TV Tropes Org
site search
God Of War back to reviews
Comments
Immature? Or is this what Greek mythology was really like?
The ancient Greek myths were very violent and family unfriendly, full of twisted morals and backstabbing with humanity as the collateral damage. While to many, the ancient myths are little more than an academic subject regarding a bygone era, they actually make the perfect backdrop for a Rated M For Manly video game series.

Kratos is angry. Kratos wants to kill the god of war. In so doing, he's going to kill the many things trying to kill him. And anyone who gets in his way.

Kratos is, quite simply, the most unlikeable character I've ever seen. He randomly kills villagers who happen to be in his way, which is encouraged by the game, such as when he's climbing along a wall and the only way to get past a scared villager who's clinging on for dear life is to throw him to his death. And he's nasty in the plot, too. When he kills a hydra and goes inside its mouth, he finds a sea captain hanging onto the hydra's throat to avoid slipping down into its stomach. As the captain thanks Kratos for rescuing him, Kratos's response is, "I didn't come back for YOU!" as he takes something the captain was carrying on-hand, leaving him to fall back down into the hydra's stomach.

This, of course, makes him Bad Ass, does it not? As do the dark colors, the Real Is Brown visuals, and the self-important orchestrated music.

While I have to say that I hate the style of this series and hate Kratos himself, this probably is how the ancient Greeks and Romans saw their heroes - as tough, mean, clever men who did whatever they had to in order to get ahead. Their heroes and gods had many glaring character flaws, and heck, the gods fought amongst each other for supremacy all the time. Which is precisely what Kratos does once he becomes the god of war himself. The God Of War series' story might actually appeal to the ancient Greeks and Romans if they were transported to the present day and given a chance to experience it.

So despite my personal dislike for the Rated M For Manly style of the series, I will give credit where credit is definitely due: This is the video game equivalent of the stories that ancient people themselves told and enjoyed. And for that, I have to say that it's very well-done.

But it just ain't my thing.
Though I agree with you on many points, this game is probably even more fluorescent in it's colors than Devil May Cry.
comment #6167 Schitzo 30th Jan 11
The ancient Greeks and Romans saw their heroes as men like Achilles and Aeneas, far from the comic book stylings of God of War. The closest parallel would be Achilles' rampage at the end of the Iliad, but there he is viewed negatively for killing even armed soldiers that are surrendering. God of War might as well be in a different universe than the Greeks inhabited.
comment #6169 comodapoltrona 30th Jan 11
Is that true? I know the Greeks and Romans found that flaws made for fascinating characters, and Kratos is definitely flawed. He's a royal prick and a big idiot.

So they created flawed heroes, but didn't like their flaws? If that's the case, Kratos would still fit as a hero of the times, but a flawed hero - intentionally so.
comment #6170 BonsaiForest 30th Jan 11
Well there's a difference between an Achilles, who was genuinely a hero with some anger management issues, and Kratos who is just a monster in general. However, I've never played past the first game and don't remember much of that, so perhaps I should leave it there.
comment #6174 comodapoltrona 30th Jan 11
What the hell gave you the idea that ancient Greeks and Romans considered random mass murdering to be heroic? If it was done against people they don't like, sure. Otherwise, no.
comment #6230 150.212.50.192 2nd Feb 11
Not that it's heroic, but it's a flaw of even the very gods they believed in and worshipped. I don't doubt that they saw it as a chracter flaw, but their heroes had a lot of flaws. Look at Odysseus. What idiot would shout out his name to Poseidon's son just as he escaped? So he ends up with far worse problems that if he hadn't been such a showoff.

