God of War is an action-adventure game developed by the Santa Monica division of Sony Computer Entertainment. It was released for the Playstation 2 on March 22, 2005. This successful release has spawned multiple sequels and prequels, including God of War II for PlayStation 2, God of War: Chains of Olympus for the PSP, God of War III for the PlayStation 3, God of War: Ghost of Sparta for the PSP and God of War: Ascension for the PS3. The plot of the game is steeped in Greek mythology, and follows a man named Kratos who works in service of the gods as punishment for murdering his wife and child. Later, he becomes intertwined in a battle between the gods themselves and is chosen to kill Ares, the god of war, by using Pandora's Box. God of War received widespread critical acclaim and numerous game of the year awards, and critics praised the outstanding visuals and gameplay. A remastered version of God of War was released on the PlayStation 3 with the God of War Collection, which also included God of War II 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. In Japan, the game was published by Capcom.
Kratos is a warrior who is in service to the gods of Olympus. In flashbacks throughout the game, it is revealed that Kratos was a captain in the Spartan Army. A brutal and fierce warrior, Kratos won many battles and the loyalty of his men. However, when he confronted an army of invading barbarians, the barbarians overwhelmed his Spartan Army and Kratos himself. Just as the Barbarian King is about to kill Kratos, Kratos calls out to the god of war, Ares, in a desperate plea to destroy his enemies, and in return he pledges his life in service to Ares. Ares dutifully answers his call for help and bonds Kratos to the "Blades of Chaos." Kratos returns to the battle and decapitates the Barbarian king and Ares destroys the rest of the Barbarian army. Kratos then begins to wage war through all of Greece which leads him to eventually attack a village with a large temple to Athena. Ares tricks Kratos by placing Kratos' wife and daughter in the temple which leads to Kratos accidentally killing them. While Ares was intending this act to make Kratos a better warrior, Kratos renounces his commitment to Ares. The Oracle of the temple then places a curse upon Kratos and bonds him with the ashes of his wife and daughter making him the "Ghost of Sparta." Kratos, who is haunted by the memories of killing his family, completes ten years of servitude to the other gods of Olympus. Kratos demands Athena that he be relieved of his commitment to the gods. Athena tells Kratos that if he does one final task -- killing the god of war -- then his service will be fulfilled and forgiven for his past sins.
Kratos then goes to the city of Athens which is under siege by Ares' minions. Kratos battles his way through Ares' minions to the Oracle of Athens, but not before having a bizarre encounter with a grave digger. The Oracle tells Kratos that the only way to defeat Ares is to obtain Pandora's Box; a legendary artifact that can give a mortal the power to kill a god. Kratos traverses the Desert of Lost Souls and summons the Titan Cronos who has the temple that holds Pandora's Box on his back. Kratos climbs up to the temple for three days before reaching it. He battles through deadly traps and an army of monsters that guard the temple. He eventually obtains the box, but on his way back to Athens Ares murders Kratos by throwing a spear from Athens all the way to the temple to pierce Kratos. As a group of Ares' harpies bring the box back to Ares, Kratos falls down to the Underworld. Kratos battles his way through the Underworld and climbs back to earth with the aid of the mysterious grave digger who mentions that Athena isn't the only god that is monitoring Kratos.
Kratos recovers Pandora's Box from Ares and uses the box to gain the powers of a god. Ares tries everything he can to break Kratos both mentally and physically, including stripping Kratos of the "Blades of Chaos." Still, Kratos endures and uses the ancient "Blade of the Gods." Kratos kills Ares and Athens is saved. Athena tells Kratos that he will be forgiven of all his past sins, but the gods will not take away the memories of his family's murder. Kratos then attempts to commit suicide, but Athena intervenes and tells Kratos that the gods still have a use for Kratos. Athena brings Kratos to Mount Olympus and grants him the "Blades of Athena." It is at this point that Kratos becomes the new god of war.
