previews\ May 8, 2006 at 8:00 pm

God of War II - PS2 - Preview

E3 2006 First Look Preview

GoWar 2, hua! What is it good for?… hours and hours of fun, say it again!

Eeek, paraphrasing a song may not be the most appropriate thing, but fear not God of War fans, there is plenty of delight socked away in the next chapter of the Kratos saga. When we last left our Spartan soldier, he had had his world all but destroyed, been driven to the brink of insanity and was left with a colossal battle on his hands – taking on Ares, the god of war.  

Having defeated Ares, Kratos then assumes the godly mantle as the Greek god of war. Happy ending? Not even.

SCEA showed off the new game at a Pre-E3 event held in the Directors Guild of America in Los Angeles recently. It begins, more or less, where the original title left off.

However, as SCEA’s David Jaffe stated: “We are on track to make God of War II better than the first God of War.” Jaffe was the director on the first game. He has since handed over that task to Cory Barlog, who was the producer and creative director of the original title.

GoW II will offer massive worlds, epic in nature, and will begin with Kratos being betrayed by the other gods and having to travel to the edge of the world to find the sisters of fate – essentially to reverse time and arrive at the moment prior to the betrayal.

There are many elements back in play – such as the Blades of Athena – but the general tone of the story is darker. The dev team stressed cinematic quality to the action and adventure, as Barlog noted, “as immersive as a film except you are interacting with it.”

There will be old enemies and new enemies, and all enemies will interact not only with Kratos but with each other as well. For example, a monster may jump on the back of a Cyclops and turn him into a more lethal machine. With the streaming nature of the world, Barlog said the aim was to “completely suspend disbelief.”

There will be a new magic system in place with three levels to the magical skills. Kratos will be able to use his chain blades in a grappling maneuver, swinging about the world.

“We are going bigger on all aspects from the first game,” Barlog said. “I would like to think it is more epic than the first game.”

God of War II PS2 screenshots

While not changing what worked from the first game, GoW II will introduce new sub weapons that can be used to combo in new ways. And yes, Linda Hunt, who was the narrator in the first story, is back with an “expanded role.” What that role may be was not mentioned.

The game carries much of the same graphical design of the first game, and the elements shown had that same frenzied pacing of the first game. There is always somewhere to go and monsters waiting to try to stop you. And there are puzzle elements as well.

Whether GoW II will live up to its predecessor as a blockbuster title remains to be seen, simply because the original was a groundbreaker in many regards on the PS2 platform. However, GoW II will advance a great story in a visually stunning manner and provide hours of entertainment. That is what counts the most.


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