God of War III Review

It’s been a long wait, but God of War fans can now celebrate the conclusion of the trilogy on the PS3, and boy, what a finish it is. Sony Santa Monica has crafted an amazing showpiece for the PS3, and makes minor refinements to the tried-and-true formula that God of War games are known for. While not as story driven as the first game or as environmentally diverse as the second, God of War III is the most well rounded game of the trilogy, and delivers an epic finale that fans will not soon forget.

It’s hard to talk about GoWIII without mentioning how amazing it looks. In short, it is a visual masterpiece. From the main menu screen to the ending credits, GoWIII is a phenomenal looking game. Kratos might be the best-looking character model I’ve ever seen in a game; the level of detail on him is astounding. Most of the environments look equally as good, too, especially the titans. While there are only two “titan moments” in the game, they are easily some of the most memorable moments of the series.

god of war 3

Along with the huge improvement in graphics comes a huge step up in the detailed gore. The CG movies from the first two games seem somewhat tame in comparison, as Kratos will stab, punch, tear, and literally rip the guts out of enemies during gameplay. The Olympian gods Kratos is hell-bent on systematically killing are particularly brutalized during some of the most over-the-top, gratuitously violent moments yet depicted in a game. It’s even quite sadistic at times, but GoW fans have come to expect and love this, and GoWIII definitely delivers.

Sony Santa Monica has also made a few refinements to the combat and gameplay, but it remains largely the same since the original God of War. The quick time events, which the series is known for, now appear on the sides of the TV screen that correspond to the buttons on the controller (X on the bottom of the screen, O on the right, etc.). This makes them less intrusive and allows for the player to concentrate on the action happening on the screen, as well as providing a secondary cue to those who are less familiar with or a little slower to recognize the button labels.

The combat has received a few slight upgrades as well that serve to make Kratos more mobile this time around. If he grabs one of the basic enemies, hitting Square allows you to run with him and use him as a battering ram, either throwing him or smashing his skull against the wall as a finisher. Furthermore, Kratos can use his blades to latch onto and enemy and lurch forward for a ram attack. Both these moves are quite handy and make movement during combat a viable tactic.

In addition to the combat, each of the four main weapons Kratos picks up are not only fun and satisfying to use, but also very useful against certain enemies. While two of them are basically different versions of the chain blades that Kratos normally carries, they are at least fun and useful. By hitting L1 and X, Kratos can switch weapons at any time, even in the middle of a combo. It’s now possible to use every weapon in a single combat move. The magical powers have also been wisely tied to each one of the four main weapons, both eliminating time spent in the menus and opening up the D-pad for on-the-fly weapon switching for even more seamless combat.

If GoWIII has any letdowns, they have to do with the storytelling. It seems like Sony Santa Monica was so concerned with making GoWIII look amazing and play smoothly that telling a compelling story took a back seat. Some of the dialogue is pretty forgettable, and the story just doesn’t seem to have the heart that the previous games did.

And although Kratos might be amazing to look at, he is one of the most unlikeable main characters ever, and players will spend the first two thirds of the game without any reminders as to what drives his anger or what his motivations are. It’s not that he was ever very likeable, but in the previous games you at least understood him and why he was such a tragic character. Here, Kratos murders everyone in his path in the name of revenge, even at the expense of destroying the world. Most players won’t mind this, and I’m not suggesting that I wanted to see a passionate and caring Kratos, but I would’ve liked him to seem a little more conflicted and not so one-dimensional.

However, any issues with the story won’t get in the way of people enjoying GoWIII for what it is — an amazing action-adventure game with beautiful graphics, smooth and satisfying combat, and brutal violence. By refining what they’ve done since the first GoW, Sony Santa Monica has created a befitting end to a popular trilogy. GoWIII mostly lives up to the hype and is a showpiece that PS3 owners should have in their collection.


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Author: Tyler Cameron View all posts by

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