Kratos takes his fu­ri­ous fate into his own hands in one of PS2’s great­est se­quels

PlayStation Official Magazine (UK) - - CONTENTS -

Big­ger. Bad­der. Balder? Okay, so Kratos is ex­actly as short in the scalp depart­ment in this epic se­quel as he was in his orig­i­nal Greek tale. For­get the Spar­tan’s lack­ing locks, though. When you can de­liver an epic ac­tion-ad­ven­ture that’s this ef­fort­lessly thrilling, won­der­fully paced, and mem­o­rably mur­der­ous, no-one cares if you make Homer Simp­son look like a Fun House-era Pat Sharp. That God Of War II is still so fondly re­mem­bered speaks vol­umes for its abil­ity to con­jure in­cred­i­ble set-piece spec­ta­cle quite un­like any­thing else on PS2. It’s even more im­pres­sive when you con­sider Sony Santa Mon­ica’s se­quel hit shelves on 13 March 2007, a mere ten days be­fore PlayS­ta­tion 3 ar­rived in Europe. Thanks to those early PS3 launch mod­els of­fer­ing back­wards com­pat­i­bil­ity, gamers who bought Sony’s ex­pen­sive baby on day one had one hell of a killer quest to make up for the £425 their tat­tered wal­lets had just dropped.

God Of War II isn’t just one of the most am­bi­tious games ever to hit PS2, it eas­ily out­classed ev­ery PS3 launch ti­tle when it came to sheer scale. Kratos’ quest to slay the Sis­ters Of Fate feels far more sweep­ing than the re­venge-ob­sessed orig­i­nal. The vast va­ri­ety of con­tin­u­ally evolv­ing


en­vi­ron­ments helps sell an al­most peer­less sense of dis­tance trav­elled and time elapsed.

Kratos’ first se­quel re­mains the most sat­is­fy­ingly paced en­try in the se­ries pre­cisely be­cause it’s al­ways on the move. As he chases down the Sis­ters in an ef­fort to rewind time to a point be­fore Zeus’ early, chilling be­trayal, the slaugh­ter­ing Spar­tan takes in all man­ner of eclec­tic Greek sights. Be­ing thrown into the chaos of siege war­fare as Rhodes burns all around you in an elec­tri­fy­ing opener; rid­ing the leg­endary Pe­ga­sus through snows­moth­ered cav­erns as the mighty Ti­tan Typhon blows you around like an an­noyed mayfly; brav­ing the Bog Of The For­got­ten; and slay­ing Euryale (a super-sized Gor­gon) in a bat­tle that shames the first game’s Me­dusa smack­down – God Of War II sim­ply never lets up.


The bosses are spec­tac­u­lar, too. While the first GOW im­pressed with its her­culean Hy­dra fight, there are re­ally only three proper boss bat­tles in the game. In con­trast, the se­quel has 11 epic en­coun­ters. Whether shred­ding the ten­ta­cles of the Kraken, stov­ing the Bar­bar­ian King’s beardy mug in with a mas­sive ham­mer, or evis­cer­at­ing the of­ten-in­vis­i­ble Perseus, GOW II’s bosses show­case some fab­u­lously fa­tal throw­downs. And that’s with­out men­tion­ing the open­ing fight against the Colos­sus Of Rhodes. Both a tremen­dous tu­to­rial and a sly tip of the cap to Ja­son And The Arg­onauts and its amaz­ing Har­ry­hausen-an­i­mated Ta­los scene, the Colos­sus fight re­mains one of PlayS­ta­tion’s great­est-ever boss bat­tles. It’s not just the en­e­mies that are epic; God Of War II is ob­sessed with out­siz­ing its pre­de­ces­sor wher­ever you look. Be it us­ing the Steeds Of Time (four pre­pos­ter­ously-sized ponies) to pull an actual is­land, or rev­el­ling in a 10 minute-long, oh-so-ex­hil­a­rat­ing aerial dog­fight against an ar­mada of griffins, GOW II plays out on such a scale, it makes the orig­i­nal look down­right small-time in com­par­i­son. All of this ex­tra­or­di­nary ac­tion is es­pe­cially en­cour­ag­ing for the forth­com­ing God Of War on PS4. Af­ter all, this was the first time Cory Bar­log over­saw an en­try in the se­ries, and the game direc­tor is back at the helm once again for Kratos’ Nordic quest. If the up­com­ing re­boot recre­ates the same mag­i­cal spec­ta­cle of GOW II, Dad Of War is gonna kick all the ass.


The an­gri­est man – well, demigod – in gam­ing re­turns, with only one thing on his mind.

These sol­diers are easy to kill, and Kratos doesn’t feel the need to keep their peep­ers.

Take out a Cy­clops Berserker’s knee, then go for the eye. Kratos col­lects their eyes.

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