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God of War (2005) review
Exceptional
by bgsmith3

God of War is, to me, one of the most impactful action video games released in the early 2000s. The combo based hack and slash combat, the action-adventure elements, the puzzles, all of these things can be seen in the industry today in some way or another. This game, hands down changed the hack and slash genre going forward, that cannot be contested. God of War centers on its main protagonist/ anti-hero Kratos, a Spartan general who was in service to Ares, the Greek God of war, and who has done terrible things in service to his master and is shackled to that pain and horror. This game was the first of the series that tracks Kratos’s rise to power as an Olympian. To cease Ares’s attack on Athens, the gods of Olympus enlist Kratos to retrieve Pandora’s Box, the only weapon capable of defeating a god. Kratos must travel to Pandora’s Temple, brave the traps and hazards within, retrieve the box and have his revenge with the Greek Pantheon promising to absolve him of his sins. Therein lies the beauty of this game. It has some lofty concepts, but it’s about fallible characters ultimately. The gods help Kratos along the way by giving him special items and abilities to use in battle. This game and God of War II, both pull this off organically. But in other games, especially the prequel and in-betwee-quel games, the weapons and powers feel so obligatory and the game seems to begrudgingly grant them to you out of entitlement and loyalty to the franchise as opposed to organically as this game did. The design of this dark take on Ancient Greece is very cool and unique. The characters themselves embody a lot of traits and attributes from Greek mythology and art, but at the same time there is a strange gothic feel and aesthetic to the game that sets it apart from more traditional depictions of Ancient Greece (as seen in games like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey). The voice acting is very good as well as the sound design. However, sometime the game is difficult and quirky in what it demands the player t do. Balancing acts on precarious ledges, dodging blades, killing enemies within a time limit, performing a minigame button mashing contest, all of these things present some form of frustration as you go through the game. The demands aren’t impossibly, just annoying. God of War is a fantastic game and is probably one of the best games ever made. I will never regret taking my friend’s advice and picking up this game.

Rating: 4.5/5