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Apr 16, 2010

Review: God of War III

God of War III
SCEA, Santa Monica Studio
Available for Playstation 3

Perhaps I’m just getting older and more sensitive but God of War III has to be the most violent game I’ve played in a long time. So violent in fact that I actually spent most of the game looking for alternative puzzle solutions because the obvious ones always ended in some poor person’s death. Don’t get me wrong – I like death and blood in my games as much as the next person but when you get to crush a person’s eyes out by pushing in the analog buttons, the line between reality and game gets just a little too thin for this gamer’s soul to bare.

God of War III continues the long and brutal journey of Kratos, the Ghost of Sparta as he seeks revenge against the Gods for the killing of his family. You start the game right where God of War II left off with Kratos on the back of the titan, Gaia as they climb the side of Mount Olympus in the middle of a great battle with the Olympian Gods. Kratos and the Titans are out for the blood of Zeus and won’t stop until he is dead.

The first 30 minutes of this game is epic which should automatically tell you just how great the rest of the game is. In those 30 minutes, you will have to fight a water horse creature, Poseidon, various minions of the Gods and more, all while you climb the side of Mount Olympus and throughout the body of Gaia. I’ve never seen so much action packed into the beginning of a game let alone the background of an environment. As Kratos battles his way towards Zeus, you see Titans fighting monsters, enemies and Gods in the background on such a grand scale that they make Kratos look like an ant.

I got a chance to play the demo for this game back a few months ago and I was surprised that it didn’t show off more of the advancements made in the series since the God of War II. I was half expecting to play the same old God of War franchise with updated graphics but was pleasantly surprised to find a ton of new elements that they didn’t even hint at in the demo like the new over the top combat moves and the combination of boss battles and level platforming.

The game is stuffed full of challenging puzzles, enemy combat, level platforming, flying mini games and even our favourite, the sex mini game. To say God of War III is full of variety is an understatement as every level is its own incredible experience full of epic boss battles, gorgeous environments and challenging puzzles. I barely finished this game and I played it on easy, so expect a grand challenge on normal game play and a torture fest on the hard difficulty. There’s even a harder mode that you unlock once you finish the game on any of its difficulty settings.

The controls were easy to pick up if you are okay with plain button mashing your way through the game but if you actually like learning combos, then plan on memorizing a lot of moves because this game has 4 weapons, each with their own list of deathly moves. The only move I couldn’t seem to master was the jump and glide move which sent me to my death more than any enemy did. The button just didn’t seem to react on time and I would plunge to my death before my wings would emerge.

If I were to pick only one thing that made this game so epic, it would be the graphics. Just play through the first 30 minutes of the game to complete the Battle of Olympus, so you can see all the spectacular battle scenes and background animations that made my mouth hang open in amazement. As you climb the side of Mount Olympus, you can see the epic battles in the background between monsters, Gods and titans that is just so mind-blowing that you just have to stop and watch. Of course, this is just the animation in the background, so imagine how beautiful the actual cut scenes are! Overall if you compare the graphics between God of War II on the PS3 collection disc to this game, the difference is light years away and especially when it comes to the characters. They were the most realistic looking this time around. Santa Monica Studios should be proud of how amazing this game turned out.

The voice acting was also stellar this time around with the usual voice talents of T.C. Carson as Kratos and Linda Hunt as Gaia but they also brought some new actors like Clancy Brown as Hades, Kevin Sorbo as Hercules, Rip Torn as Hephaestus, Adrienne Barbeau as Hera and Malcolm McDowell as Daedalus. Talk about one epic cast for one epic video game. The music was also phenomenal as usual with the traditional God of War soundtrack – beautiful music to crush heads to.

Overall, God of War III has tons of variety to keep you interested and lots of challenge to keep you busy but really any game that lets you kill Gods and lots of them will always make my top ten play list. I look forward to see what Santa Monica Studios comes up with for God of War IV which looks like a possibility. I guess you just can’t keep a vengeful Spartan down.

Rating: 9 out of 10
Buy it!

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