God of Thunder (PC) review
"Usually the excitement that surrounds a free game lasts from the time the download starts, to the time the game actually begins. It certainly may be a big buzz to be able to experience a game for the price of nothing, but eventually reality sinks in and you realise that there is a reason why the game is considered valueless. God of Thunder is an exception, split into three parts, and each individual section offering some great gaming, its value as a giver of entertainment far outreaches its non-..."
Usually the excitement that surrounds a free game lasts from the time the download starts, to the time the game actually begins. It certainly may be a big buzz to be able to experience a game for the price of nothing, but eventually reality sinks in and you realise that there is a reason why the game is considered valueless. God of Thunder is an exception, split into three parts, and each individual section offering some great gaming, its value as a giver of entertainment far outreaches its non-existent price-tag.
You star as Thor (the God of Thunder), an up and coming God being sent on a mission to liberate the land from the mischievous Loki. With your daddy, Odin, looking rather old and decrepit, the fate of the people rests solely on your shoulders. You're just going to have to take your hammer, solve all of the puzzles in your way, and kick some Loki butt!
God of Thunder is a game that combines puzzle, adventure, and RPG elements to create a sumptuous feast for the gamer to feast on. Variety is the key to GOT's appeal; you'll be sent through enemy-laden territory, confusing mazes, local villages and screen after screen of difficult puzzles before you reach your goal. Combine this action with a great sense of humour, and you've got a game that's hard to dislike.
Your hammer is going to prove a hand tool throughout your missions. It's a vital instrument in many of those puzzles; for not only can it kill the enemies that get in your way, but it can be used to toggle switches, reveal hidden passageways, and get into those hard to reach places. The puzzles themselves mainly consist of Thor finding a way through a screen without getting stuck or killed. Using the switches, and manoeuvring the boulders and other gobbledygook to gain keys and thwart death, it's never an easy task figuring out your next move. In the latter screens of each episode the puzzles can become particularly difficult, and if it weren't for the unlimited amount of lives the game gives you there would be quite a few GAME OVER screens headed your way.
Obligingly, there have been plenty of non-puzzle sections included in GOT. Each chapter features it's own little town, filled to the brim with jolly characters who are always ready to share a laugh. It's here that your role turns from Mensa applicant to delivery boy, doing the rounds, chasing up certain items in return for priceless information. The towns are really just a nice place to put your feet up, run around and have a laugh or two. It's a smart move, as nobody can put up with 20 straight puzzles on any day of the week.
The last piece of the puzzle comes in the form of the straight out action sections. There to alleviate boredom, and to further display the variety that GOT offers, you'll encounter many screens where your only goal is to get to the other side, not worry too much about death and just hammer a few baddies into oblivion. The sections have been arranged perfectly, they've given us a great mix between all three elements, and thus providing a game that never loses its snap and crackle.
To make everything that little bit nicer, Thor is given some handy little tools to help him on his way. If an enchanted hammer isn't enough for you (and it just never is, picky bastard!) then you'll also have attacks that spurt lightening and wind at the enemies around you. These can also play parts in getting through those puzzles. The makers have obviously strived to have the player take full advantage of all of their resources, and that's basically what sets GOT apart from its simpler counterparts.
Of course this is all just meant to be a big warm up for the end of stage bosses. All three of them play pretty similar. Big entities that zoom around the screen, spreading their own personal shrapnel around the place. In the end it can be a bit disappointing, you've gone through so many deaths to get to the place and all of the people you speak to build up your foe as a force to be reckoned with! The difficulty in reaching these bosses is far greater than the big men themselves, and you can't help but be a little disappointed. But all in all this won't be a journey that you'll regret making.
The graphics that you'll see on this journey are bright, clear, cheerful things. There's nothing extravagant here, but they're very functional visuals, and will ensure that your eyesight survives the length of the ordeal. Sound is very basic, not bothering with any background music and offering simple, chirpy little sounds for whatever action you're doing. With nothing much to praise, and little criticism to be found, the graphics and the sound won't play much of a part in your enjoyment of GOT.
And enjoyment it bloody well should be! What God of Thunder is, is a light-hearted romp through some intimidating countryside. It may be rather difficult on occasion, but at no time will your adventurous spirit ever be quelled. Each death will just sharpen your appetite for success, and before long you'll be hooked on the whole God of Thunder routine. Seeing as how it's a free game, and a damn good one at that, there's no excuse for not giving this adorable little title a go. If only all of the freeware out there had the same kind of high quality. We'd never have to pay for another game ever again!
Community review by kingbroccoli (July 09, 2004)
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