God of War 3 Review

26 06 2010

Introduction

Santa Monica Studios latest installment to the action adventure God of War franchise, God of War 3, was released on March 16, 2010 exclusively for the PlayStation 3 system. God of War 3 picks up immediately where God of War 2 left off, with Kratos riding on Gaia’s back as she ascends Mount Olympus in an attempt to assault the gods. As like all of the previous installments you control Kratos in a third person view as he unleashes his fury upon the world with combos and gory impalement’s and dismemberment’s.

Can God of War 3 be revered and have the sort of impact on the PlayStation 3 that the previous games had on the PlayStation 2, or has the series lost its luster over the years? Continue reading to find out.

Single Player

If you are worried that Santa Monica Studios changed the formula for God of War 3 this generation then don’t. I am here to say that God of War 3 hits all of the desired bullet points: satisfying combat, check – familiar controls, check – puzzle solving platform sections, check – quick time event boss battles, check – angry Spartan looking for revenge, check. To some leaving much of the basics unchanged may seem like a monumental failure but as a fan of the series I am happy that the development team is confident enough in their skills to realize while many games have tried to copy the God of War formula but nobody quite fulfills that promise like Santa Monica Studios. Granted while most of the core aspects have remained the same enough additions and revisions were introduced in God of War 3 to definitely make the experience feel entirely different and new.

These additions and revisions vary from subtle new weapons or items to use like the Bow of Apollo or the Head of Helios to the much more noticeable and over the top gruesome combat or innovative camera angles. The developers certainly didn’t stop there either as they apparently revamped the entire feel of the game to a much grander scale and much darker tone. As a player now more than ever you begin to feel the sense of scale that the game portrays and realize just how big these obstacles are that stand in your way. If you thought Kratos was a vengeful blood thirsty killing machine before then you are in for a surprise as the combat is much more gory and gruesome than in the previous games.

Just as in the previous installments God of War 3 truly presents itself in amazing fashion. For instance the environments are meticulously laid out with a surprisingly amount of detail that is showcased by the stunning graphics and smooth framerate. Even the pace of the game and the careful mixture of combat, exploration, platforming and puzzle solving is perfectly balanced never making the game feel redundant. These aspects all come together to present a fun and fluid gameplay, this fluidity in turn makes you feel like you are actually accomplishing these momentous tasks and performing these stunning acts. The story while it does not play an integral part in the allure of this type of title also isn’t as throw away as some other titles. However I believe the story has enough substance to keep you invested in the progression and eager to see it unfold.

Despite this apparent love affair God of War 3 did in my opinion a have a few faults. Although they are small complaints I personally felt the game gradually lost momentum over the course of playing. I still found the entire game to be enjoyable and satisfying but think because the opening sequence was so epic and memorable that the rest of the game gradually lost that momentum that was captured at the beginning. This may have been due to the fact that its difficult for any game to continue on from such an impressive first 15-30 minute opening that cements such a lastly feeling throughout the game. My only other problem were occasional issues with traversing the world that could have just as well been my fault as the games however those sections could have been more clear.

If you remember I discounted Dante’s Inferno on its replayability because the only option was the single player campaign and even though God of War also only has this one option I don’t feel the same way. My problem with Dante’s Inferno was not that it only had one mode but that the single player was not memorable enough that I wanted to play through it again, God of War 3 in my eyes doesn’t have that same problem. However since its still only just a single player campaign the replayability is slightly hindered but with the thoughtful inclusion of different difficulty modes, collectibles, and unlockable challenges as well as attainable yet rewarding trophies there is plenty to do if you so desire.

Overall

God of War 3 had just enough similarities that while it felt familiar it also felt completely new and adventurous. The presentation was amazing and while you were recovering from the fast paced yet rewarding combat you were continually wowed by the gigantic set pieces that all culminated into momentous events and puzzles. God of War 3 allows you to participate in a heroic clash and journey of remarkable proportions that I didn’t want to end but was satisfied when it did.

I believe this current installment will have the type of lasting effects and will be looked back upon in a positive manner like the two previous titles on PlayStation 2. If you haven’t yet picked this game up its totally worth your purchase and I whole-heartedly recommend that you do, you won’t be disappointed.

The Wife’s Take: God of War 3 in my eyes is overly gory and gruesome and the pristine graphics help illustrate that message more effectively. Therefore as a mother and due to those reasons listed above this is not a game that I would want my younger children playing without first speaking with them or some adult supervision.

God of War 3 for the PlayStation 3 was purchased for full price on the release date. The games single player campaign was completed on the default setting in 9 hours. God of War 3 was developed by Santa Monica Studios and published by Sony Computer Entertainment and is available exclusively for the PlayStation 3.

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