[Games That Nobody Plays Anymore is a weekly series written by Nathan Hardisty with a little title card help from Juan Houter. It’s an on-going series about the forgotten games of yesteryear, and doesn’t totally reflect the title. Remember; nobody stops playing these games; it’s just a title. Don’t make something of it or I will come down to your house and ask you politely to stop. If you have any suggestions for future titles to ‘GTNPA’ don’t forget to leave me a comment!]
ARES I HAVE SLAIN MANY TO COME TO THIS FINAL CONFRONTATION. I HAVE KILLED MY OWN FAMILY, TO WHICH THE PLAYER DOESN’T REALLY GIVE TWO DAMNS ABOUT. I HAVE SLAUGHTERED SERPANTS AND TACKLED GORGONS. I HAVE COME FOR YOUR BLOOD, THE GODS ARE AGAINST YOU AND NOW YOU ARE MINE. THE POWER… TO KILL A GOD IS IN MY HANDS. I WILL KILL YOU AND DESTROY YOU FOR WHAT YOU DID TO ME. PREPARE TO PAY WITH YOUR LIFE, ARES I AM COMING FOR YOU. YOU CANNOT HIDE.
How about we just settle this over a drink?
God of War is one of the greatest hack and slash games of all time. It’s my favourite of the three because its story funnels though alongside the funnelling gameplay empowerment chain. I bloody (!!!) love it, it’s damn good. There’s a few things I don’t like, which I’ll get into later, but speaking as someone who had to play all three in succession (never played a God of War game before) the first one stood out the most, for me anyway. I know lots of people who like the third one more, lots of people who like the second and one person who likes the PSP version the most.
For starters, Ares is a mother of a fudger. He is a great villain, looming and powerful and Omni-present throughout the game. He’s damn well written too, as is the whole game, David Jaffe really excels in the area of storytelling. The only niggle is we’re asked to care about his wife and kids, who we have no prior relationship to, so the final sequences aren’t that great. The actual final battle with Ares is a test of manliness. It’s a sheer force of a punch to the gamer’s mindset, for the whole game he’s been going through challenge after time and the final battle is a sheer kicker.
That’s what I see the God of War games as, tests. Massive tests of patience, skill and thumb power. I went into the first one trained by the popularization of quick-time events. I wasn’t expecting much so I scaled it to Normal. Within half-an-hour of playing, my thumbs were sore. The game really beats you to a pulp, which is interesting because the game’s ‘Normal’ difficulty gets easier and easier as the trilogy progresses. Maybe that’s how the industry involves over time? I may go back and play through them on a harder difficulty just to get the full bearings.
There are low points and then there are low points. I’ll be scaling a Cyclops, fighting off hordes of enemies and having a blast. Then I’ll be pitted in a room against an endless supply of Harpies and frustration. The high points are massive high stretches into the sky and the low points are nowhere near rock-bottom. The first God of War is a real darn test of how much you can take and how much you can get hit and keep on moving. If that little bit of speech reminded you of a certain film, then you sir/madame, are a winner. You get a fistbump from me.
I’m going to be moving on to God of War 2 and 3 but it’s already worth noting that I like God of War 1 the most. I’m not sure why, perhaps it’s how the difficulty scales or how the story really does feel intertwined with the gameplay. God of War 2 maybe trumps the first in the gameplay department but the general feel of the first just destroy everything. That and I feel like I’m going places in the first one instead of wandering around in the second and third. The sense of scale in the third obviously surpasses everything the series set so far, but from an environments perspective, God of War kicks its ass.
Next week: It’s Spider-week so expect my review of Shattered Dimensions, a Games That Blah Blah of Spider-man 2 and then on Sunday I’ll post the Blah Blah of God of War 2.