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Moriarty Meets Dave Jaffe, Reviews PS2's Epic New GOD OF WAR!!

Hi, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab...

So why a game?

Why, when I’ve got a DVD SHELF column and a Steve Carrel set visit and a couple of script reviews and interviews in the hopper, would I take the time to write about a game?

After all, Ain’t It Cool Games turned out to be a mercifully brief bad idea. We aren’t a gaming site. That much was made abundantly clear. There are plenty of websites out there that do a great job of keeping up with the world of games, far better than we ever could. I’m not even sure if Harry even plays video games.

I do... but not often. I buy five or six games a year, and that seems like a lot to me. Like for example, last year I think I bought GODZILLA: SAVE THE EARTH, STAR WARS: BATTLEFRONT, GRAND THEFT AUTO: SAN ANDREAS, RED DEAD REVOLVER, and THE INCREDIBLES. I didn’t finish any of them. The one that got the most spin time was GTA: SA, but I don’t even think I completed the first overall section of the game. Basically, I would put it in, rampage around a while, cause some chaos, make some bodies, and then turn it off without getting anywhere. As you can see from the list of titles, I tend to pick up games because they satisfy a particular geek fetish, like giant monster fights or superpowers or STAR WARS or gunslinging.

A couple of weeks ago, I got a call from someone representing Playstation, asking what I knew about a game called GOD OF WAR. My honest answer? Nothing. They offered to send over a copy of the game and told me to go check out some of the reviews that were already appearing online. When I did, I was surprised to see how enthusiastic the gaming press seemed to be about the title, and that convinced me to at least take a look at it. I figured it couldn’t hurt, and besides, it’s always nice to be able to play a game and legitimately tell your wife, “I’m working.”

By the time the game arrived the next day, I had cleared my schedule enough that I’d be able to spend a few hours playing it. As I went back and read the articles about the development of the game, it sounded like it was a hell of a process, three years of expectations finally come to fruition. Late in the afternoon, I put the game in and started it up.

Four o’clock the next morning, I saved the game and finally went to sleep.

GOD OF WAR is compulsively playable from the moment you put it into the PS2. Set in a world that’s like a Ray Harryhausen wet dream, it’s the story of Kratos, an ex-Spartan warrior who finds himself part of an epic battle against Ares, the God of War. Ares is in the midst of attacking Athens, and Kratos takes it upon himself to single-handedly stop him. It’s not the destruction of the city or the deaths of innocents that spur Kratos to action, though. It seems that he and Ares have some unfinished business. The exact nature of their connection is the mystery that fuels the game, and a fairly compelling narrative spine.

What makes the game of particular interest to AICN is the way creative director Dave Jaffe and his amazing team of designers and programmers have created a gameplay experience that ultimately leaves you feeling like you’ve watched a movie that you were the star of, a great story that also features really involving action. Kratos isn’t just an onscreen avatar for you to use to kill opponents. Thanks to the hour of cinematic sequences that are part of the game, he’s a character, completely with tragic baggage. By structuring the game so that you get information in a series of flashbacks that gradually fill in the details of Kratos’s past, Jaffe keeps you on the hook.

On your quest, you encounter such mythological creatures as a Hydra, Minotaurs, Skeleton Warriors a-plenty, Cyclops, Harpies, Gorgons, Sirens, Cerberus Dogs, Satyrs, Centaurs, and Wraiths. You also encounter Oracles and Gods alike as you move from the seas to the city under siege, then into the desert where you find the Temple of Pandora strapped to the back of a Titan as he crawls on an endless trek as punishment.

Unlike a lot of adventure games I’ve played, this isn’t all structured around repetitive build-ups to boss fights at the end of every level. You’re never sure if you’re going to have to solve a puzzle or navigate a tricky environment or fight a bad guy at any point, and that unpredictability is really engaging. Another thing that stands out is the way Jaffe really makes sure you enjoy the big moments for what they are. Take the introduction of Ares, for example. You fight your way into Athens, and for a while, you’re not sure exactly what it is that you’re looking for. At one point, though, you clear some opponents and then the camera races past you, up a long flight of stairs, and as you run up the stairs, you brush aside a curtain that blows in the wind, and suddenly you’re on a balcony with a view of an entire battlefield. Hundreds of battalions of soldiers all fight against one gigantic figure, Ares, who stomps them like ants, storming across miles and miles of open ground. It’s an amazing sight, and Jaffe sells it as well as any blockbuster filmmaker might. That happens time and time again, like when you summon the Temple of Pandora by blowing a mystical horn. The enormous Titan, on hands and knees, comes out of a sandstorm, massive rumbling sounds the only precursor to his arrival. Jaffe seems to love the awe-inspiring moments, and he packs the game with them. The score, composed by Gerard Marino, Mike Reagan, Ron Fish, Winifred Phillips with Winnie Waldron, Cris Velasco, and Marcello De Francisi, is one of the lushest orchestral scores I’ve ever heard created for a game, and it really works on you as you move from level to level.

