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Game Debate #76: God of War


Reed Rothchild
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31 members have voted

  1. 1. God of War (2005)

    • 10/10 - One of your very favorite games of all time.
    • 9/10 - Killer fucking game. Everyone should play it.
    • 8/10 - Great game. Easy to recommend.
    • 7/10 - Very good, but not quite great.
    • 6/10 - Pretty good. You might enjoy occasionally playing it.
    • 5/10 - It's okay, but maybe not something you'll go out of your way to play.
    • 4/10 - Meh. There's plenty of better alternatives to this.
      0
    • 3/10 - Not very good.
      0
    • 2/10 - Pretty crappy.
      0
    • 1/10 - Horrible in every way.
      0
    • 0/10 - The Desert Bus of painful experiences. You'd rather shove an icepick in your genitals than play this.
      0
    • Never played it, but you're interested.
    • No interest in playing it.
  2. 2. God of War (2018)

    • 10/10 - One of your very favorite games of all time.
    • 9/10 - Killer fucking game. Everyone should play it.
    • 8/10 - Great game. Easy to recommend.
    • 7/10 - Very good, but not quite great.
    • 6/10 - Pretty good. You might enjoy occasionally playing it.
    • 5/10 - It's okay, but maybe not something you'll go out of your way to play.
      0
    • 4/10 - Meh. There's plenty of better alternatives to this.
      0
    • 3/10 - Not very good.
      0
    • 2/10 - Pretty crappy.
      0
    • 1/10 - Horrible in every way.
      0
    • 0/10 - The Desert Bus of painful experiences. You'd rather shove an icepick in your genitals than play this.
      0
    • Never played it, but you're interested.
    • No interest in playing it.


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6/10 for the PS2 game. It’s fine and bombastic and you and you can just spam a good move through literally the whole game. I much prefer all the Japanese action games that focus on the combat.

I gotta play the new one eventually since they spent like a billion dollars on it so it must be something.

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For God of War (2005), I rated this one an 8 while thinking back to how I felt about it in its time, otherwise I would have given it a 6 or 7. Thinking about the game in its time, the big moments felt really special, next to no loading times was technically impressive, puzzles helped counter-balance all the mindless violence, and fantastic - and varied - environments/set pieces made the game feel grandiose.

With a 2021 lens however, sparsely populated environments, a same-y soundtrack throughout, and a lack of enemy variety make the game feel dated.

I played through each game in the God of War series again last year, and while fun, the experience felt really played out by the 3/4 point of the original. The memories I have with the game keep it 'up there' in my mind though, from my sister falling in love with the series from watching me play, to the monumental boss fights that felt crazy at the time, and the fun take on Greek mythology (love mythology). The game is certainly worth a play for those who missed out.

****

God of War (2018) is a powerful game. The combat is significantly more engaging with a support character and the axe, the environments are wildly varied (as one would expect for a GoW game), graphics are beautiful even 3+ years on, the soundtrack hits all the right beats, but the real star of the show is the story, it's delivery, and the emotional beats it hits.

Ultimately, I don't really have much else to say other than that the game is brilliant, is an easy 10 for all the points stated above, and everyone should give it a look; there is a wonderful, fantastical and emotional journey to be had for anyone prepared to embark on it.

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2005 is a great game though I haven't gone back to the PS2 in many years.  But I still have it.  Funfact: GoW 2 killed my launch PS2.  It froze during the final boss battle and I could never get it to work after that.  I immediately traded in half a dozen games or so to buy the Slim, fired it up and whooped up on Zeus.  Very righteous and satisfying revenge.

Haven't played 2018.  Looks cool and all but I'm not going out of my way to get a PS4.

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No controversy here. I waffled back and forth on an 8 or 9 for this game, and I ultimately it an an 8 for being one of the better hack & slash games I've played both on the console and in general. The setting was amazing, and I appreciated that Kratos was closer to a villain than a hero, which always seems rarer in video games. Kratos's moveset was varied for the time, and I appreciated the RPG-esque upgrade system for new moves. 

I haven't played the new one, but it's something I want to play sooner rather than later. Everyone I know who has played it really loved it.

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Absolutely love the PS2 one. I still think it's the best, has the best story and especially for it's time I felt it was revolutionary. Gave it a 9. As the series went on I became less and less interested. I didn't like the change in tone with the new GoW, I thought the game was great but I prefer the old style. Gave 2018's an 8.

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Member · Posted

7 for the original for me. It is a good game but there are better hack and slashes on the system. Glad someone else mentioned the soundtrack being repetitive, that got on my nerves a bit. 

8 for the new one. Some of my friends got a major boner for this game. I thought it was a great game but if you haven’t played it yet I wouldn’t drop everything right this second to play it. I loved the story, combat and environments. It is definitely a game everyone should play at some point though but for me it wasn’t the second coming of Christ which is what I rate my 9 and 10’s.

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Member · Posted

Both really good games!

The first game of the series really caught me off guard, feeling like a bit of a dumb button masher at first, but the moment you got into some of the more challenging battles it displayed a bit more of depth. What really surprised me though was how much attention was paid to the level design which you can see subtly took influence from some of the better Japanese action adventure games of the time (like the Zelda series) rather than sticking to the approaches more common to western games of the time.

