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Platform

PlayStation 2

 

Genre

Action

 

Publisher

SCEA

 

Developer

SCEA

 

ESRB

M (Mature)

 

Released

Q1 2007

 

 

- Interesting use of Greek mythology

- Just as intense as the first game

- Looks damn good for a PS2 game

 

 

- Enemies aren't all that adaptive, instead favoring patterns in their attacks

 

 

Review: God of War (PS2)

Review: Ninja Gaiden Black (Xbox)

Review: The Getaway - Black Monday (PS2)

 

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God of War II

Score: 8.5 / 10

 

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From the moment I started playing this game, everything felt instantly familiar.  It was as if the year or so since I had finished off God of War was last week, and hardly any time had passed at all.  Most importantly, it was just as much fun as I remembered, and then some with the added goodies this time around.  Usually a sequel will feel like an extension from its predecessor at least a little bit, but itís rare to see a game make it feel as natural as God of War II has managed.

 

From the moment the first level started, it was as if I hadnít missed a beat since playing the first game and it was business as usual in ancient Greece with Kratos and the gang.  This largely came from Kratos being in a suped-up state from where we left him after the first God of War, so of course he would be all decked out with the various powers and special attacks that made the first game so fun.  However, it wasnít long before he was stripped of these abilities and found himself on a quest seeking revenge for this.

 

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Itís in this way that we see God of War II branch out into new territory, and present a fresh experience that differentiates itself from the original game.  Still the control scheme is the same, and players slowly collect little, red, glowing balls to be spent on leveling up Kratosí abilities, but many of these are new abilities, and new weapons from

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that found in the first God of War.  This time, though, it isnít the gods of Olympus that are bestowing these gifts on the bloodthirsty Spartan; instead he has the Titans to thank.

 

In this way we see the storyline of God of War II embrace a different aspect of Greek mythology than the first game.  Granted the original God of War did touch upon the Titans, but itís an interesting twist to have them play such a central role in the sequel.  Usually these beings play second fiddle to Zeus and his cronies in film and literature, so seeing them help Kratos get revenge on Zeus is quite refreshing.  Itís something that folklore buffs will likely appreciate, and hopeful will spark interest in the subject among those who may not know very much about Greek mythology beyond the gods of Olympus.

 

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With all of these new abilities, weapons, and mythological beings slapped into the same basic framework found in the first God of War, this game manages to walk the line quite well between giving gamers something new, while staying familiar enough not to scare anyone away.  Combat is fast-paced, with plenty of cool looking, easy to pull off moves to keep players happy for a good long time.  The enemies are generally pretty challenging, though some of the lower-level rank and file minions seem to rely on swarming Kratos in order to take him down.  Boss fights are where the real fun comes during combat, as most of these guys are quite imposing and have a variety of vicious attacks that need to be dealt with.  However, they didnít ever seem to be terribly adaptive to attacks that players use, and instead are would be quickly defeated once you learned their pattern.  Nonetheless, though, actual fighting is very fun, especially after getting the hang of the special moves.

 

One thing that did stand a cut above that of the original God of War, as well as most other PS2 games for that matter, was the graphics in this game.  The level of detail in the characters and environments here is really quite impressive.  To look at this stuff it does show just how far one of these older consoles can be pushed.  The visuals in God of War II are just phenomenal.

 

Regardless of whether or not you played the first game, God of War II is a title well worth spending some time with.  The action is fast, and furious, it looks damn good, and the adventure is a whole lot of fun thanks to how it embraces Greek mythology.  Top notch.

 

Jeff Nash

April 30, 2007

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