Preview: God of War (PS2) Hands-On

Publisher: SCEA / Developer: SCEA / Genre: Action / Release: 03-22-05

I recently got my hands on a demo for God of War, Sony’s upcoming game set in ancient Greece, and since I was foolish enough to announce it, I was asked to give some of my thoughts. (Editor’s Note: When will he ever learn?)

The demo starts with the main character Kratos attempting to commit suicide by jumping off the highest mountain in Greece. As he falls to the earth below the story is set in motion, and before he actually hits bottom you are taken back in time 3 weeks. This is where the demo starts, on a fleet of ships in the Aegean Sea.

Right away you are given something to kill, as you are set upon by some goons. Kratos is armed with two flails which do a very nice job of killing. There doesn’t seem to be a lock on button, but at any time you can switch the direction of your attack, so if you suddenly become surrounded (and you will) it won’t be too difficult to fight your way out of things. Enemies tend to come at you in bunches, making for nice long combo strings. I managed to get up to 50+ hits during one attempt, and I suck at pulling long combos. Kratos has two modes of attack, a light attack and a hard attack, the hard attack being slower but much more satisfying. Pressing various buttons while fighting revealed some other attacks, like a spinning helicopter type attack that just begs to be used whenever possible.

The demo showed a lot of separate game play elements. While I did have to fight my way through a horde of foes at some points, I also had to solve a puzzle (to kill more foes) and climb the mast of a ship, fighting off enemies trying to grab me and teach me to fly. Clearly this is going to be a game where you have to do more than mash buttons.

I have to say I’m impressed by what I saw in this demo. The voice acting seems very solid, the level design was for the most part intuitive, and the gameplay itself makes me excited to get the full game as soon as possible. With Devil May Cry 3 coming out shortly as well it looks like it’s a good time to be into action platformers.