Games Meet Metal: Is the God of War series the Slayer of the gaming world?

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Is the God of War series the Slayer of the gaming world?

A recent trip to the local Gamestop netted me a code to download the God of War III demo, thanks to a reservation for the super sweet deluxe edition .After gettong about half way through, a realization hit me: I could really go for a sandwich. One trip to the kitchen later, another realization smacked me in the face: forgot the OJ. Then, as I sit back in my recliner, continuing to commit mass genocide via Kratos's blades, a third realization gave me a swift kick in the schmeckie, and it went something like this:

"Wow, GOW III is pretty much like the other GOW games, and I dont mind one damn bit." Taking a big honking bite of my pastrami on rye with mayo and swigging back some sweet citrus nectar, I though about how familiar that sounded. That's when Slayer's Raining Blood popped in my noggin, and it all made sense.

The God of War series hasen't really changed all that much since it first debuted on the PS2. Kratos kills monsters upon monsters, seeks his vengeance, and occasionally gets his dick wet. It's been that way for two console games along with a portable version, and it's looking that's the way it's gonna keep going. Hell, why change it? The game got the formula perfect the frist time around, and doing more of the same just felt natural and hella fun. Kinda like Slayer.

Slayer gained their popularity in the metal circles by combining their admiration with old-school Judas Priest and Iron Maiden with their fascination with the rawness and speed of early punk and hardcore music. The mix of these styles gave the band an edge over other bands and shot them to the forefront of the thrash metal scene in the early 80's. The formula worked so well to begin with that it has kept them in business for nearly 30 years, and you know what? The fans love them for it.

Every time a new Slayer record comes out, fans and critics laud it for the same reason: that the band doesn't really vary up their sound and can still entertain the hell out of ya. In fact, I'm kinda scared what would happen if Slayer ever did drastically change their sound. I would imagine a mass revolt and desertion of their fan base.

Could the same things be said for GOW? Absolutely. The series has got it's gaming form down so well, that any deviation would be disasterous. And why even bother changing it in the first place? The original recipe works fine and doesn't need improvement. Maybe a new power here or there, and keep it at that.

It's safe to say that Slayer and GOW are kindred spirits unto each other. They started out great, kept true to their roots, and pleased the masses in ways very few others can. To change their respective formulas would be an insultto their very existence. Thankfully, the members of Slayer and the programmers of GOW understand this and will hopefully avoid these mistakes.

Some of the more hardened critics of both would call this needless repetition. I say, "What's the problem in repeating what always works?"

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