God of War II is a third-person, action-adventure game and sequel to the highly critically acclaimed game of 2005, God of War. The game is loosely based on Greek Mythology which serves the background of the game. Developed by SCE Studio Santa Monica in California, a game developer for SCEA. David Jaffe, who was responsible for the creation and direction of the first game, only served as a creative director on this game. The game was directed by Cory Barlog who served as a lead animator on the first God of War prior to directing this entry in the planned trilogy. Soon after the game was released in Japan. Cory Barlog left SCEA to pursue his own career in film and video game entertainment. God of War II is about 10-20 hours long and has many unlockables that can be accessed after beating the game. The game supports widescreen (16:9) display and progressive mode for HDTV screens that support those features. This game takes place right after the events of the first game.
The protagonist is Kratos who is intent on destroying the gods of Olympus. There will be many shocking events that take place throughout his journey that will further the mythos of Kratos. A remastered version of God of War II was released on the PlayStation 3 in the God of War Collection, which also included God of War and bonus content. The remastered game included 2x anti-aliasing and 720p resolution at 60 frames per second. It was released in the U.S. on November 17, 2009.
The gameplay plays exactly the same way as its predecessor but with newly added weapons, magic and relics. There are also new combos and special moves to accommodate the new weapons. Kratos can launch enemies into the air and do damage to them. The game rewards the player with red orbs every time Krato kills hordes of enemies. The red orbs are used for upgrading weapons to make them more powerful and Kratos more stronger. Just as in the first game, Kratos will find gorgon eyes and phoenix feathers to expand his health and magic meter. He needs to acquire six each to expand his health and magic meters. New collectibles include twenty cyclops eyes and six Urns of Power that unlock certain bonuses. As in the first game there are numerous combos Kratos can perform to take down crowds of enemies, and using collected red orbs unlocks more combos. The game features a few context-sensitive collectibles such as Poseidon's Trident from the first game (which allows Kratos to breath underwater), the Golden Fleece (which allows Kratos to deflect enemy attacks), and the Amulet of the Fates ( which slows down time when activated near a Fate statue).
Just as in the first game, GoW II features context-sensitive attacks whereby Kratos attacks an enemy until a corresponding button appears above the enemy's head. By pressing the correct sequence of buttons the player is rewarded with Kratos performing a killer finishing move on the enemy. Life and magic can be acquired by opening chests scattered throughout the world by tapping the "R1" button repeatedly. Green chests yield health orbs while the blue chests yield magic orbs. There are also chests with red orbs scattered about as well. Some of them might contain a normal amount of red orbs while others might contain a lot of red orbs. Once Kratos acquires the Rage of the Titans he will need yellow orbs to replenish his rage meter. Yellow chests refill the rage meter. As in the previous installment, the player can unlock the hardest difficulty ("Titan Mode") by completing the game once on any of the other three difficulties.
A new noteworthy feature that debuted in GoW II that wasn't available in the first game is the hook shot which allows Kratos to use his Blades of Athena to swing from grappling points throughout the game. The grappling shot is used extensively on Kratos's journey, and in one particular scene Kratos has to swing through falling pillars which requires some impeccable timing. Puzzles have always been a huge part of the God of War series and that is no different in GoW II as Kratos will solve many on his journey. Some of them can be tough to figure out, while others will take no time at all to solve. They mostly consist of moving an object to another area or pressing switches or pulling levers in a certain order.
Weapons & Items
- Athena's Blades - Magical replacements for the old Blades of Chaos. These trusty shortswords-on-chains are Kratos' go-to weapons when he needs to murder someone.
- Barbarian Hammer - Kratos gets this from the spirit of the barbarian king; the man who Kratos sold his soul to Ares in order to defeat. Kratos once again soundly defeats him and sends him back to Hades, and takes his signature weapon to boot. It has a shorter reach than Athena's Blades and is much slower, but packs a hell of a punch dealing more damage per swing.
