The game that doesn't disappoint...well, for the most part.

User Rating: 9 | God of War (Greatest Hits) PS2
Sony is known for making very unique games; most of them even pushing the graphical limits of the PS2. Then this guy by the name of David Jaffe cooks up this crazy idea of telling the story of a deranged warrior who's into slicing and dicing...No, he's not a chef. He's Kratos, the lovable character that really wants to gut you up! And leaves you satisfied.
This is a mytholigical tale of heroism, betrayal and planning to be 'born-again', in a sense. Kratos is a Spratan warrior who is respected for his strength and ability to lead. He starts off with only 50 men, but a few bloody campaigns later, he's given contol over battalions of brave Spartan conscripts. Then, at one particular fight between some offshore barbarians, he's forced on his butt by this hairy savage-lord. Kratos calls the aid of Ares, the God of War, and in exchange he[Kratos] swears servitude to the god. This is just the summary of Kratos' mixed-up life. There will be more to the story as a lot of other characters and objects from the world of Greek mythology take part in the story. You'll think that a lot may happen in this game, but surprisingly, the story is short. The only things that make the game seem long are the flocks of enemies spawning all around Kratos, and the superbly done puzzles. Though, the overall tale is short and the game lacks a lot more locales to help further the story, it compensates with a lot of things up its sleeve.
This is one fluid game. And that's a good thing. The environments are just breathtaking, with a lot of details included here to heighten the darkness that the game wants to convey. The Kratos animations are nicely done. His unique actions are just works-of-art. He really is a brutish fighting machine. The expert use of light and shadows is also a plus. No matter where Kratos goes, it's always dark. It's as if he is truely bound to his dark fate and players get to experience it with him. The creatures are also great, as well as all the other NPCs. The level design lives up to the Greek standards. I mean, the environments are really like those seen in those mythological movies. This is one graphically intense game.
There is a generous amount of sound here. All the monsters are menacing even as they rear their heads and roar at Kratos. Kratos' voice is really convincing; the emotions in his voice genuinely depict his anger at his fate. I mean, who would want to be a lonely jock who's labeled as a 'ghost' by the populace? The soundtrack is beautiful. There are full orchestrated pieces here. The tracks may remind you of the movie Gladiator or the game Shadow of Rome, but they're none-the-less original. Expect a lot of gory sounds too because this is one violent game. Hook this up to your surround system to feel the hands of a Spartan rip a satyr apart.
One major strength of this game is it's fighting system. There's really a lot to do when killing a Legionnaire with Kratos' Blades of Chaos. This is one bloody fightfest, filled with the joys of having a splash in the squirting blood of dead foes. There are witty puzzles here, too. Expect to have a lot of puzzles in a single level, and expect a lot of twists after you've finished a puzzle. Some of them may seem overly done but they're actually not. They're fun and will turn your brains around. The bossfights are huge in terms of presentation. The fights are expressive and are memorable. There's this specific button combo in the game that lets players see Kratos perform a cinematic stunt when the right button is pushed. This is a great addition to God of War because they show the fighting prowess of Kratos, and the bleeding prowess of all his enemies. Prepare for the time of your lives.
This game really smacked me down. The only downside is that it IS surprisingly short. After it has lured gamers into it's grasp, God of War then ends ubruptly. On normal difficulty, expect this game to finish at 8 hours or so of devoted gaming. Don't worry, this is just about the only negative thing. God of War just terminates like that because it wants players to experience God of War 2 right then and there. It's like it's saying, "C'mon man, finish the game already! You still have to play God of War 2, for Zeus' sake!"