Because I believe in truth in advertising, I’ve decided to change God of War to God of Bore. Released in 2005 exclusively for the PlayStation 2, God of War is a third-person action-adventure game that I think would have made the ancient Greeks burn their temples and forsake their gods in an attempt to prevent anyone from making a game like this.
First, to me, the concept wasn’t unique. Greek mythology? News flash: It’s been done a hundred times in various formats (Hercules, Xena, The Odyssey). I don’t think it matters that this particular format is a video game; it’s still unoriginal.
Second, I thought the story was sloppy and unstructured. It started clean and exciting, but as the game progressed, I felt like I was just doing chores to see the next cinematic, which were pretty mediocre in my opinion.
Throughout the game, you get to see a series of flashbacks that reveal Kratos’ life, but if you’re like me, halfway through you can probably guess what happened. Also, it felt like the game was missing a boss toward the end, which hardly would have made up for the pathetic final fight anyway. During this fight, you battle a legion of Kratos “clones,” which to me screams “reuse of video game assets due to apathy.” It had nothing to do with the story because the point of the game was to kill Ares, not Kratos clones. Although, there is one scene that is suppose to be suspenseful but ended up being funny: A woman is hanging desperately from a rope and crying for help, and Kratos has to save her by solving a complex puzzle that takes about three minutes.
Speaking of puzzles, there were a lot in God of War, but I thought they were very “eh.” There is one part in which you have to slide rocks into a certain formation to open a passageway. Boring. There is another part in which you had to find a hidden doorknob to open a door. Boring. It felt like a whole lot of filler.
Finally, I thought the voice acting was pedestrian. Kratos sounded like he had a Gorgon head crammed in his throat because the voice actor was trying too hard to sound tough. He probably suffers from the same throat cancer as Christian Bale’s Batman. The dialogue was only memorable because I thought it was horrid. It was written just to get the job done. That I can’t remember the music says something about my thoughts about the composer. I didn’t think the sound effects were anything special either.
However, the gameplay was cool because of the bloody, bone-breaking, blade-wielding violence. But then again, so is every other super-violent game. I think the developers need to learn not only how to come up with original ideas, but also how to write an interesting story.
The graphics and concept designs also are excellent. The monsters are quite sleek and cool, especially the minotaurs and other two-legged monsters. It really got me in the mood for smashing things. Credit for this goes to Charlie Wen and Cecil Hong-Sik Kim, who designed all the awesome monsters and had nothing to do with the storyline. I think it’s a shame they weren’t in charge of making the game.
God of War would be suitable for teens and young adults, even though it is rated M. I would only suggest buying it if you like the designs of this type of game, but that creates the risk that this level of subpar storytelling will continue. Wait — it’s too late. God of War 2 came out, which I thought was another unintentional nightmare altogether.