God of War III

God of War III finally arrives on the PS3, three years after the last title hit the PS2. God of War and God of War II, though effectively “just” hack and slash adventure games with some puzzle and platform elements, stunned gamers with the sheer size and scale of the ideas contained within. Giant bosses, massed battles, fantastical backdrops, mythological baddies and an interesting storyline all mixed together beautifully with the Ancient Greek setting.

God of War III once again follows the progress of mortal-turned-God-turned-mortal again, Kratos, in his quest for vengeance against the king of the Gods, Zeus. Right from the striking James Bond-esque opening sequence, you can see this is a God of War title. It is polished to a high shine, and the graphics and sound are stunning. The backdrops, enemies and level designs are stunning, with every single detail and texture shown off in fantastic high definition. One of the most notable differences between this and the earlier games is the fantastic lighting engine. Every time Kratos swings a flaming or sparkling weapon (which is all of them), light dances off of every reflective surface and illuminates dark corners.

And swinging those weapons is the bread and butter of God of War III. Don’t get me wrong, there are  several very clever puzzles, minigames and platforming sections in the game, but the vast majority of the game is the combat.  This is fortunate, as the combat is definitely one of the strongest elements in III. It is a continuous flow of flashing swords, parries, dodges and volleys. It never feels forced and you never feel like you’ve been twatted round the back of the head because the controls were clunky – you always know you could have, should have, avoided it.

In the first two games, as you played you would collect a number of different weapons as you progressed. This was great, except the first weapon you started with was by far the best, and there was never really any reason to switch. III forces you to change, as it now ties magic abilities to specific weapons, and also gives some enemies weakpoints or shields that can only be smashed with a certain weapon. It’s a clever touch that forces you to mix up your weapons and ultimately get more from the game.

Like its predecessors, III uses a system of finishing minigames for the bigger enemies, whereby you beat them to within an inch of their life, until a big Circle illuminates above their head, and then you go in for the kill. Pressing Circle prompts a minigame, usually with a reasonably simple combination of buttons to press, as Kratos dances, swings and stabs his way around these huge enemies. The finishing move for the giant Cyclops consists of Kratos ending up standing on the hapless creature’s head and you hammering Circle until he has finished wrenching its single eyeball straight out of the socket. It’s gross, but very cool. Yep, there is a reason for the 18 certificate on the box – there is a lot of gore in III, and there is even a slightly disturbing moment where you see from the eyes of another character… as Kratos literally beats him to death. Dismemberments, disembowellings, dis-eyeings (ok, I don’t know the word for this) and bare-handed decapitation all feature at different points.

It’s brutal, raw, and brilliant. It took me 11 hours to get from start to incredibly satisfying finish, passing through countless wow moments in game, such as a fight on, in and around a Titan that made the whopping great creatures from Shadow of the Colossus look like small fry. The only negative comment I have on the game is that sometimes the scene is so massive, so shiny, so beautifully flashy and stunning – that you can lose track of where your character is. It can be a little bit hard at times, and just occasionally you find yourself wishing for an extra mid-battle checkpoint. These are tiny problems, though, in a massive game which delivers solid gold storyline, gameplay, puzzles, graphics and sound.







3 responses to “God of War III”

  1. asamink avatar

    Striking… polished… high shine… stunning… stunning… fantastic… fantastic… clever… clever… cool. brutal… raw… brilliant. incredibly satisfying… massive… shiny… beautifully flashy… stunning massive game… solid gold storyline gameplay puzzles graphics sound… shines… Oodles of polish… stunning epic… stunning… astonishing…

    But the question still remains. Is it any good?

  2. Tony avatar

    Yes. Go and buy it.

  3. Kat avatar

    *mutters something about it sounding rubbish*

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