I played the first half of the game that first night, and didn’t have time to return to it the next day. Before I could complete it, I found myself at the offices of Sony Computer Entertainment America, Santa Monica, which turned out to be right down the street from Revolution Studios. This is only the second title to be developed completely in-house at the Santa Monica studios. Their first title shipped was TWISTED METAL: BLACK back in 2001, which was developed with Incognito Entertainment. That was also the brainchild of Dave Jaffe. The first title that was created completely at the Santa Monica studio was 2001’s KINETICA. Since then, they’ve released WAR OF THE MONSTERS, KILLZONE, and GRAN TURISMO 4, among others, but the thing they’ve been revving up to, the thing that much of their identity is wrapped up in at the moment, is GOD OF WAR.

I sat down to talk to Jaffe, who I was told ahead of time was a huge fan of Ain’t It Cool News, which is why they approached us in the first place. We met in an upstairs conference room where the dry erase boards were still covered in both story idea flow charts and actual lines of code everywhere you looked. Jaffe seemed energetic, but fatigued, like even he was surprised he was still able to keep moving forward. He bounced into the room and greeted Obi-Swan and I warmly.

JAFFE: I was really surprised when they said Ain’t It Cool News was coming. That’s so cool. I didn’t know you did game coverage.

MORIARTY: We don’t. Not often.

JAFFE: You had Ain’t It Cool Games for a while, right?

MORIARTY: Yeah, but that was a side project for someone who’s not with the site anymore. Now, it’s rare for us to do this. It’s sort of like AICN Books. We don’t do a ton of book coverage, but if something interests us...

JAFFE: Great. Cool.

MORIARTY: ... then, yeah, we’ll cover it. And considering I played the game for about nine hours the first time I put it in the other night...

JAFFE: Oh, really?

MORIARTY: Yeah, that was pretty much my whole evening.

JAFFE: How far did you get?

MORIARTY: I got to Pandora’s Temple, and I’m about halfway through solving that.

JAFFE: You’ve got to finish it.

MORIARTY: Oh, I will. As soon as we finish something this week. (points at Obi-Swan) He’s ordered me to stop playing this week so we can make a deadline.

JAFFE: And you’re Moriarty, right?

MORIARTY: Yep.

JAFFE: I’m so disappointed. I expected the cartoon character and the bunny slippers. I have the mug with all you guys on it that a friend got for me. (to Obi-Swan) And who are you on the site?

OBI-SWAN: I’m Obi-Swan, resident STAR WARS nerd.

JAFFE: Ah, cool. What have you heard about the new one? What’s the buzz? All I’ve seen so far is the trailer.

OBI-SWAN: Well, if you go to a site called MillenniumFalcon.com, they’re just total outlaws. Anything you want, it’s there, most likely. I haven’t been able to resist. Hope springs eternal, y’know? Even the people who love to bash EPISODE I and II seem to be excited about this one.

JAFFE: I wasn’t blown away by the trailer. I’m sort of reserved. I want it to be good, and I just don’t want it to suck like the first two. Actually, I take that back. The first two, they’re just okay, you know?

OBI-SWAN: Cautious optimism is the order of the day, it seems.

JAFFE: I’m waiting for the Kershner remakes. Wouldn’t that be cool if he got the rights and just remade everything from EMPIRE on?

(everyone laughs)

JAFFE: Okay, cool. So I’ve got my bearings now. You played it. You played it for a long time.

MORIARTY: One of the things I really enjoyed is that it’s not a GRAND THEFT AUTO style free-roaming game. As cool as the idea is that you can go anywhere and do anything, after a while with those games, I find that I never get past a certain point. Here, I like the narrative drive. As you’re playing, I like that it doesn’t spoon-feed you. Like the board where you have to turn that giant crossbow around. Took me a few minutes.

JAFFE: Yeah, yeah. Right.

MORIARTY: As a movie fan, you must have seen stuff like TROY...

