If you are anything like me, a late teen or young adult that went through the PlayStation 2 than you have probably played some classics like Crash Bandicoot, Metal Gear Solid, Jak and Daxter and God of War. But have any of you played the underrated gem that is War of the Monsters?
War of the Monsters was a game back in the early 2000s on the PS2. The game was an underrated gem that was overlooked by many PS2 players around the world. You most likely only played it after finding the cool looking cover of the hard copy in your local game store (at least that’s how I found it). It was a game developed by Sony Santa Monica, the same studio that brought you God of War. That’s almost reason enough to have bought the game but, there are other reasons as well.
War of the Monsters was an arena combat game of epic proportions (literally). It involved colossal beasts fighting over large destructive arenas. The goal of the game is to be the last monster standing at the end of the fight and if it was a good fight, you’d be standing amidst utter destruction. Collateral damage I feel is a slightly underused feature in games despite how much it adds to the experience.
Take Battlefield’s destruction for example, and how its a major feature the franchise prides itself on. War of the monsters, being a monster game, would be incomplete without the same feature. The destruction in the game makes you feel like an actual monster fighting another over territory. The tiny people squirming and scurrying around underneath your giant feet as you stomp around fighting your rivals captures the monster vibe perfectly.
The game also features a 2 player game mode which has a unique perspective. Depending on where both player avatars are in the game, the perspective alternates between split-screen (when distant) and isometric camera gameplay (when in close proximity). Up to 4 monsters can be present at the same time in a citywide fight. The monsters are free to roam, fight, climb structures and use whatever environmental advantages the monsters can. This includes flattening your enemy under a toppling building or impale another with a radio antenna. See THIS is what you all were missing out on!
Like every great fighting game, War of the monsters had a diverse roster of playable characters to level entire cities with. You’ve got Agamo, the Hawaiian Tiki monster that had the ability to conjure and fling boulders at his enemies. Or Congar, the giant gorilla monster that has a sonic scream ability. And of course my personal favorite, Ultra V, a Gundam wing style robot with an energy sword built to combat the monster threats for all you gamers wanting a heroic experience.
In conclusion, the reason I wrote this article was that of the studio that developed this game, Sony Santa Monica, recently going on a hiring spree. Now the popular speculation is that it’s either to work on the next God of War or perhaps a new intellectual property. This is therefore probably a niche demand, but I know there’s more of you out there wanting the sequel to this hidden treasure of a game. One can only hope.