God of War III (PS3) Review

Revenge is sweet.

God of War 3 is one of the most highly anticipated games ever.  The game follows Kratos on his quest to avenge his family and take down the Gods of Olympus.  It completes the God of War trilogy and provides a satisfying and bloody end to Kratos’ quest for revenge.  The first two games set the standard for action adventure games and are both Playstation 2 classics.  Needless to say, this game had very high standards to meet.  God of War 3 lives up to all of the expectations and sets THE standard for action adventure games.

Gameplay

The developers, Sony Computer Entertainment Santa Monica, took what was an already impressive game dynamic and refined it in every which way.  The game play and controls from the first two games were already incredible and there was not much to be improved.  As they say, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.  Sony polished all of the elements that made the first two games exceptional, and provided new weapons, abilities, and a gripping story to keep players glued to the screen.

While I have played the first two and am familiar with Kratos’ move set, the controls and combo system are simple enough that even a newcomer to the series can begin this game and within minutes be unleashing devastating attacks with Kratos’ blades.  Tight controls were a staple in the first two games and that remains intact here.  Whether you are leaping over chasms, ripping medusa’s head off in a killing sequence, or swinging off a Titan’s back you always feel in complete control of Kratos.

Speaking of the Titans, who are your massive, condominium sized allies in the battle against Olympus, their presence alongside you provides a real grasp of size and scale in the game.  You are an insect on their gargantuan backs.  You climb their fingers, battle enemies on their shoulders, and even navigate the inside of their bodies.

On your quest to Olympus you will face hordes of enemies and colossal bosses.  You are equipped for battle with new weapon types, and magic.  There are several new features in combat.  Kratos can now mount certain wounded enemies and use them to kill other enemies.  However, this game is not a shallow hack and slasher.  There are many puzzles and obstacles to overcome.  Sony has added to the challenge by implementing new puzzle types.  Taking a note from Guitar hero, there is even a music puzzle.

The camera is locked (unlike most third person action games) but this is not a problem, rather I believe Sony intentionally locked the camera to enhance the user’s experience.  Whether it is a gorgeous view of Olympus with behemoth Titans climbing alongside you in the background, or strategically overhead while running up a staircase, the camera angles really add to the presentation and enhance the gaming experience.

Graphics

The first two chapters of the God of War trilogy set the standard for graphics on the Playstation 2.  Sony triumphed again with God of War 3.  It seems that they got every bit of graphic processing out of the cell processor.  The results are graphics that are incredibly crisp, detailed, and in my opinion the best I’ve seen on the system.

Kratos is extremely detailed.   From the scars he’s received in the previous games, to the blood that splatters all over his face during battle, the textures are so good that it is difficult to differentiate between the in game graphics and movie sequences.

The bosses and landscapes are equally gorgeous.  Realistic water splashes down from Poseidon’s horse / crab monstrosities and the landscapes are each unique with their own ambience.  Mount Olympus is covered in snow and ice, with snowflakes falling onto Kratos, while the Underworld is a dark, brooding place with glowing lava pits and souls falling into the depths of Hades.

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