JAFFE: Actually, no. I didn’t see TROY because everyone told me it sucked. I am a massive movie fan. I’m totally inspired by movies. Hell, I’m more of a movie fan than a game fan. To hear another movie fan say that the game is great and that it works... I’ll tell you what. This is intentionally supposed to feel more like a movie. We did not want to make a game that was a hardcore game for gamers only. We wanted to make a game that was narrative, that was story-driven. We did things with hidden checkpoints so that if you died, you don’t have to replay very much. It’s really meant to be accessible...

MORIARTY: I noticed that. You don’t realize you’ve even hit the checkpoints.

JAFFE: That’s because there are so many games where you have to go back and replay ten or fifteen minutes to the last checkpoint, because that’s how they stretch out the time of the overall experience. This should be a ten to twenty hour game depending on your skill base level. We wanted to make a game that people would actually finish. We were under tons of pressure for three years. We spent tons of Sony’s money. We wanted to make sure that everything was different, and that every room, every level, every puzzle, you didn’t feel like we were regurgitating the same stuff over and over again. I approached it like I was telling a story instead of making a game. This is more like a playable movie than it is like a DEVIL MAY CRY, which is more of a gamer’s game. So, yeah... ummmmm... TROY. TROY was something that I was really excited about, obviously, since this is a Greek game. But then I heard they weren’t doing the Gods...

MORIARTY: That’s sort of an infuriating choice. When you’re dealing with Greek icons like that, and mythological characters like Achilles, it seems like you would embrace that side of things. Especially now. Especially post-LORD OF THE RINGS.

JAFFE: I can understand the decision behind it. I just don’t agree with it.

MORIARTY: It comes down to whether or not that choice works for you.

JAFFE: And, look, I like Wolfgang Petersen. I think he’s made some great movies. I just heard that this one was not worth seeing. This game is really based on my love of the Harryhausen stuff. CLASH OF THE TITANS. ARGONAUTS. And, of course, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK.

MORIARTY: Well, the monsters are so much fun in this. Like the Hydra, right up front. It’s a great boss, but more than that, it’s just fun to watch. It’s great the way it’s been designed. You’ve played with the ideas of Greek mythology and twisted them in some really clever ways.

JAFFE: Yeah, all of that is because we wanted to make sure people enjoyed this the way you enjoy something like RAIDERS. We’ve done a lot of commentary on the game in various magazines. Legal doesn’t like it when I say, “Here are specific things which were influential,” for some reason. I guess we’re supposed to create in a vacuum and never have any influences of any kind. You can just play through GOD OF WAR and be like, “Oh, there’s RAIDERS, there’s Harryhausen, there’s Marvel Comics.” And then hopefully, beyond that, people will still think that GOD OF WAR has its own identity. It’s clearly born of a love of those sorts of pop culture entertainments.

MORIARTY: I certainly don’t think it just feels like a checklist of stuff. You’ve reinterpreted myths in your own way and combined things and then introduced your own mythology in the form of Kratos. Overall, the details are what make it work. Like the score... it works on you subliminally. And, look, I categorize myself as a casual gamer at best. For me to finish something, it requires me to be able to enjoy every bit of the playing experience and not getting frustrated.

JAFFE: There’s a chance that I took with this game and that this team took with this game, and I don’t know if it’s going to pay off. So far, it seems like it is. We’ve had good reviews, things like that. The chance was, we would rather put a game out there that takes people less amount of time to play, but they love all of it, versus a game that feels more like a chore or a challenge to play.

MORIARTY: That’s what it takes to get me to finish something.

JAFFE: Well, when you create a game that requires such a specific set of skills that most people who play it can’t finish it, it’s not only financially stupid, it’s also creatively stupid. We put the same level of time and love and attention into GOD OF WAR that I’m sure most directors put into their films. It would be a real shame to me if people don’t get to experience the whole thing. If they like it, it really does mean a lot. I’m not blowing smoke up your ass. I love Ain’t It Cool News. I go there all the time. I love movies. I grew up with movies. The fact that you guys are even covering something that we’ve done here... it isn’t just a flattering, cool fanboy thing. It’s cool because it means that the game has succeeded from a standpoint of it’s not just for gamers. There are casual people who are experiencing our game and enjoying it, and that’s a really big deal to us. I appreciate it.

MORIARTY: This seems like such a franchise-driven business. Most of the biggest games seem to be part of ongoing series, or they have some sort of pre-existing property. GOD OF WAR works well as a stand-alone, although it helps that we’re sort of familiar with Greek mythology going into it. Is this something that you would hand over to Sony if they wanted to go make a franchise?

JAFFE: You mean if they wanted to make other games and sequels to this one?

MORIARTY: Mmm-hmm.

