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Goddess of war

Heavenly Sword is the PlayStation 3's answer to Hugh Hefner's harem of blondes: It relies heavily on its stunning physical attributes, but once you look beneath the good looks, you begin to realize how shallow it is, and then it burns when you pee.

Unavoidable comparisons to the PlayStation 2's God of War abound with Heavenly Sword, and while it mimics that amazing series, it's as if the developers played the earlier titles in between bong rips, then tried to recreate what they could remember. Gone are God of War's character-building segments and freeform skill system—instead, Heavenly Sword's main character, Nariko, has all of her abilities available to her from the beginning, leaving gamers with little to accomplish aside from staring at Nariko's ass or the equally appealing scenery. Combined with a combat system that looks fantastic, yet quickly devolves into tapping the same series of buttons for the entirety of its six-hour runtime, and you get the feeling that this game is going to end up in the used games bin a week after its release.

Thankfully, the developers did manage to innovate with Heavenly Sword's counter system. When attacked by a foe, you must rely on quick timing and intuitive button presses to deflect the blow and launch into a Matrix-esque counterattack. Unfortunately, that alone will only provide 20 or 30 minutes of entertainment until it becomes redundant.

If you absolutely cannot wait for the eventual God of War 3 to hit your PlayStation 3, or you're crying softly to yourself about how you blew a mortgage payment on a gaming machine that's definitely lacking in quality games, Heavenly Sword would serve as an excellent rental. But anything beyond beating it over the course of the weekend is going to require severe masochistic tendencies, and when one can just as easily cut themselves while listening to the Cure, a $60 entry fee just isn't worth it.

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