Ultimately though the game feels a bit stunted - and when you see the behind the scenes footage it's easy to tell why. There's so much stuff they wanted to put in the game that they never came around to, which explains both the odd lack of epic both fights (especially compared to the intro stage) and overall varation in locales and setpieces.

The sequel really fixed all that, and it's the true tour de force of the series, a fantastic game that everyone should play, though there's no reason to skip the first one to get to it.

 

2018 God of War is a little weird in how it brands itself as a reboot, which might just have been a way to sell it to people who didn't play every game before it, because as you can tell having playing it, it's very clearly God of War 4.

The combat is really well handled, and really feels like a skill based beat'em up. I heavily recommend playing this on one of the harder difficulties, even though it can feel like a bit of a wall going in, since it takes a while to figure out how to deal with the limited visibility of the super zoomed in camera.

The game does get easier down the line though, which is fortunate considering how many fights you need to go through, and all the backtracking required. But at the same time, the repeated areas, and overall repetition of the places and fights you experience does get tiring over time. Even the boss fights, there are like three different ones that just get repeated? Even the "final boss" feels like a repetition.
I'm also not a big fan of the heavy grinding aspect in such a skill based game, which definitely contributed to the game's oddly front loaded difficulty.

Overall a really good game though, that I wish had been better. It feels like it shares the original GOW's lack of exploration into the mythology it's based on. Maybe they can make similar improvements for its sequel as they did with GOW2.

Edited by Sumez
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Member · Posted

Can't rate the new one, at least unless I grab it off Steam in January when it drops.  That style of game I either like or really do not, so I don't know.

But off of that, same thing about the old franchise too as it was for so long.  GoW was a fantastic but definitely not super great 9+ quality either.  In all fairness, and me relating to the yet to play, the mythology made it far more fun for me to not just tolerate but finish the game.  In the end the game is average at best a good 6-7 as far as combat mechanics go and upgrading, the better elements of the game start with the nice graphics and audio no doubt.  The best driving part was the fantastic revenge covered story against the hypocritical deceitful classic gods in the story and the enjoyment you get for crushing their bones as pay back for it all against both you the player(Kratos) but the world too.  That's what kept me going, if the story was generic I'd have stopped, the story inches my score up just to an 8, any higher I see no merit to qualify it as such.

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I never got into the series even though I always really wanted to try it.  From what I've seen, the earlier games might be a bit too repetitive for me, but I still want to try them sometime.  I own all of the games, but unfortunately, there are other games in my backlog with more priority.  

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Both 7/10 for me.

The original was a fun 3D brawler that reinvigorated the genre and set the stage for the amazing God of War II.  The sequel is probably like a 9/10, much improving on nearly every aspect of the original.

The 2018 version drops any pretense of doing something new and innovative and instead shows what you can do with a billion dollar budget. Was it good? Definitely. Was it innovative? Not at all. I hated the crafting/upgrade system and often felt like I was slogging through repetitive action scenes just to see more story (which is admittedly the best of the series). Needless to say, I'm not particularly excited to do it all again in Ragnarok.

Edited by DoctorEncore
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Member · Posted
2 hours ago, WhyNotZoidberg said:

Never played the remake but I enjoyed all the GoW games I played so I'm confident that it is also a killer fucking game which should be played by everyone.

It's not a remake, it's a straight up continuation of the story. I'm not going to spoil anything, but despite a change in mythology it builds heavily on the previous games, without necessarily requiring playing all of them. Definitely check it out.

Edited by Sumez
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Member · Posted

Even though the fighting mechanics are generic by today’s standard, if I remembered correctly, I think it was one of the first of its kind with a great mix of action, graphics, atmosphere and story-telling. Definitely not the first of its genre, but the first at being extremely good at what it does. It felt innovative and invigorating to play it for the first time back when it came out.

I think the analogy is something similar to Final Fight when it came out in the arcades. It was a refined scrolling beat’em up like an enhanced Double Dragon, yet it felt innovative and a perfect blend of action, graphics and atmosphere. When comparing to by today’s standards, Final Fight becomes a stock standard fighting game.

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Member · Posted

I can't figure out if that's true or not, heh.

Although Double Dragon was definitely what first sparked the popularity of the beat'em up (and I'd pin Renegade by the same devs as the first in the genre), most people would probably argue Final Fight is the genre codifier. Pretty much every game released after that copied FF in some form or another.

Comparing the 3D brawler/character action games that God of War fits into, I'd be more likely to give that role to Devil May Cry - but at the same time the first DMC was pretty stiff, and arguably the first true game of its type (?). GOW didn't really do anything unique enough to set itself apart in the same way Final Fight did. But then again, it's still very good, and I'd be lying if I said it wasn't still super influential. If nothing else, it's probably the game that popularized incorporating Quick Time Events into mixed gameplay in 50,000 other games to follow it.

It's funny how that's something that's generally shunned, with good reason, but in the GOW games I actually think the QTEs work quite well in the context. The game understood how to use it in a way that didn't feel like it conflicted with actual gameplay, or straight up replaced it.

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8 hours ago, Sumez said:

but at the same time the first DMC was pretty stiff, and arguably the first true game of its type (?)

The first important game, probably? But the earliest one I know of is this 1999 PS1 game:

Japanese OP is pretty good too:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgoG9zn8YH4

(It's not as cool a game as the premise and openings may suggest.)

 

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