JAFFE: Ummmm... if there is a GOD OF WAR 2, I wouldn’t be directing it. I can tell you that. I don’t really operate... and Sony doesn’t force me to operate... and maybe it’s because I’ve had such successful products, and also because I think Sony does view games as something more than just product... I don’t really operate from a business standpoint. I operate from a gut standpoint, and for me... I just had another interview before you guys got here, and I was talking to them about if this had failed. There was a lot of money involved, and over three years of development, and in the world of games, that’s a long time. Most games are eighteen or maybe twenty-four months.

MORIARTY: Wow.

JAFFE: I didn’t care if this failed or not. I didn’t care if this was a success. I didn’t care if this was the last game I ever worked on. At the age of 33, I just wanted to do something that really speaks to the stuff that I love. If it works, great. If it sort of works, great. If it doesn’t work, great. But I don’t just want to make product. I want to make something that really moves people and myself. From that standpoint, there are definitely seeds in GOD OF WAR that, uh, have been planted that will allow us to tell future stories with Kratos, and there is a final shot and a final gateway level that I had in mind when I first started planning this, and I just think it’s so ultra-cool, that I’d like to make a few more, not from a business standpoint, but just because I’d like to see them get to that last shot. I think it’s just really, really awesome. Every decision in GOD OF WAR was following our gut, and the gut was our compass.

MORIARTY: It seems like guys our age, in their late 20s or early 30s, seem to be really coming into their creative prime right now, and I think you see a lot of people indulging the creative influences that have been important to them. I think that’s the most exciting stuff you see right now. There’s such a sense of love in all of it, and not a sense of “I’m doing this because I think it will open big” or “this is a good demographic.” I see it in films and television, and definitely in games. We passed a poster in the lobby for WAR OF THE MONSTERS.

JAFFE: That was my concept, but I actually stepped away from that game, because I didn’t feel we could do it justice. It actually turned out pretty well. That was clearly based on our love of a certain type of movie.

MORIARTY: It just seems so surreal how these games allow us to so completely and immersively play out these geek dreams. I mean, we’re the generation that had PONG in our houses. And we were amazed by it. So to see where games have gone, and how far they’ve progressed, and to see how remarkable the wish fulfillment is...

JAFFE: Growing up, my favorite game was ADVENTURE on the Atari 2600. I remember being a kid and sitting in front of the TV with my brother and his friends.

MORIARTY: Oh, man, I had that. I played the shit out of that.

JAFFE: We would spend hours playing this game, and it was like it was real. Everything in that game clearly had a story behind it. We would project so much into those games. It’s such a thrill that... even though GOD OF WAR is definitely not meant for kids that age... the fact that I’m in this position now where I’m creating something, and to know that there are people out there that can get lost in these worlds that we’ve created... it’s even sweeter because you have that recollection of being a kid and being entertained by movies and games. It’s like, “Oh, you’re doing that for someone now? Oh, that’s amazing.”

MORIARTY: That purity of intent counts for so much. It’s like Peter Jackson and KING KONG. He’s not doing that because market research told him that it would be advantageous to follow up LORD OF THE RINGS with a movie about a giant monkey. I don’t think he’s really thinking about it in career terms. He’s doing it because he has to make that movie. He grew up loving KING KONG, and he’s had it in his head all this time, and he has to see it now. It sounds like that’s exactly what this was for you.

JAFFE: RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK is my favorite movie of all time.

MORIARTY: Good choice.

JAFFE: When I saw that movie at ten years old, that’s what steered me to want to become a creative person. I didn’t care if it was games or books or movies, and I still don’t ultimately know where I’m going to end up with all this. GOD OF WAR really is my... I don’t know what the word is. It’s not an homage. It’s me finally getting my chance to express my love for that movie and how it made me feel as a kid. It’s just incredible. The coolest part was I got to go on the set for the GOD OF WAR commercial. The commercial turned out okay, but they built this big Greek set, and the fact that I’m walking around these ruins with these giant crumbled columns and sand on the floor... it’s such a full circle kind of thing. It took me making this game inspired by my love of Indiana Jones to end up standing on a set that would have fit in an Indiana Jones movie. It’s just so cool.

MORIARTY: And you’re happy with the results, right? You feel like you said what you wanted to say?

JAFFE: God, I hope so. This has been so hard. Three years. I put on over 20 pounds. I never saw my wife. I never saw my kid. The game was everything. To do that again... if they came to me and said, “We’re going to make a racing game, and we got the license to NASCAR,” I’d be like, “Fuck that. I’m not going to give my life up for that.”

MORIARTY: Well, thanks, man. Very cool.

JAFFE: And I hope you finish it. I really do.

