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Battle Royale! Kratos vs. Dante vs. War in a winner-takes-bragging-rights cage match

February 23, 2010

Battle Royale! Kratos vs. Dante vs. War in a winner-takes-bragging-rights cage match

GameZone writers break down the fight between the three modern-gaming protagonists

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the main event!

In this corner weighing in with a ton of attitude, we have Kratos, protagonist of a trilogy of titles (two in release and one upcoming). Kratos hails from Sparta and enters the ring with a record of several thousand wins and just a few respawns.

In the opposite corner, there is War, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. A nether-being, War is not interested in right or wrong, only in killing anything that stands before him!

In the third corner is Dante, a Crusader who screwed up during a trip to Jerusalem and who stalked a woman, not his wife, into the bowels of hell.

And in the fourth corner, netbooks and notepads in hand, are a pair of GZ writers who are responsible for this contrived event.

… whoa … wait a minute! … contrived?? … give us a break – this is honest, investigative, subjective journalism! …

Ok, maybe it’s a little contrived, but hey, what do Kratos, Dante and War have in common? Gameplay. The three are all products of video games sporting similar gameplay elements, all with causes that are ethereal, esoteric on some levels and downright imposing.


Artwork by Rashad Baiyasi

GameZone writers Marissa Meli and Michael Lafferty were tasked with putting together thoughts that if these three iconic characters were placed in the octagon in a no-holds-barred battle, who would emerge victorious?

As they entered the ring, if body language and personal style were any indication, it was immediately a toss up. Kratos was wearing a blood-red robe … hold on! are we sure that is the dye or … oh boy! … with SCEA stitched across the back. War wears a dark cowl with THQ embroidered down the side and looks rather stylish, while Dante has the cloth letters “EA” stitched to his right shoulder with course rawhide … ewww!

Commentator Marissa weighs in first with her assessment of the pending battle:

Weapons Kratos, War, and Dante all carry formidable blades wherever they go. Dante stays a cut ahead in Hell with his scythe, originally “borrowed” from Death. War boasts Chaoseater, a faithful sword that once freed from its fiery prison to reunite with its master and bring balance back to the universe. Kratos has the Blades of Chaos/Blades of Athena, twin daggers chained to his wrists that he maneuvers like violent poetry.  

Winner: War. If you know of another sword embossed with skulls that vomit actual blood I would just love to hear about it.

Enemies –  Dante is charged with every imaginable evil as he descends through the nine levels of Hell. War battles the forces of heaven and hell, all in the name of peace on Earth. Kratos takes on the gods of Greek mythology, engaging in combat with the likes of Ares, the original god of war.  

Winner: Dante. Anytime some old person gives you an argument about “the good old days,” counter his nostalgia with this nugget: no one is sicker than people who lived during medieval times. The monsters (human and otherwise) of the Inferno are so beyond anything the modern imagination can drum up that it’s a wonder they don’t keep this piece of classic literature behind the counter.

Origin – Dante, of course, comes from the author and protagonist of The Divine Comedy (Inferno is only part one of this epic poem). War is the second of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Kratos is a Spartan and the son of Zeus, which is pretty much the equivalent of Arnold Schwarzenegger being the second coming of Christ.

Winner: Kratos. Dante could never hurt a fly let alone charge through Satan’s nethers, and while biblical champions like War are exceedingly badass, no one is tougher than the ancient Greeks.

OVERALL: Kratos has proved himself on the field of battle through three excellent titles. Rookies Dante and War seem to have what it takes, but only time (and unrelenting bloodthirst) will tell.

Now it’s up to Michael and his take …

Motivation – War is out for revenge. He was betrayed and is a little hurt by it – poor baby. Dante messed it up and Beatrice is paying a penance for Dante’s unfaithfulness, so he is acting more out of guilt than anything else. Kratos died, was brought back, then set up by the other gods to be a puppet, ridiculed and basically has failed all anger-management programs.

Winner: Kratos. Come on, he’s been put through the ringer, had everything taken from him and couldn’t even rest in peace when he died. So with all that rage, you have the power of a demi-god, and that’s just lethal. He has nothing to lose whereas both Dante and War do, so Kratos is not afraid of the consequences of failure.

Originality – All three owe their hack ‘n slash existence to Diablo (which was top-down, but the formula was essentially the same), but Kratos brought it all back first. Time periods aside, this category is basically a wash.

Pound for pound – Dante is a bit on the slender side (Crusade food sucks and he is prone to fainting spells – likely as a result of C-rations), who know what War looks like under that armor and stuff, and Kratos is a pro wrestler on mega steroids. If it gets in tight and they are pounding away from close proximity, give the nod to Kratos. Dante is a pole-arm guy, War has guns, and Kratos has those chains, but the Spartan knows how to rip the head off a titan. Plus Kratos has two games behind him while both Dante and War are rookies with limited futures.

Winner: Got to give this one to Kratos. He has the experience.

* * *

The overall winner? Well, that lays in the hands of gamers, but seems that Kratos has a hand-up on the competition. Much, though, will depend on what happens in mid-March when God of War III releases.

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