God of War 2

At Wednesday's Game Developers Conference keynote speech, gamers and developers got a good look at the PS3 and what it can do. But they also got a good look at something else. Something dark, horrific and not at all next-gen. Yes, the LocoRoco video was terrifying, but the good news is that God of War is back on the PS2. What does that mean? More brutally beautiful, third-person mayhem, with our man Kratos killing mythic enemies by blade or bare hands.

God of War creator David Jaffe took the stage to introduce God of War II, saying that his team had passed on saving it for the PS3, because the PS3 "seems to be incapable of rendering three-way sex scenes in real-time."(That's a reference to the threesome scene in God of War, in which you could watch a vase on a bedside table wobble asmoaning clued you in to what was going on offscreen, in case you were wondering). But while it's staying on the apparently more-pervy PS2 for now, God of War II still looks great.

Like the first God of War, God of War II is a puzzle-laced hack-and-slasher set in ancient Greece and starring Kratos, a bald, perpetually angry badass who rips monsters in half for fun. In the brief video we were shown, we saw a snippet of story - Kratos is the Greek god of war now, after killing flame-headed former god of war Ares at the end of the last game. But apparently gods have to do their own dirty work, because the rest of the clip showed Kratos - shirtless and belligerent, as usual - doing more horrible things than ever to monsters of legend.

Above: Yeah, there's only one piece of artwork for the game. It debuted today, people.

We saw him tear one of the heads off Cerberus, the three-headed monster dog that guards the entrance to the Underworld, which looked like it took a lot of effort. We witnessed him climb up a huge Cyclops (using his swords as handholds), plunge his hands into its eye socket, and slowly tug out its eyeball. And then wewatched as he swungaround a cavern, using the swords chained to his arms like a whip to catch on hooks in the ceiling.

To cap it all off, we caught a shot of Kratos standing on the back of amassive gryphon in flight, stabbing some hapless monster to death while soaring thousands of feet off the ground. Not keen on the whole "self-preservation" thing, Kratos then sliced one of the gryphon's wings off and threw it away before jumping out into nothingness.

Brutality aside, the game doesn't seem to have changed visually since the original God of War, which isn't a bad thing. We don't yet know whether the game will play as well as the excellent original, but with the promise of more attacks, more puzzles and more monsters, signs currently point to "hell yeah."

Mikel Reparaz
After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.