We chatted a little more about the possibility of a GOD OF WAR film (Jaffe’s interested, but cautious, and doesn’t want to sell the rights until the right creative team steps in), and about some general movie gossip. Jaffe then handed me ten copies of the game to give away to you guys. A few days later, after I turned in the latest draft of my MASTERS OF HORROR episode, I was able to sit down and finish the game over the course of about eight hours.

And he’s right. The ending is worth it. There’s a great false ending where you think you’ve accomplished the big goal of the game, and suddenly you get kicked in the balls real hard, and you face one of the hardest (and coolest) levels before you reach the big fight, your head-to-head with Ares. Once you defeat him, there are still some surprises left, and the final shot of the game is very, very cool. Jaffe has every right to be proud of what he and his team have put together.

I’d love to share it with you, so I’m going to ask you to send in an e-mail with the header “GOD OF WAR” to this address between right now and 12:00 noon PST on Tuesday. Just include your name and your mailing address, and ten of you will be able to enjoy this epic adventure in the weeks to come. Thanks to SCEA, Santa Monica and Dave Jaffe for putting this interview together and for introducing me to one of the year’s most satisfying overall entertainments in any medium. Now I’ve got to put together a set visit report before I hop my plane for London tomorrow afternoon. Until then...

"Moriarty" out.





Readers Talkback
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  • April 10, 2005, 5:18 a.m. CST

    here's a review of God of War from a real gamer:

    by kintar0

    It's not Doom 3. I played God of War for five days for two to three hours a night. I got probably 9/10ths through the game, then Doom 3 came out and I traded the motherfucker. If you really love mashing the square and triangle buttons on your Dual Shock, then you're in for a treat. This game is pretty much new school Prince of Persia without the time control gimmick. There are only three bosses. And they're really fucking easy. You can block 90% of the second boss' attacks. Lame. The puzzles are for retards. Why couldn't the producers of this game take a page from Dead or Alive and at least try to animate a boob that doesn't look like a badly rendered video game boob? Nipples in a video game? Sure, I'm all for it, but in God of War they're identical and creepy. There's an off-screen sex mini-game with moaning. The graphics ARE tight, but not amazing, nothing like Resident Evil 4 or Doom 3, REAL artistic achievements. The "story" flashbacks that take place on a battlefield in the middle of a war? The designers decided to use static images, a la the spectators in old sports games. Lazy. Cinematic? Sure, kinda. Not as much as Halo 1 or 2, or the aforementioned Resident Evil series, or KOTOR 1 or 2, or Doom 3. Or most RPGs. And the combat system is seriously fucking repetitive. You'd think using Medusa's severed head to turn enemies into stone would be more satisfying. I used the magic lightning attack (given to me by Poseidon, why he has a lightning attack to give out is beyond me. No water/ocean attack?) more than any of the other magic attacks. I thought it was only okay, just alright.

  • April 10, 2005, 5:32 a.m. CST

    Kotor 1 and 2 kick ass.

    by iamnicksaicnsn

    You want to talk cinematic? These are Star Wars stories done right... even though you can really tell that 2 was rushed out when they were finishing up the game, it's still good.

  • April 10, 2005, 7:17 a.m. CST

    So, how much did they pay to push this game?

    by fitzcarraldo2

    Really nothing to do with this site. Nothing wrong with that if you were paid to sell a game but if this then why not cars or toothpaste or hamburgers?

  • April 10, 2005, 10:49 a.m. CST

    they still make games for PS2?

    by BurlIvesLeftNut

    I am shocked.

  • April 10, 2005, 11:45 a.m. CST

    I prefer simple, old-school games...

    by Batutta

    Who has the time to invest their entire lives into these epic length games that take months to complete? Any adult who does needs to get a real fucking job and a girlfriend.

  • April 10, 2005, 12:13 p.m. CST

    ...with simple, old school morals!

    by readyoufool

    ...you whippershnappers!

  • April 10, 2005, 12:23 p.m. CST

    touch

    by RealDoubleJ

    Cause you know, you have SO much more credibility than someone who isn't a child playing videogames by posting in an internet messageboard/talkback. Oh and if it takes you a month to finish these "epic length games" it's because you are shit at games. Get off the Space Invaders and try something that taxes your brain just a teenie-weenie bit more, you schmuk.

