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God of War III - God of War III

By Stuart Andrews
Reviewed:

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  • Recommended by TR
God of War III

Summary

Our Score

9/10

Review Price free/subscription

Like Uncharted 2, God of War revels in those moments where you think “surely they won’t/can’t do that”, before going and doing exactly what you thought it wouldn’t/couldn’t. I really don’t want to give anything away, but let’s just say that if you want thrilling chases, epic boss battles and block and lever puzzles on a truly monumental scale, then God of War III has your needs covered. Think of the biggest moments in the first two games, then double them, then double them again. Believe me: you’re still only just beginning to get the picture.

Almost needless to say, it’s visually stunning. On the PS2 God of War did a lot by applying some very clever effects to comparatively basic textures and geometry. Now, with the surfacing and lighting power of PS3 at its disposal, Sony’s Santa Monica studio has pulled a blinder. Kratos now looks as good in gameplay as he does in the cut-scenes, with so much detail on his grim face and battle-scarred torso that he could have walked straight out of a Frank Frazetta book cover.

Environments veer between gloomy underworlds and opulent palaces, with both displaying a mastery of light and shading that makes the game look like the very best sort of fantasy art. Yet, above all else, it’s the sheer brilliance of the production design that impresses. Like its predecessors – and like Bioshock, Batman: Arkham Asylum and Fallout 3 – God of War III delivers a completely convincing and compelling world, populated by a really, really nasty bunch of monsters. Much as I love Devil May Cry 4, much as I love Bayonetta, there’s simply no question that God of War does this better than any other game of its type.

And in the end, the same goes for the actual gameplay. While God of War III’s combat system isn’t as rich or timing dependent as Bayonetta’s or as deep as Devil May Cry’s, it is undeniably more fluid and more satisfying. Maybe the weapons in this instalment stay a little too close to variants on the Blades of Chaos, but each has a solid range of area-clearing attacks and more directed heavy moves, and the time you save in not worrying about blocks, counters and eight-press combos can be better spent on working out tactics to clear one group of baddies, then another.

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J4cK1505

March 17, 2010, 9:33 pm

I was blown away by how fun the demo was... It looks like a must buy for me now this has confirmed it

pimlicosound

March 17, 2010, 10:10 pm

I'd never played a God of War game, but decided to try the demo. Admittedly, I'm not a fan of action games, but still this game failed to impress me. Some things that frustrated me:


- At the very beginning, you're thrown into a big scrum with no instruction or even a moment to figure out how the controls work. Not very friendly to newcomers.


- I felt like there was no choice or freedom in what I was doing. I was just following a very narrow set of pre-determined steps. That, coupled with the QTEs, made me file like GOW3 would have been better as a film.


- Was it really necessary to have to use every button on the controller just to perform simple tasks? Firing your bow, for example, feels all wrong.


- What's the deal with having to hit even the lowliest grunt about 12 times to kill him? It makes Kratos seem kind of weak.


As I said, I'm no fan of the genre - Dante's Inferno and Bayonetta turn me off just the same way - but perhaps anyone considering getting into these games for the first time better not get their hopes up too high for GOW3 if they're used to experiences in other games, which I would regard as being superior.

Chris

March 17, 2010, 10:24 pm

Too many good games.


Can't....buy.....them....all.....





Seriously, who wouldn't want to be a game reviewer right now? :)

Gormond

March 17, 2010, 10:25 pm

I recently got the God of War collection for the PS3 and if the third game is as good as the first 2 i will definitely be getting it

GoldenGuy

March 17, 2010, 10:58 pm

"And why bother with a torch to light your way when you can use the Sun god’s decapitated head?"





Hoh! Effing awesome!

MrGodfrey

March 17, 2010, 11:04 pm

pimlicosound: I couldn't disagree more. I am no fan of this genre either, but God of War 2 impressed me and GOW3 was simply amazing. Of course it is linear - so is Modern Warfare, so are many of the best games of the last few years; this does not make it inferior. Yes, it is rather like a playable film - which just happens to be far more spectacular than all but the most insanely high-budget production, more brutal than just about anything - and you are not simply watching, it still requires your full involvement (unlike say Metal Gear Solid 4 where every 5 minutes an extended cut scene provided an opportunity to make a cup of tea).





I think you have a point - players should not expect to simply jump in and immediately become proficient if they have no experience of the genre at all - but I found the lack of an obvious training level rather refreshing, and ultimately I don't think "immediately accessible" is necessarily the same as "superior".

pimlicosound

March 18, 2010, 1:50 pm

@MrGodfrey: Perhaps it's a result of my having just played through Mass Effect 2 twice in a row. After that, everything else seems a bit dull! Even if there is a whole lot of whizzbang action on screen in GOW3, I'm afraid it just didn't produce an emotional response from me other than "what the heck is going on here?", and the moment-to-moment mechanics of the game didn't hook me. Obviously that's not the case for a lot of gamers, but GOW3 left me cold.

jingyeow

March 19, 2010, 3:08 am

I've only played this game on the PSP and was stunned with what the development team did. I was in the same awe as when playing Golden Sun on the original GBA. Both games just pushed the limits of their respective platforms.


Contemplating getting a Playstation just to play this game.





Plus linear games are good. Not all gamers have as much time as they once did, and linearity gives me a nice story able to be completed in a certain amount of time. I play games because as well as being entertained, I want to experience a story, and know that I'm experiencing it the same way everyone else is. When games shut off sections of a game based on your decisions, I do not feel more immersed. I think "heck I'm missing out on something i've paid for, but won't find the time to experience again".

Jay Pain

March 19, 2010, 5:13 am

PS3 will dominate the gaming this year. Titles like this and the FFXIII should be enough to tempt people to buy PS3 in this coming easter break.

hankb6d

March 19, 2010, 8:54 pm

@jay pain





Hardly, this is button masher at its core, does not require any great deal of thought and it is over in around 10 hours. Heavy Rain is a god awful low budget movie plot with shoddy controls. FFXIII is one of the worst from the series yet.





So im my case buying a PS3 is still not a viable option. Even with Uncharted 2 it failed to dominate but you will ignore this for your fanboism.

Jay Pain

March 20, 2010, 5:20 am

Well this is what opinions are all about :P. It's not just games in general that will tempt people to buy ps3 but also the built-in Bluray playback capability and the "free" PSN online connectivity. Both systems have pros and cons. Even wii wasn't included in the discussion. Though wii might be weak in hardware, it has managed to put up a fight in and interactive games by just simply shaking the wiimote, just like this God Of War. As you have mentioned already, it is purely based on "button bashing" but it will still offer great gameplay to those new or novice players out there. Games are there to provide great experience hence this is what this game is all about.

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