Cute story aside, God Hand's true greatness comes from its rollicking gameplay. It has very odd, innovative controls, but they're responsive and work well. Gene's attacks are completely customizable, drawn from a library of over 100 moves that you find in treasure chests or buy in shops. The combat system is uncommonly deep, with numerous special move properties and an extensive dodging system. Building the perfect combo is an art in itself.
But those are just details. The really important thing here is that it's just plain satisfying to beat the tar out of bad guys. Unlike most brawlers - even popular arcade classics like X-Men and The Simpsons - the gameplay is fun in itself, not just novel. It's also amazingly long, at over 12 hours in length. Once in a while it does get repetitive, but the next level (or a visit to the fun, relaxing casino) should recharge your lust for carnage.
One major reason it can sell the violence so well is the stupendous character animation. Every attack and recoil is smooth and weighty, and the sound effects hold up their end well. Other aspects of the graphics are not as impressive, but that's okay: they're good enough. There are no such qualms about the audio, which combines perfectly cast, B-level voice acting with one of the most eclectic, catchy soundtracks on the PS2.