God of War
by Polly

Time and time again, I find myself amazed at the gaming community in general. Year after year, E3 after E3, certain games get showered with praise and "Best of" awards, and when the final turd drops it's lavished with amazingly stupid praise and insanely high scores most likely bought by the publisher or reviewed by some rabid fanboy. God of War is exactly one of those games.

For the few things that God of War does right, it does about fifteen other things completely wrong. "God of War is the best adventure game ever," says David Jaffe. Well, if this is the best, I'd certainly hate to see the worst.

God of War IS an incredible looking game. The environments, main characters, and all of the enemies are very well done and thought out. They wanted to make these environs believable and they were very, very successful. Lots of detail, and probably some of the best weather effects seen in a game. All of the backgrounds absolutely reek of well thought out design and are beautifully lighted and rendered. If there's a game pushing the PS2 to its graphical limits, then this is one of the top contenders for the throne.

Don't be fooled by those who make God of War's story out to be something granduer. It's nothing more than a simple revenge plot using Greek mythology as its base. Throw some Gods together, an angsty anti-hero, and top that off with some bare polygonal titties and stir it all up. Beat till your heart's desires are met. Punny.

Buuuuuut then you get around to playing the game and all of a sudden realize that you've been bamboozled. All you're playing is a very glorified beat 'em up with some Greek mythology thrown in. The main character Kratos is quite an agile fellow. He's got a whole shit load of moves at his disposal and his arsenal of moves grows significantly throughout the entire game. But hardly any of the moves are vital to your completing the game. Sure, the new moves are flashy and look really pretty, but I had no trouble hacking my way through the game on Normal with normal run of the mill Square, Square, Square, Square, Triangle combos. The new moves you'll get may look really cool the first couple times you use them, but after that there's no real point other than to rack up higher hitting combos and more red orbs (how original). Aside from the little fatality mini-games that you can complete on most enemies, I found almost every other button on the controller worthless. The game's greatest illusion is making you believe it has some kind of depth, when in reality it's just a senseless button mashing fest. Which doesn't necessarily mean it's horrible, because the mindless fun IS entertaining, but only for a very short bit. Then the game wears out its welcome soon after. For all that's bad, though, God of War DOES have some very responsive controls. You can fight off a ton of enemies at once in a matter of a few seconds with how fluid your character moves and how responsive he is.

Buuuuuut, even though the controls are responsive they still won't save you from the absolutely shitty fixed camera angles. You'd think if a game was in development for three years, as God of War claims to be, then they'd have had time to look at the slop they were throwing together and say "Oh SHIT! This camera is God awful!" You're gonna miss jumps, fall off ledges, and get attacked by enemies you can't even see because something's obstructing the camera. Good thing the game looks good, or we might actually have some kind of problem with this.

Overall, I have one word for this game as I do most games that win stupid game of the year and "best of" awards: Overrated. David Jaffe also said that this game was the game that was going to take the action/adventure game to the next level. Well, if you're gonna do that, you're gonna have to step it up and be more than a really cruddy clone of 2001's Devil May Cry. God of War isn't a total loss, but the mindless fun becomes too old too quickly.

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