will regret every second of the
experience. Further, if you can get this game for free, don't
do it, because even for FREE, it will still be a negative experience