- Spear of Destiny - Kratos gets this from Thevious, the dark rider. A speedy, mid-range weapon that can shoot energy blasts at foes.
- The Blade of Olympus - Zeus's personal weapon of choice, the Blade was used by him to defeat the Titans millennia ago and secured the gods' place as rulers of the universe. Obtained early on when Zeus tricks Kratos into letting it absorb his godly abilities; rendering him a mortal with an impossibly powerful weapon. Zeus then takes it back and uses it to kill him. Kratos doesn't get his hands on it again until the very end of the game, but the weapon can be unlocked for general play after beating the game.
- Typhon's Bane - A magical bow that allows Kratos to deal minor damage at long range. This ability is stolen from Typhon, a minor god of wind.
- Cronos' Rage - Kratos is granted this ability by Cronos, leader of the titans and former ruler of the universe. It drops small balls of electricity on the battlefield that damage nearby enemies, similar to Poseidon's Rage from the first game except weaker and nowhere near as useful.
- Head of Euryale - Kratos obtains this ability by murdering Euryale, a powerful gorgon and sister to Medusa who Kratos also murdered. Aside from being substantially larger due to Euryale's massive size, it functions identically to the Head of Medusa ability from the first game.
- Atlas Quake - Granted to Kratos by Atlas, the titan condemned to carry the world on his shoulders. This spell sends a powerful shockwave through the ground damaging every enemy around Kratos. Upgrades allow the player to increase its power by repeatedly pushing the same button.
In addition the player is briefly able to use the Poseidon's Rage attack from God of War at the beginning of the game. Apparently while Kratos' actions had alienated all the other gods, Poseidon was still pals with him. The spell is lost when Kratos allows the Blade of Olympus to absorb his magical abilities and cannot be regained.
- Poseidon's Trident
- Rage of the Titans
- Amulet of Fates
- Golden Fleece
- Icarus Wings
- The Fates
The supreme ruler of the Gods, Zeus reigns over the sky while his brothers Poseidon and Hades rule the seas and underworld, respectively. As lord of the sky and rain, Zeus wields deadly thunderbolts which he can hurl at those who displease him.
Athena is the daughter of Zeus. She is a fierce and brave warrior. She is the goddess of the city of Athens and is the embodiment of wisdom, reason and purity. She has a strong sense of right and wrong. She feels a powerful need to be loyal to her father and Olympus.
Second in eminence only to his brother, Zeus, Poseidon is the ruler of the seas. Poseidon can bring the rage of the ocean down upon those who anger him.
Son of Zeus, Hermes is the bringer of dreams. God of travellers and literature and the inventor of fire. He is the messenger of the Gods who guides the souls of the dead down to the underworld.
A Spartan warrior who served the Ares, the former god of war. When Kratos was tricked by Ares to kill his wife and child, Kratos sought revenge. Upon defeating Ares, Kratos became the new god of war but turned out to be even more ruthless than Ares ever was.
Brother to Zeus and Poseidon, Hades is the lord of the underworld. Hades is a greedy god who is obsessed with increasing his power.
Daughter of Zeus, Aphrodite is the goddess of love and beauty. Aphrodite possesses the power to steal away the hearts of gods and mortals alike.
The Titan Cronos is the son of Gaia and father of Zeus. Defeated by the gods in the Titan War, Cronos was banished to wander though the desert carrying Pandora's Temple on his back until the sand scraped the flesh off his bones.
Born from chaos, Gaia personifies Earth and is the mother of all titans and the mighty cyclops. She serves as the narrator of the game, and grants Kratos his life back after being murdered by Zeus.
