God of War: Ghost of Sparta

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
God of War: Ghost of Sparta Game Poster Image
Sex and graphic violence loom large in adults-only brawler.

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 4 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

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 & Representations

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
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 16 year old Written byNeotst April 5, 2011
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 br... Continue reading
Parent of a 9 and 11 year old Written byMLockstead November 8, 2010

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 a... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byIrdray2019 October 8, 2014

Full of violence, gore, and nudity.

I found this game extremely violent, full of heads being chopped off and enemies being hacked to death. At one scene the main character comes to a man holding h... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byatking007 January 10, 2013

wow!!!!!!!!!!!!

a very violent game and is not very good for kids

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?

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.

Talk to your kids 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

For kids who love games with a quick pace

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate