Sony’s Santa Monica Studios, the developers of God of War, really know how get your attention. While many other games greet your with a warm induction handshake or allow you to dip your elbow in the water before embarking on an adventure, this game strips you down, slaps your cheeks, and leaves your cheese out in the wind. Who can forget the opening of the original God of War? Within barely minutes of game time you’re tearing chunks out of the multi-headed Lernaean Hydra, whirling the Blade of Chaos to flail its scales and puncture the eyes.
It was a contest of such fury and size that it would normally be the climax of a game. But, like we said, they like to get your attention, which means the ante had to be upped for God of War 2. The result is an explosive opening of epic proportion that makes the hydra confrontation look like high-spirited horseplay. And, to our mind, we think they’ve done themselves proud.
The hero at the center of the action is, of course, Kratos, Ares’ replacement as the new God of War, who has spent his time since the last game making Ares look like a soft touch. As perhaps punishment for his bloodthirsty ways, Kratos is plunged into the ancient city of Rhodes in the midst of a Roman invasion. Reduced to the size of a mortal man, he must slice his way through the enemy troops.
Fortunately as he retains his Godly powers and brutal fighting skills, the opposition are reduced into bloody pulp in moments. The real threat to Kratos, however, is outside, peering in with flashlight eyes, restlessly shifting its weight, itching to get its hands on our hero and turn him into Godly paste - the giant statue of Colossus. Uh-oh.