6.5

This game takes the foundation for a grand palace and puts an outhouse on it.

While it had a beautiful facelift that makes the last game look like a PSX title, this one sputters out just about everywhere else.

Apart from the graphics, the sound is the only part of this game that improves on the last. While the music isn't quite as good as the last one, the voice cast extraordinary, including such movie icons as Michael Clark Duncan.

The new magic lacks flair, and the alternate weapons are a waste of time. Some of the moves that were carried over from the last game have had their animations changed, making them bland, and, in one case, overpowered. There were some control layout changes for some minor actions, and though they aren't frustrating or hard to learn, the reason behind some of them is a mystery.

There is one particular stretch of the game that leaves you overpowered for quite some time, leading to a long session of trial and error against a horde of enemies. This poor pacing decision will take some fun out of the game, which will be compounded by an agitating boss fight following directly after. There are also a few platforming segments that take timing so impeccable you'll be tearing your hair out at the absurdity of not making it to you goal. Thankfully, however, these don't kill Kratos. A few interesting puzzles help keep the game on the fun side, in spite of these annoying segments.

The locales and characters in the game present immense potential, all of it was left in the hands of an unimaginative group of writers. Except for the very first segment, this game fails to create the atmosphere of adventure that the last game did, and the story just plods along without much direction. In some ways we get a glimpse into what Kratos could be that we didn't the last time, nothing incredibly interesting is done with him.

Now, the death blow for this game is the atomic bomb of a cliche unleashed upon the unsuspecting player at the end. If you're wondering, just think about the big twist from Star Wars. With all these failings, and especially if you have the memory of the first game fresh in your mind, this game falls right in the middle of mediocrity.

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