Did you try using a 32-sector cache (Holding R1 instead of L1 when launching your game)? Are you using a USB HDD? USB Flash disks should not be used as they are slower than most USB HDDs.
Originally Posted by xebit
You need to hold the triggers/buttons until shortly after the "Loading" message appears.
You could also try invoking the "Unhook Syscalls" mode by holding TRIANGLE... but I don't think that that will help (But who knows... ).
"Force Synchronization" mode (SQUARE) should be used only on games that freeze/lockup due to slow data transfer rates as that mode is known to make performance worse in most cases. But I don't remember that it works on GOW.
Unmodified SCPH-77006 with SM 3.6
SCPH-39006 with M-chip modchip, SCPH-10281 NA and refurb Seagate 80GB HDD
SCPH-10000 v1.00 with SCPH-10190 PCMCIA NA and SCPH-20400 HDD unit