God of War 2 for PS2

Join Kratos on he embarks on a new quest in SCEA's sequel to the smash hit God of War. SCEA

Before I begin my review of "God of War 2" for the PS2 I would just like to tell you up front: If you are 17 or older (this game is rated M for mature), stop what you're doing and go get the game.

It's that simple.

You don't even have to bother reading the rest of this review, but if you insist, just leave this web page up and run down to your local game store.

I'm pretty sure the review will be right here when you get back.

Yes, it's that good.

I will even go as far as to say that this is quite possibly one of the best PlayStation games ever made, if not the best. I know that's a bold statement but I'm sticking with my declaration.

If you're still reading this and haven't picked up this game yet, hopefully this love letter to Sony and the "GOW2" team cunningly disguised as a game review will convince you.

The story picks up where the previous "God of War" game left off. Kratos, having defeated Ares, is the new god of war. However, Kratos is far more ruthless and power hungry than Ares ever was.

Realizing this, the other Gods have begun to fear Kratos and the King of the Olympian Gods, Zeus himself, decides that it's time for Kratos to relinquish his power — and he doesn't ask nicely.

Without giving away too much of the rest of the plot, I will say that in his quest to aid the Titans and to enact revenge on Zeus, Kratos travels to many different locales, through gates of Hades, inside the bowels of a great Titan, and on the wings of Pegasus in order to change his fate and restore his power.

This game delivers on so many levels it's simply astounding. I'm not sure what type of magic the developers worked to get such stunning and lifelike environments but it worked.

You'd be hard pressed to find a better looking game for the PS2. The attention to detail is amazing, in the Atlas level in particular the backgrounds and surroundings are done so well you really feel as if you're traveling inside his body.

The sound effects and musical score are also top-notch. They really get the blood pumping and help solidify the cinematic feel and quality of the game.

The voice acting is superb. Reprising his role as the voice of Kratos is T.C. Carson and he does an excellent job. Also, the decision to have Harry Hamlin voice Perseus, was a stroke of genius. Hamlin played the role of Perseus in the 1981 classic "The Clash of the Titans." Add Michael Clark Duncan as the voice of Atlas and "GOW2" becomes a great example of the attention to detail and outstanding production values that this game has to offer.

As far as gameplay is concerned the controls are intuitive and the learning curve is almost non-existent with the help of the in-game hint menu. There is no need for any long drawn out tutorials. The game starts off a mile a minute and never slows down.

Overall, the level design is brilliant. There are puzzles like in the previous game, but the puzzles are never tedious or extremely difficult for that matter, and the game also gives you visual clues so you know what to do next besides brutally dispatching hordes of enemies — and there are a tons — and boss battles.

The game mechanic of timed button pressing for a special kill or to dispatch boss characters are still in "GOW2" and are still as entertaining and satisfying as ever.

It's as if the designers took a near perfect game, further distilled what ade it great and came up with a sequel. There is something about how well put together this game is that compels you to keep playing till the end, and then some more for unlockable items. It doesn't get repetitive at all.

"God of War 2" is the gold standard of action games for the PS2, eclipsing its predecessor in terms of scope, gameplay, presentation and overall production value.

And I for one cannot wait for the sequel on the PlayStation 3.
By Jeremiah W. Wallace