God of War II is an action-adventure 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 similar to the previous installment. It focuses on combo-based combat which is achieved through the player’s main weapon—Athena’s Blades—and secondary weapons acquired throughout the game. It features quick time events that require players to quickly complete various game controller actions 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. Compared to its predecessor, God of War II features improved puzzles and four times as many bosses.
God of War II has been acclaimed as one of the best PlayStation 2 and action games, and was 2007’s “PlayStation Game of the Year” at the Golden Joystick Awards. In 2009, IGN listed it as the second-best PlayStation 2 game of all time, and both IGN and GameSpot consider it the “swan song” of the PlayStation 2 era. In 2012, Complex magazine named God of War II the best PlayStation 2 game of all time. It was the best-selling game in the UK during the week of its release and went on to sell 4.24 million copies worldwide, making it the fourteenth best-selling PlayStation 2 game of all time. God of War II, along with God of War, was remastered and released on November 17, 2009 as part of the God of War Collection for the PlayStation 3. The remastered version was re-released on August 28, 2012 as part of the God of War Saga, also for the PlayStation 3. A novelization of the game was published in February 2013.