  • April 10, 2005, 1:43 p.m. CST

    Aint it Cool Games DIED BECAUSE

    by topaz4206

    Of bad execution, not because it was a bad idea. FIRST, he changed the look of the site to be "QUASI-SLICK", and it turned out looking just DUMB. Many people find THIS site ugly, but I think that is it's charm. He should have kept the EXACT look of this site. FAMILIARITY. Look at slashdot, they have like 10 websites and they are all successful. SECONDLY, he had NO SCOOPS!, NO SPIES!. This site BLEW UP when Harry had his first early Star Wars review of Ep.1. The GAMES site was just review the same 'ol stuff that every other game site reviews. It was afraid to have SPIES come in and say, "i played the closed-doors beta of so-and-so, here is my illegal review which violates my Non-disclosure-agreement that I signed!" How about LEAKED SCRIPTS?! Yeah games have them too, who wouldn't have loved to read the Starwars KOTOR2 story before it shipped? Or a leaked design document for GTA4? AICG had no passion, no danger, no originality, everything that makes THIS SITE cool. So it was NOT a bad idea, it just plain SUCKED.

  • April 10, 2005, 2:22 p.m. CST

    "get a real fucking job..."

    by kintar0

    Well, I'm 28, I go to college full time, I work full time and I have a fiance. Who has the "time to invest their entire lives" on "epic length games?" How about the millions of people who produce and help produce the games themselves? See, it's all about time management and not having kids. You don't know shite, Batutta. Are you honestly asserting that you have NO hobbies that you spend hours a week on? You sound very boring and dull.

  • April 10, 2005, 6 p.m. CST

    Good games...

    by Zardoz

    Got God of War and Doom 3 from Gamefly this week. I'm playing Doom 3, and yes, the graphics are cool as shit, it's action packed and scary as hell, but the plot? meh. There isn't much of one at all. Give it all to me: great action and a great story, too. I'm looking forward to God of War, I've heard nothing but good things about it. And for the record, KOTOR 1 was THE best game for XBOX, EVER! Even better than Halo, which I felt was highly over-rated. (same as Doom 3, great action, very tense but the story? BORING!) As to GTA:SA, it's very, very good, but it's almost too big. It's like the whole state of CA plus Las Vegas in the game. It takes about an hour just to drive around the whole place...

  • April 10, 2005, 7:23 p.m. CST

    maybe I'm just a pussy....

    by JudgeNXcutioner

    But did anybody else piss their pants navigating the high girders in the challenge of hades stage?? No?! Well I'm juss a pussy then

  • April 11, 2005, 1:05 a.m. CST

    GoW was a great game

    by DarkStarEX

    It's on my top ten now. But I'm a certain type, I grew up with old-school story-based adventure games, and this one has a story that really gets you. That and the gameplay is just phenomenal. Do yourself a favor and rent it. You don't have to buy it because it's pretty short. Just rent it, finish it (about 10 hours), take it back to the rental place, and tell your friends about the experience. Everything in this game is completely breathtakingly over the top, and Jaffe and Sony Santa Monica did an amazing job. I would kill to work under him.

  • April 11, 2005, 1:13 a.m. CST

    That was one of the best interviews this site has ever done!

    by Rogue_Leader

    A great interview for a greater game. God of War is fantastic.

  • April 11, 2005, 1:34 a.m. CST

    I don't trust video game commercials that don't show actual game

    by George Newman

    But, if everyone's giving it good reviews... I'll play this for free somehow

  • April 11, 2005, 2:05 a.m. CST

    Leaves you feeling like you've played a movie? Wow that's unique

    by Orionsangels

    Vin Diesel as Kratos, hahaha

  • April 11, 2005, 2:21 a.m. CST

    sorry mr. miracle

    by Serpico1974

    I played Doom 3 ages ago on the PC. Bad level design, repetitive style, cheap scares, boring game. Half Life 2 was *much* better. I'll go so far as to say that God Of War is better than both. Ninja Gaiden is probably the only game with a better fighting system, but even then it didn't keep me as involved or interested from start to finish as God Of War did. As good as Ninja Gaiden was, there were parts that were a grind. I never once felt like I was wasting my time with God Of War. Congrats to Jaffe and his team for executing such a tightly paced, bulletproof game.

  • April 11, 2005, 3:03 a.m. CST

    ID has no new ideas when they set out to create DOOM3. They took

    by Orionsangels

    Deep down its the same boring shit Doom was nearly 15 years ago. Run around and shoot. Serpico is right Halflife2 ownz!

  • April 11, 2005, 3:15 a.m. CST

    half life 2

    by kintar0

    I'm sure HL2 is great. What's so "bad" about the level design in Doom 3? I'll also note that nobody has anything to say about Resident Evil 4, which deserved way more recognition than it received. Fucking RE even has a movie tie in. Like 99.9% of video games aren't "run around and shoot?" It's all in how it is executed. Unfortunate name aside, yeah, Snake Eater was pretty fucking great, if a little too un-scifi when compared to the other games. Jade Empire is THE game Moriarty should try to get paid to hype next time...

