Franchise: God of War I, II, & III
Systems: PS2 & PS3
Releases: 2005, 2007, 2010
God of War is synonymous with action, sex, gore, and epic gameplay experiences. The folks at Sony's Santa Monica Studios have defined a genre. Numerous games have attempted to mimic their success. Some are carbon copies like Dante's Inferno. The rest attempt to capture the magic of quick time events and other game mechanics first seen in God of War. No game in this genre can hold a candle to Kratos (the main character). His badassery knows no bounds. Every God of War game will have fantastic combat, plot, and a larger then life presentation.
Fighting is what Kratos does best. The controls are typical for the genre, but the execution is what counts. Combat is fluid and I never felt like the game screwed me. If I died it was because I made a mistake. All encounters follow a basic pattern. Wear down the enemy with basic combos and magic, then finish them off with a quick time event. QTEs add an extra layer to the basic combo button smashing. Whenever a QTE is initiated Kratos performs an epic kill. This may include ripping the head off a Medusa like creature, beating to death Poseidon, or gutting a centaur. Each QTE is epic and successful execution makes you feel like a bad ass.
Some platforming is also performed with QTE's. Once again these are moments where the basic control scheme will not work. This allows developers to create numerous situations, which helps the game stay fresh.
Kratos is fun to control, but what about his story. Is this another series where I frantically skip cut scenes to get back to the fun? HADES NO! *Spoiler Alerts* By the end of the third game Kratos has seen and destroyed all of mythological Greece. He starts with Ares the God of War, and ends with Zeus. In between he kills heroes like Hercules and Theseus, titans like Kronos and Gaia, and thousands of gorgons, harpies, and minotors. Top notch graphics bring to life classic environments like Pandora's temple, mount Olympus, and the Steeds of Time. The icing on the cake is an epic sound track fitting for such an EPIC adventure.
The God of War franchise does everything right. The developers utilize a setting ripe for action and adventure to create their own story. Each game sets the bar for action, graphics, and epicness. The fact that other developers continue to copy Santa Monica Studios speaks volumes. Snerts Snazzy Score grants God of War I, II, & III, a 5 out of 5.