Son of the titan Lapetos and brother of Promethus, the titan Atlas was king of Arcadia. Atlas led the titans against the war of the gods and was defeated by the power of the Blade of Olympus. In the game, God of War: Chains of Olympus, it would later be revealed that upon his defeat Atlas was chained to a wall in Tartarus, the deepest part in the underworld until he was freed by Persephone who was forced to be the wife of Hades. Persephone had him destroy the pillar that holds up the world, but she was defeated by Kratos before the plan was finished. Because the pillar was incredibly damaged by the time the battle was over, Atlas was further punished by the gods to take its place holding up the entire world on his shoulders.
Perseus is trapped in the Temple of the Fates and cannot escape, but when Kratos shows up he tries to defeat him because he thinks the Sisters of the Fate are testing him.
The warrior who finally defeated Kratos leading him to recklessly swear his life to Ares in the first place. Now the king has come back from the dead, hellbent on getting revenge.
The crone, the oldest of the Sisters of Fate. She cuts the threads of fate determining when each individual will die.
Euryale burns with a fiery vengeance to destroy Kratos and avenge her sister, Medusa, queen of the Gorgons.
She is the matron and the middle of the Sisters of Fate. She weaves the threads of fate into a tapestry, laying out the path each individual's life will take.
A humongous, obese creature the size of a 100-story tall building who is grounded and spins the thread of fate, determining the beginning of life for every individual. She's the maiden and youngest of the Sisters of Fate.
He serves the Sisters of Fate as the "horse master" and guards the key to the chapels on the Steeds of Time. He is an over confident warrior who thinks no one can best him. He wields a double edge spear and summons frost minotaurs and ice crystals.
A terrible sea monster.
A black, three-headed beast who is fast, strong and can breathe fire.
A giant statue of Helios, god of the sun, built by the Rhodesians at the center of their city to bring good luck. It is brought to life by Zeus (who was in the form of a bird) who drains Kratos' power and gives it to the statue.
The king of all gods and father to Kratos. He throws lightning bolts at those who defy him.
- The City of Rhodes
- Inside the Colossus
- Flight to the Lair of the Titan
- The Lair of the Titan
- Flight to the Island of Creation
- The Island of Creation
- The Steeds of Time
- The Temple of Lahkesis
- The Bog of the Forgotten
- The Temple of Euryale
- The Hall of Atropos
- Outside Atropos
- The Palace of the Fates
- The Garden of the Gods
- Temple of the Fates
- The Inner Sanctum
- The Summit of Sacrifice
- The Loom Chamber
Kratos has become the new god of war and is still tormented by his old memories. He seeks to distract himself by using his newfound
powers to guide the people of Sparta in an endless campaign of blood and war. The great amount of direct manipulation he is exerting in the world, plus the fact that he is a mortal makes the other gods grow uneasy and devise a plan to strip him of his powers. Athena tries to warn Kratos before he descends to Rhodes to destroy the city. Athena then partly removes his godly powers and brings the Colossus of Rhodes to life in order to destroy Kratos. Kratos is then fooled by Zeus to transmit his godly powers to the Sword of Olympus. Zeus appears and double crosses a severely weakened Kratos and murders him. As he is dying Gaia revives him with the hope that he will kill Zeus. Kratos vows revenge and so begins a long quest to recover his powers, destroy Olympus, and find inner peace. His quest ultimately leads him from the the bottom of the world where he meets Atlas, to a forgotten temple where the Sisters of Fate determine creation. Along the way he battles a mixture of mythological creatures, Greek heroes and legendary beasts. Kratos murders the three Sisters of Fate and obtains their power. On his way to kill Zeus he is stopped by Athena and accidentally kills her. Kratos then unites the titans to destroy Mount Olympus as Zeus marshals the gods to defend it.
- After an impossible combo of 9,000 hits, a message would appear displaying the name of a website called "TheIsleofRhodes"
- Unbeknownst to everyone at the time when the game was released, the player could access the High Definition mode by inputting these buttons before the "Sony Entertainment presents" shows up on the screen: "L1" + "L2" + "L3" + Circle and Square simultaneously. If done it correctly, the following text will be in purple.
