God of War: Ghost of Sparta

Common Sense Media says

Sex and graphic violence loom large in adults-only brawler.

Age(i)

NOT FOR KIDS

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Themes of family trust and betrayal make for an interesting narrative, but the primary reason most people will play is for the glorified and bloody violence. The ideas and action encapsulated in this game are clearly intended for adult minds.

Positive role models

Kratos is as angry, vengeful, and aggressive as ever. Whether he is acting in the best interests of anyone other than himself is debatable. He falls into the gray area between hero and anti-hero; we can understand his motives even if we don’t agree with the action he takes. Regardless, his behavior is not to be emulated.

Ease of play

This game is more or less a button-mashing brawler, though skilled players can set about learning specific moves to make combat more satisfying. The easiest of the game’s difficulty settings should make it a cakewalk even for rookies, while the hardest will prove a good challenge for franchise veterans.

Violence

This is an extremely violent hack ‘n’ slash adventure game. Kratos uses chained blades to slice up and eviscerate his fantastical enemies. There are also many cinematic scenes in which players must tap action buttons at specific times to make Kratos do things like stab enemies in the jaw and bash their craniums into walls. Blood sprays up with virtually every single attack.

Sex

Like other God of War games, this one includes a so-called sex game that sees Kratos courting a bare-breasted woman. Players tap buttons when prompted to carry out coitus. The act is not shown (the camera moves away from the bed), but players hear moans during the game.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that God of War: Ghost of Sparta is an extremely violent hack ‘n’ slash game not intended for children. Action sequences involve lots of blood and cinematic deaths, and there is a sex mini-game that involves a topless woman (the sex act is not depicted onscreen -- players only hear moans). Also troubling is that the game’s vengeful, bloodthirsty hero is not out to save the world but rather acting in his own interests. He’s not a bad guy, but he is extremely self-absorbed.

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

Greek warrior Kratos returns to the small screen in GOD OF WAR: GHOST OF SPARTA, an “interquel” that takes place between early games in the franchise. This game sees the crimson-painted protagonist exploring his past and family, with additional central characters, including his mother and his brother, Deimos. Like all of the God of War games, the action is composed primarily of extremely bloody and violent fights against fantastical creatures that include cinematic kill moves (this is not a game for kids) as well as some simple puzzles that involve pushing blocks and throwing switches.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

God of War: Ghost of Sparta is perhaps the most graphically impressive game yet to be released for Sony’s handheld console. Its characters are highly detailed and capable of expressing emotion through subtle facial animations, and the environments and boss battles have an epic scope similar to that of their console-based cousins.

The action, meanwhile, is tight and entertaining. Kratos’ over-the-top blade attacks and imaginative kill moves are perhaps becoming a little well-worn, but they remain highly satisfying. Plus, the developers have added a few elements, including new weapons in the form of the Arms of Sparta and the ability to add flames to Kratos’ blades, a necessary tactic to breach certain enemies’ armor and some barriers. It’s one of the best handheld games of the year for adults.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why developers would put a sex scene in a game. Is it always purely exploitative? Can sexual sequences be presented with maturity and taste in an interactive medium? Did you find the sex scenes in this game to be offensive?

  • Families can also discuss excessive violence in games. Can it serve a legitimate narrative purpose? Is it more acceptable if the violence is perpetrated against non-humans? Do you think the violence in this game is too much?

Game details

Platforms:PSP
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Sony Computer Entertainment
Release date:November 2, 2010
Genre:Action/Adventure
ESRB rating:M for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Nudity, Sexual Content (PSP)

This review of God of War: Ghost of Sparta 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.

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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.

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Adult Written byflying elephant January 18, 2011
AGE
4
QUALITY
 
this is the perfect game for your kids if they are over four it is not violent at all this website is written by a bunch of liars that hate children and videogames
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 16 year old Written byNeotst April 5, 2011
AGE
13
QUALITY
 
I was looking at this game and the first thing I saw was nudity. Which lead to a, no. After I played it myself, I found that you did not have to go into the brothel where the main character could have sexual intercourse for points. The brothel Is out of the way and I did not notice it at first. In the minigame you do not see the character having sexual intercourse but the bed is shaking and moaning can be heard. There are just a few topless demons in this game which is when the nudity came into play, but you will not even notice since you are to busy fighting. I think any teenager could play this game since they have most likely already been exposed to violence, and health class.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Parent of a 9 and 11 year old Written byMLockstead November 8, 2010
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

Good game

This game is actually awful for kids, but my boyfriend had me try it and it was pretty fun. You should not let you're child near this game until they are at least 15.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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