God of War III Review
It’s bloody, bloodily brilliant and the top contender in its genre.
The God of War franchise has defined the ‘beat ‘em up’; or more accurately, the ‘cut hordes and hordes of enemies into a thousand bloody pieces’ genre ever since its debut on the Playstation 2. Many have tried to emulate its style and success, but all have failed; and just when a game came close to cracking the code, Sony Santa Monica pushed it up a notch and left the competition in a bloody pool of decapitated Greek myth; and that it what they’ll be hoping to do with God of War 3.
God of War 3 is the last game in the trilogy, and ends the quest for revenge, that Kratos set out on 5 years ago. 3 out of those 5 years were spent developing this game.
The story won’t change much, obviously. Kratos is still ‘upset’, still wants revenge and still gets revenge. However, the way the story is told does undergo some change. The simplified story of the past games was part of their charm; but God of War 3, seeing the current trend in story-telling, tries to make the story more complex. Though there is no problem with adding twists to the tale, the complexity means that game loses some of its charm. You end up going through some levels just to fill the story.
Luckily, even though the plot can be important, GoW tasted most success due to it’s gameplay. And most will be pleased to hear that the game is still the same beast that it always was.
Understanding that changing the gameplay too much will end up spoiling the game, Sony Santa Monica decides to tweak it here or there; and most of the time, when you’re ripping enemies apart, you won’t even notice these changes, but they contribute a lot towards towards the brutally fun nature of the game.
You start the game with your trusty old blades and, just as before, you can pick up some goodies. Unlike the previous games, where the blades were clearly superior to anything you picked up, the weapons you acquire have unique advantages and you’ll end up switching between them. Unfortunately, several of the weapons, despite their different attributes, look and feel similar to your blades; therefore not making the experience of chopping off limbs any different. Each of the weapons are linked to a magic ability which you can select using the d-pad, and you can utilize this to the max, thanks to the newly-added ability to change weapons mid-combo.
Talking about combos, this time you’re given greater control over them, which is a welcome change, considering they are the best part of the game. You still have the trademark combos from before, along with some newly added massive ones. Usually the problem with the immense nature of some combos means leaving yourself vulnerable to attack, however, this time, you’re allowed to pull out of a combo at any moment to parry off danger.
You might be thinking to yourself, why would anyone want to block when you can reduce the enemy to minced meat. The answer is that the game has been tweaked slightly to give more importance to blocking and rolling. Though it may not sound that way, but the change does improve gameplay. Another improvement is that the square-triangle combo has been dumbed down to stop people from abusing it, and forcing them to use some of the combos that deal damage over a larger area. This, taking into account, the immense number and nature of enemies, is a welcome change.
Immense, that is the word that sums up the game. You have immense numbers of enemies on-screen, you have immense levels and you have immense bosses bigger than whole levels in some cases. The boss battles are, undoubtedly the best part of the game. This is not only because of the wide variety of bosses you face but, mainly, due to the way you kill them. Every boss provides a jaw-dropping moment, and the context-sensitive kills add a hypnotically cinematic feel to the action, sometimes to such an extent that you forget to press a button and end up being ripped apart. Even Sony SM realized that and decided to put the triggers for the context-sensitive kills at the edge of the screen, as far away from the action as possible, so you can experience bloody murder in its fullest form.
That experience is taken to a whole new level thanks to the graphics. The game is beautiful. The dynamic backgrounds are awe-inspiring, and Kratos is probably the most detailed character out there. To top it off, the game lets us have a look at some of the kills from wicked angles. But just when you think that Sony SM can’t do anything wrong as far as graphics go; unfortunately, they have. Though most of the game looks grat, there are some character models and textures that are mediocre at best; though it doesn’t take away much from the experience, it is unfortunate that such things affect a game as good as this. Credit to the developers though, the whole game is rendered; there are no CG cut-scenes.
God of War 3 comes as close to being perfect as mythologically possible, an awesome game being dented by some small flaws. If you want revolutionary gameplay then you should stay as far away from this game as possible. But if you’re looking for the same experience as the previous games intensified to a whole new level then you’re in luck, because that is exactly what GoW 3 does.
|Uses previous games as a foundation and take it to a whole new level.||
|One of the best-looking games out there.|
|Goes with the action on and off the screen very well.||
|After completing the story-mode, you can unlock some challenges such as the Challenge of Olympus.|
|The gore and chaos make this unbelievably fun (unless you're a 10 year old, in which case, you should cover your eyes).||
|Continues to dominate the genre.|