A sequel to one of the most succesful vidgames of the last few years, “God of War 2” offers more of the same, for better and for worse. Vast, sweeping action ensures that it will go down as the last great game for the Playstation 2, but an old-fashioned fixed camera will frustrate many players.
Like its predecessor, “God of War 2” forces gamers to play the epic tale of gods and Spartans as if it were an interactive movie — unlike most games in which players can look 360 degrees around the environment, all of the camera angles are pre-determined and unmovable. While this approach is perfect for an action pic with choreographed fight scenes, it makes controlling Greek warrior Kratos extremely difficult at times.
Developers would likely point out that this choice lets them provide a truly cinematic experience and create spectacular graphics, both of which are true. From the characters to the war-ravaged lands, the game looks amazing. But that won’t help gamers trying to manage a fight that’s taking place behind an object or around a corner.
When you are able to see him, controlling the tortured warrior Kratos as he toes the line between god and mortal in a quest to get revenge against Zeus is smooth and intuitive. Besides all sorts of savage, bloody attacks that can be upgraded with experience, “God of War 2” also changes up the pace by making Kratos’ finishing moves in some fights a combination of timed button presses that result in a truly impressive, if gory, end to his enemies.
While the story line gets convoluted and hard to follow at times, the game’s depth and ambition (as well as the sweeping orchestral music featured throughout) provide a fitting finale for the Playstation 2, the best selling game console of all time. And it will undoubtedly leave millions of gamers eagers for “God of War 3” on the Playstation 3.