Kratos is a royal dick, and horrifically flawed and definitely unlikeable. He may be an exaggeration of the "badass with severe character flaws", but I still think he fits into their style of storytelling.
comment #6235 BonsaiForest 3rd Feb 11
And actually yes, Greek and Roman heroes were like this, well not exactly, Kratos gets Turned Up To Eleven but you get the idea. But I didn't hated Kratos because...well almost every God and later Titan wasn't much better, which is reflected even more in the third game. Tell me you didn't actually enjoyed cutting Gaia's hand letting her fall after she betrayed you hours earlier (given all you had to do in the second game), cutting Hermes' legs after he was such a boastful prick who didn't even had the power to back it up, or that you didn't kept punching Zeus until the screen was completely red.
comment #8494 marcellX 8th Jul 11 (edited by: marcellX)
I won't deny that this is a rather self-important series, but at the same time I would argue that there are enough genuine artistic elements (character development, tragedy, redemption) to make it more than just your usual Rated M For Manly product.
comment #12138 Robotnik 1st Jan 12
I didn't enjoy those things, marcellX. It doesn't bother me if a game is violent, but Kratos' actions are so over-the-top and bafflingly that his little "badass" moments were just goofy. Not to mention that he was an unlikeable Complete Monster who murdered innocent people because they had the audacity to exist in his proximity. Also, the games weren't even true to the source material. The makers of the series should have just changed all the character names, rather than Flanderizing every god, goddess, and heroic figure. Yes, most Greek heroes were very flawed and were capable of doing horrific deeds, but their actions usually had a purpose, and they rarely came off as completely evil (even Herakles, who went crazy and murdered his family). God of War takes those character tropes and then ruins them, creating a figure who is simultaneously akin to the heroes of old and completely different from them.
comment #15957 Fleming 29th Aug 12
As a side note, when Heracles went on a rampage and killed his family, this was a VERY bad thing and he then had to do his labors as penance. There's a difference between being a jerk (such as Aeneas) and a complete monster, even to the classical peoples.
comment #15960 fenrisulfur 29th Aug 12
@Fleming

God of War showed the gods, not so much the heroes (specially since they're the Trope Codifiers of Jerkass Gods) as jerks, all the heroes Kratos fights were just following the orders of a god or something of the like. Kratos tells Hercules that his beef is not with him but with Olympus, asks Theseus to hand over the key but he wants to prove which is the best warrior (which goes with his arrogant personality), and Perseus attacks him first because he thinks it's a test from the sisters of fate, Icarus was crazy at this point.

Yes, most Greek heroes were very flawed and were capable of doing horrific deeds, but their actions usually had a purpose

They had a purpose but often took the extreme approach (like Kratos) or just doing something because the gods told them to no matter the moral implications of it, then there're others like Theseus and Peirithous who kidnapped Helen and Persephone for petty reasons.
comment #16832 marcellX 11th Nov 12
Just quickly, that innocent captain he kicked into the Hydra's stomach? He locked his quarters, a room full of women, in a desperate bid to escape. He was ready to kill a bunch of women who had presumably given him pleasure, just so he could cover his cowardly ass. He deserved it, and that's why Kratos killed him.

I can't excuse everything the guy does; he's an anti-hero for a reason. But that example was flawed, because the captain was more than deserving of his fate.
comment #16838 MrMallard 11th Nov 12
No ones said it yet, so I might as well...Glory in battle was one small part of the heroes. The bigger part of the heroic character in classical mythology is following the will of the gods, not disobeying, and not questioning (See Odysseus, Aeneas, Paris, and Achilles). Secondly, a BIGGER part of Greek mythology was that gods could not die. If this was to be accurate to classical mythology, Kratos would never kill a God. He would simply drag them off to Tartarus and lock them up. At no point in any of the classical myths does a god die. In an accurate story, Zeus would never have given Kratos the power to kill Aries. Zeus would have just cast Aries down from Olympus straight into Tartarus, just like with his dad.
comment #16839 fenrisulfur 11th Nov 12
Okay, at what point did people who genuinely aren't into the GOW series decide that they need to write whole, misinformed ,completely subjective reviews for them? Last time I checked, you review something you're interested in and pass judgement on what it means then.

You don't just review anything, even if you have no connection to speak of.
comment #22444 Codafett 9th Dec 13
In order to post comments, you need to Get Known
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy