God of War II is a third person action-adventure video game developed by Santa Monica Studio and published by Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE). First released for the PlayStation 2 console on March 13, 2007, it is the second installment in the God of War series, the sixth chronologically, and the sequel to 2005’s God of War. The game is loosely based on Greek mythology and set in ancient Greece, with vengeance as its central motif. The player character is protagonist Kratos, the new God of War who killed the former, Ares. Kratos is betrayed by Zeus, the King of the Olympian Gods, who strips him of his godhood and kills him. Slowly dragged to the Underworld, he is saved by the Titan Gaia, who instructs him to find the Sisters of Fate, as they can allow him to travel back in time, avert his betrayal, and take revenge on Zeus.
The gameplay is very similar to the previous installment, and focuses on combo-based combat, achieved through the player’s main weapon—Athena’s Blades—and secondary weapons acquired throughout the game. It features quick time events that require the player to complete various game controller actions in a timed sequence to defeat stronger enemies and bosses. The player can use up to four magical attacks and a power-enhancing ability as alternative combat options. The game also features puzzles and platforming elements. In addition to its vastly similar gameplay, God of War II features improved puzzles and four times as many bosses as the original.
God of War II is a third-person single-player video game viewed from a fixed camera perspective. The player controls the character Kratos in combo-based combat, platforming, and puzzle game elements, and battles foes who primarily stem from Greek mythology, including harpies, minotaurs, Gorgons, griffins, cyclopes, cerberuses, Sirens, satyrs, and nymphs. Other monsters were created specifically for the game, including undead legionnaires, ravens, undead barbarians, beast lords, rabid hounds, wild boars, and the army of the Fates, including sentries, guardians, juggernauts, and high priests. Many of the combination attacks used in God of War reappear, and the game features more than double the amount of boss fights and more difficult puzzles than the original. Platforming elements require the player to climb walls and ladders, jump across chasms, swing on ropes, and balance across beams to proceed through sections of the game. Some puzzles are simple, such as moving a box so that the player can use it as a jumping-off point to access a pathway unreachable with normal jumping, while others are more complex, such as finding several items across different areas of the game to unlock one door.
In addition to the regular health, magic, and experience chests that are found throughout the game world, there are three Uber Chests to be found. Two of these chests provide an additional increment to the Health and Magic Meters, respectively, and the third chest contains an abundance of red and gold orbs. Several urns are also hidden in the game (e.g., the Urn of Gaia) which, upon completion of the challenge mode, unlocks special abilities (e.g., unlimited magic) for use during bonus play.