God of War 2 - PS2

You all remember God of War, right? Yes, the bloody, balls out, action based wanderer and brawler that stands tall as one of the best games of the last decade. If the answer to that question happens to be no, then give yourself ten lashings for missing out on one of gaming’s best ever titles.

Loosely based on Greek mythology – and the worlds angriest and most blood thirsty god, Kratos – 2005’s God of War blew us all away.

OK, so essentially it’s the same old Devil May Cry style 3D action gaming we’re all sick to the back teeth of. But the hacking and slashing is just so over the top that something that could have been pretty stale transforms into a full blown masterpiece.

Let’s hope lightning can strike twice with the sequel.

Seems the developers behind God of War have answered that "difficult second album" question one and for all. All you have to do is knock up more of what we all loved first time round.

Your character Kratos is once again the focal point. After beating the previous god of war, Ares, into a bloody pulp back at the end of the original, Kratos is now finally a god all unto himself.

But this simply isn’t enough for the violent bald headed bugger. Kratos is bored with all this power and dispatches his Spartan army to conquer city after city for very little reason other than he can.

The other gods obviously aren’t too chuffed about this merciless slaughter, so they do what any half decent group of god-like beings would do. Try to kill him.

After managing to get away with his life just about intact, it’s yet another epic journey for Kratos. This time it’s to turn the tide of what looks to be a pretty horrid fate.

As epic as God of War 2 is, the action is always fast and furious. From leaping about to lashing out at any poor beastie that happens to wander into your path, Kratos is one agile chap.

As you stumble across the game’s bigger enemies, you enter a kind of Simon Says style game. Buttons pop-up on-screen and you need to press the right one as quickly as possible to kick off a complex slaying move. We’re not talking a simple sword prod either. You’re looking at eye goughing, head ripping off goriness that’ll make anyone not raised on some of the bloodiest horror films cringe with pure terror.

It sounds easy enough and, in essence, it is. But the visual pay off is pretty spectacular. It’s hard to believe the PS2 is capable of this kind of beauty, with loads of beasts on screen and some huge looking levels to ogle.

Verdict

God of War 2 isn’t all blood and guts either. There’s even some fiendishly difficult puzzles in the Tomb Raider mould crammed in too. While Kratos doesn’t have to get to grips with levers and keys as much as Lara, these challenges help break up the blood lust and cause the old grey cells to wake up.

There are a few downers mind you. Though God of War 2 lasts a good 15 hours or more, you’ll love it so damn much that you’ll plough through the lot in a matter of days. Plus, those Simon Says moments can get a little repetitive and leave your brain stranded on autopilot.

So what if it’s just more of the same. When the gaming’s this good, who really gives a monkeys? Get out there and buy this beauty right now.