New God of War appeals to gore-loving gamers

I don’t think I’ve ever before played a game that made me widen my eyes in shock nearly every minute. This game puts every classical war movie to shame, calling them out on their relative timidity. It embraces violence and destruction as the key component, which is what many gamers really want to play. is an example of the game every politician and social conservative loves to hate, thus making it a favorite of everybody else.

The game relishes in its brutality and is a non-stop chain of shock and awe with an emphasis on shock. Those who are able to stomach the smorgasbord of guts will experience the most frantic, fast-paced action game yet–one where style and substance are successfully fused into an amazing, albeit sadistic, experience.

The basic plot structure is simple but saves itself from being cliché with the constant twists and turns as well as inversion of common themes. Despite being the third game in the series, all one needs to know is that the anti-hero, Kratos, has been betrayed by the Olympian gods and now works with the titans to extract only the bloodiest of vengeances.

Riding on the back of Gaia, the earth titan, the game begins with him fighting off Poseidon and attempting to climb Mount Olympus and reach Zeus. However, he soon discovers that Gaia is all too willing to cast him aside for her own revenge against Zeus, and he is thrown off the mountain by her in an act of betrayal. After this, he wakes up to find himself in the Underworld with many of his powers gone. At this point, Kratos vows to kill everyone that stands in his way, including every single god on Olympus.

There are very few genuinely good people in this game. Kratos, himself, is often hard to like. Much of his dialogue is reduced to one-liners (“I will kill all of them!” and its variations), and his cruelty can sometimes be too much. There are often random cut-scenes and moments where characters will ask Kratos for help, only to be killed or told that he doesn’t care about their problems.

An explanation of him at his best makes him only mildly more likeable. It’s an odd aspect on the game, as it has no relation to either the plot or gameplay and seems to be cruelty simply for cruelty’s sake. The graphics showcase the PS3’s full talent. The opening level is absolutely gorgeous, featuring a seamless massive environment for Kratos to travel. The action is fast and frantic with the cut-scenes even being a part of the game, yet there is never any lag. Riding on the head of Gaia the titan and fighting a giant watery Poseidon is the definition of an epic battle. In certain moments, it almost seems photo-realistic.

Of course, the gameplay is where this game ultimately shines as well as horrifies. Kratos wields two blades attached to long chains, allowing him to perform feats of Spiderman-esque agility as well as kill large hordes of undead soldiers. The moves are endless and involve everything from tearing off heads to using people as battering rams. The game finds more and more creative ways to kill enemies with Kratos, at one point, gutting a giant warthog and ripping out its innards. In another moment, Kratos fights the Cyclops and rips out its eye, leaving a fountain of blood in its wake.

The violence can be a little too much at times. Kratos often kills civilians for no reason at all, and the boss fights are often a guilty pleasure. I don’t think I’ve ever played a boss fight where half the fight consisted of torturing and beating the enemy and ending with an eye-gouging. This game is not for the faint of heart and every moment is one of destruction and gore.

The voice-acting and soundtrack are both top notch. The music heightens the atmosphere, reminiscent of movies like and . The sweeping orchestral sounds blend well with the action and add a level of depth and intensity. Overall, the music makes this game feel more like a high-budget movie in which one controls the protagonist.

This game is defined by what often makes video games controversial: blood, gore and violence. Anyone who can stomach the violence will find this one of the most high-energy and satisfying games of 2010.