It wouldn't be a wild guess to say that many of us who own a PS2 remember the first God of War. We remember it for it's beautiful graphics, it's dramatic plot, it's exciting action sequences, it's casual approach to nudity, and most likely for how amazingly frustrating it could be. Enough about that, though…this is a preview, and previews are about the future!
Plot details for God of War II are fairly sparse. I did find one snippet of information that claims that Kratos, the hero (or is it anti-hero?) from the last game is embroiled in a sticky situation regarding his status as God of War and he has to run all over the place to get it back. That is not cast in iron yet, so don't be surprised if it turns out to be something much different.
First, and of course most important, is the issue of the gameplay in God of War II. The system in the previous game was a very memorable experience; Kratos lashing out with his blades, cutting this way and that, unleashing special combat moves to help in defeating a particularly bothersome enemy…a rollicking time was had by all. A new addition, which was notably displayed in the trailer, is Kratos leaping atop a griffin, killing its rider, and then dismembering the griffin itself and leaping back onto the original griffin. What is seen there is exactly what you will be able to do in the game. The challenges that the combat system provides the player don't just revolve around leaping onto the back of mythical flying creatures. There are new enemies in the game and also new things that they can do in their fevered efforts to turn Kratos into a little spot on the floor. For example, your enemies will be able to control other monsters in this game to attack Kratos. In the trailer, they can be seen leaping atop a Cyclops, embedding its axes into the creature’s shoulders, and using it to command the Cyclops to attack in some fashion. This naturally makes the job more difficult for you as you must first kill the creature atop the Cyclops itself before slaying the beast in turn. Its eyes, by the way, will be used as a form of currency (it added spice to the accountant's life in Ancient Greece, maybe?).
This isn't ancient Greece as it was taught in school, as the last game reveals, but even loosely based on Greek mythology it is exciting enough to hold interest. There is, for instance, a skeleton warrior that will have to be battled. Though there is a catch. When they are destroyed, they will not stay that way for long. They will reassemble themselves and come back for more; they can be killed, but it takes more then a single round with them to do so. Just keep swinging and all will be well. It worked all right in the last game, after all.
Combat, of course, isn't all there is to God of War II. There will also be puzzles. Puzzles that have retained the same intricate (and often frustrating) style found in the first game. In the demo, for example, Kratos must make an attempt to reach the Golden Fleece, which rests on an altar, unreachable because of surrounding water. What to do? Why, build a bridge, of course. There is large stone that can come in handy, but it's not enough. So go into the nearby temple and fight through all the baddies inside to find something to help you add weight to the bridge. Inside the temple are two more stones that can be used to make the first stone heavy enough to tilt it toward the altar and grab the Golden Fleece.
All this action may end up steering attention away from the game’s top-tier visuals. The buildings are well very well-designed, the movements of the creatures and Kratos himself smooth and fluid, only adding to the thrill of the game. Pictures serve better then words here, so look, and rejoice. Check the screen section here at Mygamer: https://www.mygamer.com/index.php?id=552053&page=gameportal&mode=screens.
God of War II is currently slated for release in early 2007, so there’s bound to be a great number of changes and revisions as the release date nears. Check back here at Mygamer as more details become available.