  • April 11, 2005, 3:31 a.m. CST

    The problem is RE4 is on Gamecube and right now there's a Ninten

    by Orionsangels

    Most gamers have PS2 or Xbox and GC seems like a kiddie system, plus they don't see enough support for it, let alone good games, but it's a shame that's happening. GC has some good games and RE4 is a testament to just how powerful the GC is and how GC can have good games, but this has been happening for the last 12 years with Nintendo. Then they release a new state of the art Mario or Zelda game and they return in droves.

  • April 11, 2005, 3:48 a.m. CST

    the new Zelda is out this summer...

    by kintar0

    And it looks akin to RE4. The Gamecube, much like the PS2, is a system that I own only because sometimes games come out ONLY for one system or another. I was an Xbox naysayer for a long, long time... but then I played Halo and the original KOTOR. KOTOR, and the sequel, is easily the best Star Wars videogame ever. Nintendo tends to be dumb and obstinate about its games systems, always having to be unique for the sake of being unique, i.e. cartridges, tiny discs, purple, etc. This has hurt Nintendo, and I think they realize it, and we'll probably see them use the standard-sized DVD as a storage medium for software in the future. There's no reason to piss off developers. I wonder if Nintendo knows how lucky they are to have RE4, if not exclusively but temporarily.

  • April 11, 2005, 4:07 a.m. CST

    "I played the first half of the game that first night" Then it'

    by FrankDrebin

    Or he's exaggerating, just to sound enthusiastic (ie: a good little product-whore). For $50 to $60, a game damn well better take more than 2 nights to finish.

  • April 11, 2005, 4:26 a.m. CST

    Yeah that's my problem with most games. $55 bucks to beat it in

    by Orionsangels

    I wait for games to go down in price, now a game like Grand theft auto SA. I bought that the day it came out. The replay value is amazing. Its the game that keeps on giving. You can always find something to do in the world, either a side mission, find hidden goodies or just amuse yourself, nothing in a GTA game ever happens twice. I still haven't finished SA. I have a huge backlog. GT4 is another game worth the money. Very few finish an entire GT game. Especially with annoying endurance races that are gonna give us all arthritis before we're 40, lol. Yeah I hope the next Nintendo system has regular size disc. I heard they did that to avoid piracy, ha! I hope it's not a flip top either. I hate that, that's old school.

  • April 11, 2005, 7:54 a.m. CST

    I THINK GOD OF WAR LOOKS COOL......

    by AARONIUS

    I just haven't broken down and bought a playstation 2 yet. I know, I know, by the time I'm ready to get one Sony will have it's new system out, but I have a daughter so I can't buy everything I want. By the way I have to say that Resident Evil 4 is the best game I have ever played period. I'm actually about to finish it for the second time and I have almost never finished a game. Infinite rocket launcher here I come!

  • April 11, 2005, 9:20 a.m. CST

    YES! Resident Evil 4 love!!

    by Shigeru

    I am glad there are people out there playing and loving that game as much as me! To all Nintendo haters: play through RE4 and get back to me. That game is worth buying a cube for definitely. Shows the amount of potential the Gamecube has (had?). I want that game to get more media coverage.

  • April 11, 2005, 10:43 a.m. CST

    NCL,Capcom and Konami make the best games.

    by proper

    For me anyway.Resident Evil 4=Armshouse business,a real step up.Metal Gear Solid 3= made me happy that I rinse out games rarely,so I enjoy the great ones :).Devil May Cry 3=Good Arcade game.Killer 7=I'll keep a open mind on that one,It looks different.AARONIUS=I didnt get a PS2 till December(always wait for the slimline+sub

  • April 11, 2005, 1:08 p.m. CST

    When does it come out for Xbox?

    by Spike Fett

    'cause Sony can suck it.