God of War is a third-person, action-adventure game. Its gameplay is similar to games like Prince of Persia and Devil May Cry. God of War utilizes quick time events (QTEs) to allow for more cinematic-looking attacks, but these do not slow down the gameplay at all. One could say that God of War popularized the use of QTEs, as after its release they started to gain prominence in more and more action games such as Heavenly Sword, Jericho, and Tomb Raider: Legend. Gamers are on the fence when it comes to the inclusion of QTEs; some abhore its ubiquitous nature and feel it takes control away from gamers, while others tend to like the cinematic "flair" these sequences add to the action. Whichever side you fall on, QTEs have become a mainstay in many games today.
The player makes his way throughout different parts of ancient Greece battling all sorts of beasts and monsters from myths of old. Along the way, Kratos collects different colored orbs and other items that allow him to continue his journey which becomes harder and harder the further he progresses. They can be found in chests and other breakable objects throughout the game:
- Green Orbs: Replenishes Kratos's life bar.
- Blue Orbs: Replenishes Kratos's magic bar.
- Red Orbs: Experience points which are used to upgrade weapons and magic.
- Gorgon Eye: After finding six of these, Kratos's health meter becomes longer. There are a total of 18 Gorgon Eyes in the game
- Phoenix Feather: After finding six of these, Kratos's magic meter becomes longer. There are a total of 18 Phoenix Feathers in the game.
- Muses Keys: These two keys can be found in the Temple of Pandora and will open up a door which contains a free health and magic upgrade, as well as a ton of experience orbs.
Kratos unleashes deadly combos with his trusted weapons, The Blades of Chaos. Two blades attached to chains that have been seared onto his forearms by Ares. By spending experience points earned through red orbs, the player can upgrade the level of the weapons allowing for more brutal and aggressive combos and powerful attacks.
BLADES OF CHAOS
Your main weapon in the game. You will primarily use these over the course of the game as they are by far your best weapon.
- Icarus Lift (Air) - While in the air, press "X" to gain more height. "X"
- Ascension - Hold triangle to launch enemies and Kratos in to the air. Hold triangle
- Orion's Harpoon - Launch an enemy and tap circle to slam them back to the ground. circle
- Hades' Reverse - Tap "L1" just before an enemy's attack connects to parry. Tap "L1"
- Plume of Prometheus - A quick and powerful combo ending in a fiery finish. square + square + triangle
- Apollo's Ascension - Simultaneously launches Kratos and enemies into the air. Hold "L1" + "X"
- Apollo's Offensive (Air) - Slam enemies back to the ground with this powerful attack. Hold "L1" + "X"
- Hermes Rush - Ground dash attack. "R1"
- Hermes Stomp (Air) - Air attack that drives Kratos quickly to the ground. "R1"
- Cyclone of Chaos - 360 spin attack. Hold "L1" + square
- Cyclone of Chaos (Air) - 360 spin attack in the air. Hold "L1" + square
- Spirit of Hercules - Powerful but slow combo. triangle + triangle + triangle
- Valor of Hercules - Powerful but slow combo. triangle + triangle + square
- Hades Revenge - Use this attack after parrying your foe. square or triangle or "R1"
- Rising Helios - Multi-hit attack that targets a single enemy. Hold "L1" + triangle
- Falling Helios (Air) - Multi-hit air attack that targets a single enemy. Hold "L1" + triangle
- Hermes Fury - Multi-hit dash attack. "R1" + "R1" + "R1"
- Achilles' Flip - While Evading, press "X" to attack. Right Analog Stick in any direction + "X"
- Lance of the Furies - Continue to hold circle for an even greater attack. Hold "L1" + circle
- Lance of the Furies (Air) - In air continue to hold circle for an even greater attack. Hold "L1" + circle
- Might of Hercules - Hold square during combo to unleash powerful attack. square + hold square
BLADE OF ARTEMIS
Before entering Pandora's Temple, Kratos is greeted by Lady Artemis (Goddess of the Hunt) who offers Kratos the use of her own sword, The Blade of Artemis, as an alternate weapon to his Blades of Chaos. From then on the player can choose between each weapon on the fly and decide which he/she prefers to use. Although the Blade is far, far more powerful than the Blades of Chaos, it is also much slower. The weapon can be upgraded and has multiple combos that can be used to annihilate your enemies.
