God of War

Common Sense Media says

Excellent game is dark, violent, and for adults.

Age(i)

NOT FOR KIDS

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Kratos is an extremely complicated protagonist -- a power-hungry warrior cursed by memories of his brutality. His mixture of good and bad motivations may make him too complex for younger players to fully comprehend.

Positive role models

Kratos is a very violent character. He shows no restraint in executing innocents who are in his world.

Ease of play
Not applicable
Violence

Suicide, genocide, violence against women and children, rewards for killing innocents, and buckets of blood and gore. God of War has it all.

Sex

The game opens with Kratos kicking two naked women out of his bed after an implied group sex encounter. Also features a bevy of topless goddesses

Language

No obscenities during gameplay, but included "making of" video features some foul-mouthed game developers.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Empty wine jugs imply drinking, but no one actually shown drinking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is an extremely violent game (cut scenes show severed and exploding heads, spears thrust through enemy throats, and buckets of blood). There are topless goddesses and an implied group sex scene. Also, the game centers around a complicated protagonist, a ruthless Spartan warrior haunted by his past actions.

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

In GOD OF WAR, players control Kratos, a warrior and commander of one of the most feared platoons of the Spartan army. He pledges allegiance to Ares, but is double-crossed -- and he vows to make Ares pay for the countless people he's killed in the god's name. Top-notch combat features dozens of special fighting moves and inventive magic skills allow players to turn enemies to stone with the power of the Gorgon or throw Zeus' lightening bolts. Puzzles require some inventive thinking, asking players to assess the environment for clues and solutions, and the platform elements require good timing and jumping skills to navigate creative settings like the Cliffs of Madness and the depths of Hades.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Based on the library of Greek mythology, Sony's action platformer takes a really great idea and stretches it to its limits -- both in terms of high-quality gaming and stomach-turning violence. The result is a beautiful, compelling game that is, sadly, too graphic for even the most mature teens.

The game's creativity serves a dark, amoral hero who lives in a world of explosive gore and relentless brutality. The game shows no restraint when it comes to violence. Additionally, Kratos's total disregard for the innocents that share his world is very hard to accept, even though the game goes to great lengths to explain the reasons for his brutality. Add to that a casual sexual encounter with a pair of women and you have a game that's wholly inappropriate for kids.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether Kratos's ends justify his vicious means. Do you agree with him, or is there something troubling about this view? He kills innocent people; is this ever an acceptable thing to do?

Game details

Platforms:PlayStation 2
Price:$44.95
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Sony Computer Entertainment
Release date:March 22, 2005
Genre:Action/Adventure
ESRB rating:M for (PlayStation 2)

This review of God of War was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written byBizaro_Number_One May 26, 2014
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

A mystical adventure you are sure to enjoy!

When I say "mystical," I mean that it is all fiction. You can't even do any of these violent acts in real life. There is no profanity through the whole game even though ESRB says there is strong language. Kratos wants revenge on Ares, because he tricked him into killing his wife and daughter, even if he makes many inexcusable actions; at least he has a motive. For the most of the game you are killing evil, mystical creatures. The only reason this game should be rated "Mature," is the sex in the game. There is no message in this game. There is no moral that will help you in real life. There is also no role model. You are not going to be able to learn any message while playing this game. The game is about enjoying yourself doing things you can not do in real life. This game is a fantasy. The game has a lot of violence in it, but it is not the kind of violence that will effect your children in any way if they are mature enough to handle a lot of blood and gore. If you know anything about video game history you should know that the rating system was created because of the brutal death scenes in "Mortal Kombat(TM)" there is a lot of gruesome scenes in this that are just as bad if not worse then what you see in there. The sex in the game is the main reason why I rated it Age 11 and under. In every God Of War game there is a sex scene where naked women wait for you to have sex with them. This leads you into a mini-game where you do have intercourse with the group in a manor of seconds. While in this mini-game you do not see any thing but you hear what is going on while you interact with the women by mashing buttons. There are also several other women in the game that are naked as well but you do not interact with them sexually. Also all of the Medusa enemy's are naked but that is how they normally are in the Greek religion. Thank you for reading. Do note that all the God Of War games are rated "Mature," for the same reasons I have listed above. P.S. There is no drinking smoking or any other drugs in the game.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Adult Written byvoiceofreason April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

Second best game so far of this year. Teens should be able to handle it.

The only thing stopping God of War from being the game of the year so far is the perfection that is Resident Evil 4. The combo-heavy gameplay moves far beyond the hack and slash tedium of most action titles, the magic is varied without being needlessly complex, and your abilities improve based on your skill. The puzzles are excellent; even the typically cliched crate puzzles are different enough to be interesting. Now, on to the content. Yes, God of War features blood, gore, dismemberment, nudity, sex, and the slaughter of innocent bystanders. However, none of this is extreme or gratuitous; it all serves to explain Kratos' character. He is an animalistic hedonist, gone almost insane from the stress of battle, the pain of loss, and the desire for Aries' downfall. While they may not be able to understand the subtleties of Kratos' personality, most teens should be able to handle this game. Overall, God of War is a beautifully violent story told perfectly, and filled with some of the best gameplay I've seen in a long time. It will likely be the PS2's best game of 2005.
Teen, 16 years old Written byunderonehalo April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

a beautiful, bloody game thats harder than u think.

This is a mature game, for mature people. If you're not mature, skip this game, because it has it all. Brutal killings, sexual acts, mythological beings, good plot, deep character, it has everything. Parents constantly complain violent video games are what are driving kids to violence. Doing this is an excuse for bad parenting. Teach your kid some good morals, then buy them this game.

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