It’s been a long time coming, but God of War III is finally here. With enough blood and gore to satisfy the fans, as well as bring in new ones, Santa Monica has managed to create one of the most brilliant and action packed games ever.
The Story of God of War III
GOW III starts at the very place the last game ended, with Kratos on the back of the titan Gaia, as she and the rest of the titans scale Mount Olympus to bring vengenace to the Gods. This entire sequence is one of the best openings in video game history, as the action never dies and never dulls for a second. It’s sheer scale is astonishing, as even when the camera pans out, the action still continues – its enough to rival some action movies.
Of course this is just the beginning, and like most plans it goes badly. Kratos has been thrown around like a chew toy for some time now, and its not long before he has virtually everyone and everything against him. The way it all flows together – without a hiccup or a delay – is what makes GOW III so amazing.
The Highs and Lows of Kratos’ Revenge
The gameplay has not changed since the first game in 2005. It’s essentially a more defined version of Capcom’s Devil May Cry – even the health/magic orbs are the same. The controls are simple, with old fans being able to pick it up straight away while newcomers will master it in no time. GOW III, however, adds subtle but better mechanics to the fighting sections. Weapons such as the bow no longer use up magic, instead using up a seperate item bar which replinishes itself after a few seconds. It’s a nice touch, as this was an annoying flaw from the previous games.
Anyone who has played Killzone 2, Metal Gear Solid 4, and even Arkham Asylum will know just how impressive the PS3’s graphical power can be when pushed to its limits. Well GOW III manages to even surpass these games, with every brutal kill shown with stunning visuals. The titans look incredible, as well as all the boss battles. What’s even more remarkable is how the loading times are barely noticeable, with every part of each part flowing together perfectly.
What’s troubling, though – and, in a way, disappointing – is how similar it plays to its predecessors. While God of War and its sequel were both very strong and brilliant games, nothing has changed much in the core gameplay since. The subtle additions, while welcome, aren’t enough to make GoW III stand out from other games in the genre.
The nature of story also plays like the original games. The overall story of revenge and betrayal has not changed at all throughout, and although the slight twists and how it plays is interesting, it does get rather old fast. It lacks the impact and shock factor that GoW I and II had, and still have.
Is It Worth It?
God of War III does what many sequels do not – end the series on a high note. People don’t need to look at many film or video game trilogies and sequels before realising not many live up to its beginnings. Well, God of War III does everything that its predecessors did before it – and then some. From its superb graphics and stirring soundtrack, to its intense battle sequences and impressive scale, God of War III is something every PS3 owner should have…as long as they have the stomach for it.
Gameplay-wise, God of War III is a subtle evolution of its PS2 predecessors, having refined its control scheme and pacing over two sequels to near-flawlessness. The game basically revolves around a triptych of combat, platform sections and puzzles, with combat taking definite precedence.
Like its predecessors, the combat can basically be divided into two styles; there are close-quarter melee battles against hordes of enemies, with light attacks, heavy attacks, jumps and grapples set to the four face buttons of the PS3 controller.
The right thumb stick controls dodging and the L1 button blocks attacks. The second system of combat relies on quick-time events, where the correct button must be pressed at the correct prompt in a pre-ordained sequence. This is usually relegated to boss battles, or for finishing off weakened opponents in spectacular, grisly fashion.
If you have played the series before, then it will all seem comfortably familiar.
God of War’s combat system stresses fluidity, and is more simplistic than the split-second insanity of recent Japanese cousin Bayonetta. This means it is easier to pick up and play for beginners, but if you are looking for more of a challenge, the unlockable Titan and God modes of difficulty modes should satisfy, as it ramps up the enemies’ ability significantly.
The Story of God of War III – How Does it Hold Up?
The story is ridiculously bombastic fare, with lines such as “THIS IS MY WAR!” or “WHAT HAVE I BECOME?” delivered with all the overenthusiastic pomp of a Shakespeare opening night at the Old Vic. Luckily though, it can be forgiven, as the strength of the source material is so solid that the revisionism of having Kratos become Death’s Hand against supposedly indestructible people – you will hear the word ‘REVENGE!’ screamed at least eleventy hundred times during the course of this game – is great fun.
It is also this attention to detail in the story which sets God of War III apart from its hack ‘n’ slash competition, whose stories often seem to have been given the ‘scribbled notes on a box of matches’ treatment (sample: ‘Ninjas have kidnapped the President’).
For fans of the series that have been waiting to see how this hokum ends, they should be mostly satisfied by the ending of God of War III.