  • April 11, 2005, 8:20 p.m. CST

    Good games Pt. 2

    by Zardoz

    Yeah, I would LOVE to play RE4, but it's the ONLY game that I want to play on the "Lamecube". (That and the other "new" RE games for the system) Capcom shot themselves in the foot by making it exclusive to Nintendo; they had such a huge success with Sony over the years, I don't know why they didn't go to the PS2. (RE2 for the PS1 was, and still is, a seminal gaming experience) And as far as MGS:SE is concerned: BORING!! Sure the graphics were cool and the action was pretty good, but the cut-scenes were waa-aay too long and over-wrought. I was SO bored by those re-caps of the Cold War, I hit "x" just to move the action along. (let's face it, Hideo thinks he's f'ing Francis Ford Coppola now, but he's NOT!) When it's a half an hour or more of cut-scene dialogue between actual gaming action, it's time to make some cuts, please. And I finished Doom3 last night and while I loved the action/horror of the game, the payoff was hardly worth the effort; a rental only, unless you have XBOX Live, which I don't; between Netflix and Gamefly I'm spending $400 a year on home entertainment already...

  • April 12, 2005, 9:28 a.m. CST

    Zardoz

    by proper

    Get a Gamecube,they are cheap and so are the res evil games(saw remake for a tenner!!).I rebought the whole series for it.Rinsed out the remake(if you played the PS1 version you will appreciate it even more,awesome game),2 got rinsed out(one of the best games ever) until I got the Tofu mission(never got it on PS1 always bugged me),3 sat on the shelf(didn't do it for me on PS1,though it got battered),Code Veronica got a playthrough,good game,Zero isn't all that (I can see why they went for a total revamp).MGS3=I agree that guy needs an editor,more gameplay(which was excellent),less cutscenes).I found the story more bearable than MGS2 so I dunno.Doom3 ending not good?,I hate crappy endings too.

  • April 13, 2005, 5:54 a.m. CST

    partial review of "God of War"

    by Zardoz

    Okay, I haven't finished the game yet, but it's one of those games that is brilliant and highly frustrating at the same time. The brilliant: the story and the graphics. I can't wait to find out what happens next, and I know whatever does happen, it'll look FANTASTIC! The frustrating: for the most part, it's a real easy game to beat, but every once in a while there's a big BITCH of a headache trap or puzzle, usually involving lots of repitition until you get it just right. (or die bloody trying) There were two specific areas where I've nearly smashed my controller from the shear rage of being denied success yet again. So, it's a very Yin/Yang game: you love it and you wanna break it at the same time...and as to Doom 3's ending, it wasn't crappy, it was just...brief. After all of my hard effort I was expecting something more, I dunno, exciting. (and talk about frustrating, that last boss was insane!)

  • April 14, 2005, 7:15 a.m. CST

    final (miserable) review of GOW

    by Zardoz

    it sucks ASS! It goes down as the most FRUSTRATING game I've ever played. There's a level in the game, Hades, which is utter maddening, insane, fuck-you bullshit. And that's as far as I got. I will not be party to inflicting mental pain and misery on myself with that crap. Seriously, to the makers of this shit, did you really want to make it IMPOSSIBLE for the average gamer to finish? I would love to get the time back that I wasted on this dungheap. My closing thoughts: EAT MY ASS, COCKSUCKERS!!!

  • April 14, 2005, 9:01 a.m. CST

    hahaha

    by proper

    I hung around anyway mate,I felt the same way after playing a combo of Phantasy Star online,Wind Waker and Enter the Matrix(I'm still bitter :>)they all had to go,didn't play another game for 18 months.I don't mind hard games as long as they are fair and you can only blame yourself but when mental pain(TM Zardoz)kicks in,it's got to go to the exchange one time...as least you had a bash.Fair play.

  • April 16, 2005, 2:58 a.m. CST

    Games I'm looking forward to playing...

    by Zardoz

    Of course, there's KOTOR II, and Fable. Also, Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction. (I don't know about you, but to me, that title has a nice ring to it!) Also, Brothers In Arms (The Road to Hill 30) Prince of Persia: Warrior Within and loads more. So, Proper, you finished GOW? How long did it take you to get out of Hades? I quit after dying for the hundredth time on the spinning, vertical-column of blades. (And there was another one after that? Fuck that!) Was the story ending good/ worth it? Maybe I'll finish in a decade or so...

  • April 16, 2005, 5:53 a.m. CST

    Sorry Sir I wasn't pulling rank

    by proper

    I haven't played the game,I just recognized the frustration of playing a game to the point of potential anger and realizing that I must stop because it is no longer fun and has to go to game valhalla(the computer exchange).I use consoles to play latest games(My PC is for retro games and roms).I tend to play about 4 or so games a year and watch friends clock the others when I go round and check them(cheaper,good way of seeing whats about,what I may buy and most importantly less time consuming) :).

  • April 16, 2005, 9:29 p.m. CST

    no rank pulling here...

    by Zardoz

    That's cool. I've been reading on-line about how "easy" GOW is to beat, and I just wonder if I'm the only geek who's so frustrated by the Hades level...