There has never been a video game character like Kratos. Sure, there have been numerous anti-heroes over the years, but none have come anywhere near the frightening brutality of this "God of War" hero. He slaughters innocent people for his own benefit, has sex with two women in the midst of a war, and provides more decapitations than any "Mortal Kombat" game. This is the backdrop that develops one of the few "real" characters in a game, and it does so better than most major films.
Taking bits from various other action titles, "God of War's" three-year production cycle allowed director David Jaffe and his team to meticulously iron out the combat that dominates the game. Kratos carries dual extending swords strapped permanently to his arms that unleash devastating combos and buckets of blood. Those combos are numerous, and pulling them off not only feels great, but also produces the expected winning results.
When not jabbing on one of the three attack buttons, Kratos can perform some insanely graphic fatalities. These are done via a mini-game, if you will, in which players must press the button that corresponds to the one on the screen. The analog stick also plays a role in a few of these. Not only do these produce satisfying impalements, repeated stabbings, and the always brutal throat slash, they also can deliver specific power-ups you need in a pinch.
Almost every enemy slaughter provides some orbs. These serve various functions including health regeneration, magic power, or the ability to upgrade either your weapons or that magic. More moves are earned via these upgrades and those spells increase in their devastation.
Though the game starts with a rather beautiful and flowing weapon, Kratos later takes hold of a vicious, powerful, and downright nasty sword. Where his initial blades sliced through enemies with relative ease, this new steel creates impact the player can almost feel. It takes a small nanosecond for the move to finish with this new (and ridiculously large) weapon and offers up a fantastic sense of power. Both weapons are perfectly suited for the games combat, and depending on your style, you'll feel right at home.