|Developer(s): SCE Studios Santa Monica
Publisher(s): Sony Computer Entertainment
Platform(s): PlayStation 3
Release date(s): November 17, 2009
Genre(s): Hack and slash, action-adventure
GOD OF WAR
Kratos is a warrior in the service of the Greek gods of Olympus. It is revealed (via a series of flashbacks) that Kratos was once a captain in the Spartan army. A fierce warrior, Kratos led his army to several victories, until finally overmatched by an invading horde of barbarians. Outnumbered and on the verge of being killed by the Barbarian King, Kratos called to the God of War, Ares. Kratos promised to serve Ares servitude if the god would spare the Spartans and provide the power to destroy their enemies.
Ares hears Kratos’ prayer, and bonds the “Blades of Chaos” (a pair of chain blades and forged in the depths of Tartarus) to his new servant. Kratos then returns to the confrontation with the Barbarian King and decapitated his foe. A victorious Kratos then wages war against all of Greece, and eventually leads an attack on a village occupied by worshippers of Athena. Ares tricks Kratos by placing his wife and child in the village, whom Kratos accidentally kills. Although Ares intends for this act to make Kratos the perfect warrior, Kratos renounces his servitude to Ares. The oracle of the now destroyed village curses Kratos, and the ashes of his family adhere to his skin, turning it ash-white. Now the “Ghost of Sparta”, Kratos is plagued by nightmares of his horrible deed and commits to ten years of servitude to the other gods of Olympus. Eventually tired of his servitude, Kratos summons Athena, who states that if Kratos performs one final deed—the murder of Ares—he will be forgiven for the murder of his family. Athena assigns Kratos to destroy Ares because Zeus has forbidden divine intervention.
After killing the Hydra on behalf of the god Poseidon, Kratos is guided by the goddess Athena to the city of Athens, which is under siege by Ares’ minions. Kratos battles his way to Athens’ oracle, but not before also having a strange encounter with a grave-digger, who encourages Kratos to continue with his task. Finding the oracle, Kratos learns the only way to defeat Ares is to locate and use Pandora’s Box, a legendary artifact which can give a mortal the power to kill a god.
Entering the Desert of Lost Souls, Kratos is advised by Athena that Pandora’s Box is hidden within a temple chained to the back of the Titan Cronos – a punishment inflicted by Zeus for Kronos’ role in the Great War. Kratos summons the Titan and climbs for three days before reaching the Temple entrance. Overcoming an array of deadly traps and an army of monsters, Kratos eventually finds Pandora’s Box. Although successful, on leaving the Temple with the Box Kratos is murdered by Ares, who is aware that his former servant has succeeded. As a group of harpies take the Box to Ares, Kratos falls into the Underworld. Kratos, however, battles his way through the underworld, and with the aid of the mysterious grave-digger, who states that Athena is not the only god watching over him, escapes and returns to Athens.
Recovering Pandora’s Box from Ares, Kratos opens it and uses the power to become god-like. Despite Ares’ best efforts to destroy Kratos both physically and mentally (including being stripped of the Blades of Chaos and all magic) Kratos survives and kills his foe with the Blade of the Gods. Athens is saved, and although Athena states that Kratos’ sins are forgiven, the gods cannot rid him of his nightmares. Kratos then attempts to commit suicide by casting himself into the Aegean Sea, but Athena intervenes and brings him to Mount Olympus. As a reward for his services to the gods, Athena provides Kratos with a new set of blades and Kratos becomes the new God of War.
GOD OF WAR II
Kratos is now the God of War, having defeated the Olympian god Ares. Shunned by the other gods and still haunted by nightmares from his past, Kratos decides to join an army of Spartans in an attack on the city of Rhodes. Kratos also ignores a warning from the goddess Athena that his lust for revenge is alienating the other gods.
