Thursday, July 8, 2010

Game Review: God of War

God of War

Should be called God of Boobs

Playstation 2, 2005

Developer: SCE Studios Santa Monica

Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment

Time to Complete: 5-7 hours

The very first, debut edition of A Serious Review™ is for a game I just recently played. Seemingly 90% of everyone else on the planet with a PS2 already played it years ago, so I'm a bit behind the times. For that other 10% who, like myself, aren't "hip" or "with it", here's the story. God of War is a third-person action game set in ancient Greece. You play as Kratos, a mortal who is on a quest to kill Ares, the renegade God of War...and anything else that has the misfortune of running into his grumpy, wrathful self. This review may or may not actually be Serious, and it is likely to be not very serious at all. Void in several states. Read on, if you dare.

Steeped in Greek mythology and featuring such foes as the medusa and the minotaur, this is one of the more interesting action games of the Playstation 2 era. For people who grew up studying mythology as I did, the game is full of fun references to spot. This game is Clash of the Titans or Jason and the Argonauts mixed with a cold-hearted anti-hero and copious amounts of exposed breasts; we'll get to that soon. Like I said, the hero of the game is anything but, and often comes across as a worse character than the foes he's battling. He has all of the class, sophistication, debonair suave, and subtle nuance of a rusty Civil War era bugle that summons an army of rabid, screeching bats (not to be confused with Twilight fans). This doesn't make Kratos unlikeable, though. On the contrary - with the intended audience of the game, young men, he's quite popular. We live in the age of the anti-hero; in games for adults, shiny happy good guys who do no wrong simply aren't as cool as they used to be.

This game may be fun and interesting, yet it is not without flaws. It is very linear, and doesn't leave much room for exploration most of the time. Also, the environments are often underwhelming in appearance; a large portion of the game has you going through dull caves. This wouldn't be much of an issue if not for the sprinkling of overwhelming scenes, such as the cliffs you traverse in stormy weather while Ares can be seen in the distance battling an army. These awesome visuals make the less impressive parts of the game even more bland. This could be chalked up to the era that the game came out in. In 2005, the Playstation 2 hadn't quite hit its peak in terms of graphic power, and likely couldn't sustain the game's highs for the duration. This is less of a problem with the Playstation 3 remake of the game.

This trip to the zoo really fell apart

The anti-hero nature of our protagonist, Kratos, lends itself to the story in a way that is often comical. He is a one-man wrecking crew; he demolishes everything in his path with little remorse. As a result, get ready for gore - this game has lots and lots of it. The combat system is fast-paced and enjoyable, with Kratos swinging fiery whip chains to annihilate his foes. Anyone who is familiar with poi (fire-spinning) will particularly enjoy this.

It may sound like fun and games, but be warned... This game gets VERY VERY difficult towards the end. The final areas, which (spoiler alert, highlight the text to read it) have our hero clawing his way out of Hades, are unreal in their harshness. However, even in its most brutal moments, the game still finds time for humor; this time, in the form of people raining out of the sky left and right. Sound bad? It is, but somehow... it's just too funny to take seriously. And that's just it - the game never takes itself too seriously.

Back to the matter at hand: Breasts. God of War features breasts in abundance. They're everywhere. Enemies have breasts, statues have breasts, wall murals show breasts... the justification for this tomfoolery, which no doubt would have had Former Attorney General John Ashcroft up in arms, is thus: In ancient Greece, they had a complete lack of shirts and chose instead to wear bedsheets. The rationale was more likely than not that simply wearing bedsheets would cut out an unnecessary middleman for these sex-crazed lunatics. Luckily, soon Christianity would take hold, causing people to stop engaging in hot, sweaty, hanky-panky.

It wasn't until many years later, the 1990's to be exact, that people began to finally have sex again; specifically, 1992, the year the female orgasm was invented. Not coincidentally, also the year Bill Clinton won the presidency. In closing, the complete and total boob-overkill in this game is great, and easily adds a point to the game's overall score.

Also, it is worth mentioning that, at the height of its over-the-toppedness, this game has a Threesome Minigame. Tap the buttons in a rapid-response fashion to pleasure two strangely emotionless, bare breast sporting young ladies off-camera. Fun for the whole family! However, this minigame is not without its glaring problems. For one, during the minigame, you hear weapons clashing and combat sounds in addition to the moans of the ladies. Now, I don't know how exactly Kratos handles the stimulation of female naughty parts, but I'm pretty sure those are the wrong sound effects for the game to be using. Secondly, and this is a big one - the minigame is over in about 30 seconds. In addition to this saying something bad about Kratos, there's an even worse issue here: from the sounds of it, both ladies get off in that span of time. Now, as anyone on the planet who isn't a World of Warcraft enthusiast knows, such a feat is completely and totally impossible, and completely kills the suspension of disbelief.

I understand that the Threesome Minigame is a staple throughout the God of War series. I can only assume that the rumored God of War 4 will feature a Foursome Minigame. Or maybe they can just have a God of War game that consists of nothing but Threesome Minigames. What, you think that would be towing the line a bit too closely to porn? It isn't as if this is without precedent: We also got Dead or Alive Beach Volleyball... and Super Mario Sunshine.

God of War gets three and a half Kratos heads out of five. It's damn good, but there is certainly room for improvement. If you missed out on this series and enjoy Greek mythos, I recommended it... if you can hang with the brutal late-game difficulty.

Rating: 7.4 out of 10


  1. Ah, God of War. One of my favourite games to watch other people play, but that I've never actually played myself. So totally goofy and yet so totally badass fun at the same time. Ares bless those threesome mini-games, too...

  2. 'Luckily, soon Christianity would take hold, causing people to stop engaging in hot, sweaty, hanky-panky."

    Thank God.