Then my friend, B, stopped by one day wanting to show me this new game for the PS2 called "God of War." I had seen the commercials for it, but just thought it was another generic actioner. Nothing warranting a closer look. But my friend seemed eager, so with a sigh I thought I'd entertain him. I watched him play through the first level and, without realizing it, I was hooked! My eyes just could not believe the sheer, audacious amount of ass-kicking it was viewing transpire upon the tube.
To be fair, this game is not for everyone. It's very violent, even by gaming standards. Which should tell you a lot. It definitely earns its "M" (for Mature) rating!
I shouldn't need to tell you, but I love the bloody, violent games. And as you can see from the above pics, this game's got that in spades. The main character, Kratos, is a Spartan warrior who used to work as the earthly lieutenant to the Greek god of war himself, Ares. Then one day Ares tricks Kratos into slaughtering his wife and daughter in order to secure his lieutenant's complete loyalty and devotion. Of course, the gods really must be crazy, because Kratos does the opposite of this (you think?) and decides to devote himself completely to taking down and destroying the megalomaniacal son of Zeus.
Of course, what would these games be without appealing to the base hormones of gangly teenage boys (and equally adolescent, though less gangly, adult men)? Interspersed between all the beheadings, be-limbings, and feeding of enemy stomachs with sharp, pointed things, is some judicious use of the eye candy. While not really my thing when I'm in full-on murder mode, these very brief soft-porn interludes do carry home the point that this is not your kiddy Nintendo platform anymore.
But back to Kratos and his propensity for dealing out King Kong-sized cans of whoop-ass -- this dude is no joke! Part Conan, part Terminator, he doesn't care for your piteous begging or the lamentations of the women. He's deaf to your pleas for mercy, or decency, or even honor. All he cares about is getting the job done. And in this case, his job is revenge.
At one point he comes across a barrier that cannot be surpassed unless he offers a sacrifice to the altar of the gods. Does our hero turn back? Does he find another way around the gate? Fuck that! He grabs the nearest prisoner--a soldier he probably commanded once--and frees him from his shackles. But the poor man's words of thanks are cut to screams as Kratos lifts him off his feet and hurls the prisoner into the sacrificial fires.
I mean, seriously, what do you have to do to prove you're more badass than that? After this, killing a kitten would just be superfluous!
God of War, and its sequels, turned out to be just the thing I needed to snap me out of my gaming funk. After completing the game not once, not twice, but three times, my faith in the industry had been restored. The only question left is: why haven't you played this game yet?
I'll leave you with this last pic that has been making the rounds on the message boards. Sums it up even better than I ever could. :-)