- Sword Summon/Sheath - Allows Kratos to switch between the Blade of Artemis and the Blades of Chaos . Hold "L1" + "R1"
- Wrath of Artemis - Multi-hit sword spin. Hold "L1" + "X"
- Revenge of Artemis - Slow and powerful multi-hitting attack. Hold "L1" + square
- Ascension of Artemis - Launches enemies and Kratos into the air. Hold "L1" + hold triangle
- Retribution of Artemis - Most powerful of all sword attacks. Hold "L1" + circle
Throughout the game Kratos comes in contact with different gods while he pursues his quest of defeating Ares. Each god reveals that Kratos is not strong enough to confront Ares and offers him a new magic ability that he may use in battle.
- Poseidon's Rage: Given by Lord Poseidon, Greek god of the sea. It grants Kratos the power to call a large electric ring to surround him and kill his enemies.
- Medusa's Gaze: Given by Lady Aphrodite, goddess of love. After he defeats the Gorgon Queen Medusa, it allows Kratos to temporarily freeze non-boss enemies into stone.
- Zeus' Fury: Given by Lord Zeus, king of the gods. A projectile weapon that allows Kratos to throw small bolts of lightning at foes.
- Army of Hades: Given by Lord Hades, god of the underworld. It allows Kratos to unleash several souls from the underworld which attack all of his foes.
God of War'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. Some of the tracks contain voice over clips from the game as well.
|1.||Escape from Madness||Gerard K. Marino||0:38|
|2.||The Vengeful Spartan||Gerard K. Marino||1:21|
|3.||Kratos and the Sea||Gerard K. Marino||2:21|
|4.||Have Faith||Gerard K. Marino||1:21|
|5.||The Splendor of Athens||Mike Reagan||2:09|
|6.||This City Will Be Your Grave||Gerard K. Marino||0:24|
|7.||Ares Destroys Athens||Mike Reagan||1:13|
|8.||Mind the Cyclops||Mike Reagan||2:09|
|9.||Athenian Battle||Mike Reagan||3:07|
|10.||Exploring the Ruins||Winifred Phillips||2:02|
|11.||Athens Rooftops Fighting||Gerard K. Marino||2:39|
|12.||Save the Oracle Challenge||Gerard K. Marino||1:35|
|13.||Kratos' Evil Past||Gerard K. Marino||2:01|
|14.||Too Late||Gerard K. Marino||1:58|
|15.||The Great Sword Bridge of Athena||Gerard K. Marino||2:17|
|16.||What the Oracle Spoke||Gerard K. Marino||1:09|
|17.||The Story of Chronos||Gerard K. Marino||1:17|
|18.||Battle the Lethal Sirens||Mike Reagan||2:28|
|19.||The Temple of Pandora||Ron Fish||0:36|
|20.||Pandoran Cyclopes Attack||Ron Fish||1:42|
|21.||The Architect's Mysteries||Ron Fish||2:00|
|22.||Zeus' Wrath Divine||Cris Velasco||3:04|
|23.||The Underwater World of Poseidon||Winifred Phillips||3:04|
|24.||Minotaur Boss Battle||Cris Velasco||1:57|
|25.||Burning Visions||Ron Fish||1:15|
|26.||Pandora's Box||Winifred Phillips||1:00|
|27.||Hades, God of the Underworld||Cris Velasco||1:13|
|28.||The Fury of Ares||Ron Fish||1:26|
|29.||Duel With Ares||Cris Velasco & Mike Reagan||2:26|
|30.||Enthroned on Mount Olympus||Winifred Phillips||1:57|
|31.||God of War End Title||Gerard K. Marino||5:06|
God of War features several unlockable movies depicting possible plotlines of then-theoretical sequels to the game. In one, it shows a scene between Kratos and his mother in which Kratos kills her after she suddenly becomes a demonic monster. With her last dying breath she reveals to Kratos that his father is Zeus, and the Spartan swears vengeance. In another, Kratos and his brother growing up were enlisted in the Spartan warrior camp. His brother, who was much weaker then Kratos, was rejected and sent to the mountains to die. Growing up, seething with hatred in Hades, Kratos' brother waits for the day he can destroy the brother who he believes left him to die.