During the battle, a giant eagle drains Kratos of his godly powers and also animates the Colossus of Rhodes. After a series of skirmishes with the statue, Kratos is offered the Blade of Olympus by Zeus- Kratos now only needing to infuse the blade with the remainder of his godly power. Although a now human Kratos defeats the Colossus, he is mortally wounded in the attempt. Zeus reveals himself as the eagle, and states he is forced to intervene as Athena refuses to undo what Zeus refers to as “her mistake”. Zeus then grants Kratos one final opportunity to be a loyal servant of the gods. Kratos, however, refuses and is killed by Zeus with the Blade of Olympus. Zeus then destroys the invading Spartan army.
Although Kratos is slowly dragged to the Underworld, he is saved by the Titan Gaia, Mother of Earth. Gaia explains to Kratos that he must now find the Sisters of Fate, who can change his fate and prevent his death at the hands of Zeus. With the aid of a winged Pegasus, Kratos is first directed to find Gaia’s brother Titan Typhon and enlist his aid. After an aerial battle with griffins and harpies, Kratos finds the Titan imprisoned in an arctic location under a mountain.
Typhon is angered at the intrusion and imprisons the Pegasus, trapping Kratos in his lair. Forced to explore, Kratos battles hordes of foes until encountering the former Titan, Prometheus, who was trapped in mortal form and then chained and tortured at Zeus’ directive for giving the gift of fire to mankind. Prometheus begs for release from his torment, and to achieve this Kratos then finds and confronts Typhon. Kratos steals the Titan’s magical bow and uses it to blind the Titan, with an angered Typhon swearing vengeance. Kratos returns to Prometheus and uses the weapon to free him, who then chooses death by fire. In the act of immolation Prometheus releases the power of the Titans, which Kratos absorbs into himself. Freeing the Pegasus with the Titans’ power, Kratos escapes and defeats more aerial foes until finding the Island of Creation.
Kratos then learns from Gaia that she once raised a young Zeus, who, on reaching manhood, betrayed her and waged war against all Titans for the cruelty inflicted on his siblings by his father, Cronos. After battling and defeating a number of foes, including Theseus, an undead version of his old foe the Barbarian King, the gorgon Euryale, Perseus, and Icarus (both of whom are also seeking the Sisters of Fate), Kratos encounters the imprisoned Titan Atlas. An angered Atlas initially has no time for Kratos as he was responsible for the Titan’s current predicament. Kratos, however, explains his intent, and Atlas reveals that Gaia and the other Titans seek revenge on Zeus as they were punished and humiliated by the gods after their defeat in the Great War. After revealing that the Blade of Olympus is the key to Zeus’ defeat, Atlas aids Kratos by helping him reach the Palace of the Fates.
After evading numerous traps and defeating waves of monsters, Kratos encounters and battles an unseen foe, who is revealed to be a loyal Spartan soldier. Before dying, the soldier reveals Zeus has completed his revenge by destroying Sparta in Kratos’ absence. An outraged Kratos is given even greater power by Gaia, who encourages him to continue to pursue his ultimate goal – the death of Zeus. Kratos eventually finds and frees a phoenix, riding the creature to the Sisters’ stronghold. Kratos then confronts two of the three Sisters – Lakhesis and Atropos. After a series of skirmishes (including a failed attempt by the Sisters to change the outcome of Kratos’ battle with Ares), Kratos kills both, and then confronts the final Sister, Clotho. After killing Clotho, Kratos uses the Loom of Fate to return to the point at which Zeus betrayed him.
Kratos surprises Zeus and seizes the Blade of Olympus, and, after a protracted battle, incapacitated Zeus. Athena intervenes and begs Kratos to stop, stating by killing Zeus, Kratos will destroy Olympus. Kratos ignores Athena’s pleas and attempts to kill Zeus, but Athena sacrifices herself and is impaled by the Blade of Olympus. Before dying, Athena reveals Kratos is Zeus’ son, and that Zeus was afraid that Kratos would usurp him, as he himself did to Cronos. Kratos declares the time of the gods is at an end, and travels back in time, rescuing the Titans just prior to their defeat in the Great War. Kratos then brings the Titans to the present, where the gods watch as their former foes climb Mount Olympus. Standing on the back of Gaia and wielding the Blade of Olympus, Kratos tells Zeus he has brought the destruction of Olympus.