God of War: Betrayal (Mobile)

  • Gameplay
  • Story
  • Audio
  • Visuals
  • Entertainment
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This is a game I honestly never thought I’d play.  It’s not that I never wanted to; I never thought I’d be able to.  Apparently, there isn’t a whole lot of demand for old Java mobile phone games’ being made playable on modern Androids and iPhones.  Fortunately, after some Googling and Reddit scouring, I managed to find an Android-based Java emulator that mostly works along with a file of the game.  It wasn’t perfect – the controls weren’t always the most responsive, and the right part of the screen got cut off – but it worked well enough for me to play through the game and experience it.

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I went into this game with very low expectations.  I usually scoff at mobile phone games in 2021 despite the fact that many are objectively excellent, so I was positive that I’d be disappointed if not downright disgusted with a mobile phone God of War game from 2007.  I have to admit, though, I was wrong.  It’s obviously no masterpiece, but considering the limitations of the time and the platform, it’s an extremely competent and impressive game, and it does a much better job of capturing the tone and gameplay feel of God of War than I had ever hoped.

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Visually, I’d say it looks somewhere between an impressive Game Boy Color game and a so-so Game Boy Advance game, but what really impressed me was how the game felt to play.  Despite being played on a solidly okay emulator with a touch screen, the game controlled really well.  It didn’t always register my button presses as well as I’d have wished, but even with that, it was remarkable how enjoyable I found the experience to be.  The sound in the game, while obviously limited, was pretty good too.  It won’t be winning any awards for audio design, but it’s not nearly the auditory train wreck I’d been expecting.

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The game takes place between the events of God of War: Ghost of Sparta and God of War II.  Kratos is waging a war for the sake of war, fighting this weird eye monster, Argos, whom Hera sent to stop Kratos.  Then this assassin dude shows up and tries to kill Kratos.  It doesn’t work, and Kratos goes on this revenge-fueled rampage through Greece.  It’s simple, but it gets the job done.  The game is pretty short – as one would expect from a mid-2000s mobile game – with ten levels each taking between ten and fifteen minutes to finish.  It may be lacking in quantity, but the quality is there all things considered.

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God of War: Betrayal is by no means a must-play even for hardcore fans of the series, but it is definitely a neat novelty, and if you do decide to go through the effort to getting it running on your phone or tablet, it’s a fun little romp.  I doubt anyone other than fans of God of War or obscure old game connoisseurs would get much enjoyment out of this, but it’s definitely a cool game to experience if you feel so inclined.  I definitely don’t regret going through the effort of figuring out how to play it. 

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