- The instruction manual advertised a new God of War game being available for the PSP in 2007. This game turned out to be God of War: Chains of Olympus, though it was released in 2008 instead.
- Harry Hamlin reprised the role of Perseus for a second time. The first being in the 1981 film, Clash of the Titans.
- Cory Barlog had stated that he would have liked to change out the enemies and numbers of spawns when the difficulty was ramped up.
- Cory Barlog would have extended the production out for another six months to get everything in that he wanted.
- Immediately after Cory Barlog finished God of War II, he was already working on the story and design for the third game.
- Hercules was cut from the game because of time and budget. He was going to be a mini-boss battle between the two sons of Zeus fighting over who hates their father more.
- Popular Japanese game magazine Famitsu gave God of War II a score of 10,9,9,9 = 92.5% and also added the game to their "Platinum Hall of Fame"
Memorable Quotes from the developers
- "You know, it's my face and name out there, and if this is bad I'm the guy...You're the guy who fucked up God of War, that weighs heavily" - Cory Barlog
- "That's very pretty. Does your wife do your ringtones for you or what" - Cory Barlog
- "Can't go home till he goes home." "I'm sleeping here tonight, man, there's no hope for you." - programmers
Challenge of the Titans
There are seven challenges in this special unlockable after finishing the game once.
Arena of the Fates
Kratos can control his own destiny and wage combat on his own terms. This mode is unlocked by completing all challenges in the "Challenge of Titans" with an overall rank of "Titan".
God of War II's soundtrack was released in several different places including Sony's Connect Music Store, and as a bonus with the collector's edition of God of War III. Several different composers worked on the game including those listed below. It also contains a techno remix of one of the pieces, and both a rock song and a rap song inspired by the game.
|1.||Main Titles||Gerard K. Marino||2:59|
|2.||The Glory of Sparta||Mike Reagan||3:10|
|3.||The Way of the Gods||Gerard K. Marino||2:13|
|4.||Colossus of Rhodes||Gerard K. Marino||2:22|
|5.||The Bathhouse||Mike Reagan||2:02|
|6.||Death of Kratos||Gerard K. Marino||4:12|
|7.||The End Begins||Gerard K. Marino||1:57|
|8.||Typhon Mountain||Mike Reagan||3:14|
|9.||Waking the Sleeping Giant||Cris Velasco||1:49|
|10.||Battle for the Skies||Mike Reagan||2:12|
|11.||Exploring the Isle||Gerard K. Marino||2:19|
|12.||The Isle of Creation||Cris Velasco||3:20|
|13.||The Summit of Sacrifice||Ron Fish||2:35|
|14.||An Audience with Cronos||Ron Fish||2:07|
|15.||The Barbarian King Returns||Cris Velasco||2:00|
|16.||Bog of Lost Souls||Ron Fish||2:19|
|17.||Battle in the Bog||Mike Reagan||2:00|
|18.||Crossing the Lowlands||Gerard K. Marino||2:07|
|20.||Palace of the Fates||Ron Fish||2:46|
|21.||Phoenix Rising||Cris Velasco||2:16|
|22.||Ashen Spire||Gerard K. Marino||1:06|
|23.||Athena||Gerard K. Marino||0:56|
|24.||The Battle of Olympus||Gerard K. Marino||3:11|
|25.||Junkie XL Colossus Remix||Junkie XL||4:24|
|26.||Blood of Destiny||Shadows Fall||2:43|
|27.||God-Like||George "Tragic" Doman||2:14|
|28.||Atlas Remembers||Gerard K. Marino||4:11|
|29.||Kratos and Atropos||Ron Fish||1:33|
|30.||Pursuing Destiny||Cris Velasco||3:36|
|31.||Theme of Fates||Gerard K. Marino||2:11|
Additionally a rock remix of The End Begins titled The End Begins (To Rock) was released as a playable track for the Playstation 3 version of Guitar Hero III. It was also composed by Gerard K. Marino.