Greek mythology as a video game genre is one of the few that hasn’t been regurgitated to death. The God of War franchise does a very good job of melding actual Greek mythology with custom storylines, compelling characters, and great gameplay. Couple the non-stop action with some brilliantly designed levels, and God of War becomes a recipe for an epic saga. Any PlayStation fan who isn’t familiar with the PS2 series now has the perfect opportunity to get acquainted before the release of God of War III.
The hero of this series, or anti-hero as it typically goes, is Kratos, a brutal Spartan captain who quickly amasses loyal troops. His legendary army was a near unstoppable force until they were overwhelmed in battle by a Barbarian King and his ruthless followers. With his men fallen, Kratos called upon Aries, the God of War, to aid him in during his darkest hour. Aries heard his pleas for help and bestowed Kratos with the Blades of Chaos, weapons which were forged in the depths of Hades. This heavenly request certainly comes with a price as Aries fuels Kratos’ blood lust by making him his emissary of death.
Though the Blades of Chaos truly make Kratos unstoppable, they end up costing him more then he could ever imagine. What was initially a gift quickly transforms into a curse, so much so that Kratos is later referred to as the “Ghost of Sparta” because of his pale white skin. How that happens though is up to the player to find out. Kratos’ tale is ultimately one of ambition turned to hubris. Greek gods tend to be more fickle and petty than humans, and this proves to be too much for Kratos as he seeks to exact revenge on the inhabitants of Mount Olympus.
The Blades are a violently elegant weapon, empowering their wielder with a ballet of death and a great gameplay mechanic. Along his journeys, Kratos will receive other powers from both the Gods and Titans alike. While the early part of the story primarily features Greece, the entire dark odyssey spans various regions, including the depths of Hades and the heights of Mount Olympus.