Let me begin the review by admitting one fact. God of War 3 is the pinnacle on how violent and fun video games can be. You again take up the role of anti-hero Kratos and the story picks up where previous game left off. You and the Titans are scaling Mount Olympus and you are riding on the back of Gaia. You vowed revenge and man, isn’t Kratos really pissed off this time. Your aim is to kill Zeus, the King of Olympous and Kratos’s father. Throughout the game you will see some of the older faces returning. One of them is Athena, yeah we know that Kratos killed her by mistake at the end of God of War II, but she is back in ghostly form and will be a source of guidance for Kratos all along the game. As soon as you start the game, you will be presented a world with amazing scale. Believe me or not, my jaws simply dropped when I saw the opening twenty minutes of the game. It is indeed one of the best openings in video games that I have ever seen. Coming back to the plot, at the beginning you do come face to face with Zeus, but eventually you get betrayed by Gaia who wants Kratos to fight alongside the Titans rather than have his own revenge. Kratos is then dropped in to the realms of Olympus and the story that takes place afterwards is amazing. But it loses some of plotline in between but again it picks up in the latter half of the game. The story and flashbacks are told through some amazingly scripted animations, just like what we saw in inFamous. Overall the story is well told but not actually to the level of what the first two games were able to achieve.
Even though the game plot might be a miss and a hit, God of War III’s amazing game play will keep you hooked for the sixteen odd hours or so. Yes it’s the same good old God of War action where you have to hack and slash you way through. Yes it’s again the button smasher that we all have love since the first game, half a decade ago. When you start the game you will have your infamous Blades of Chaos with you. The same control schemes are retained for this weapon. With the square button you can inflict a light attack and with the triangle, you can chop off with a heavy one. Next up is Claws of Hades, which is pretty much similar to the Blades of Chaos, but with this weapon you can actually send souls to fight against enemies, which have outnumbered you. Also there is magic associated with each of the weapons that you will pick up along the way. The third one is the Nemesis Whip which went equipped releases electric shock to the nearby enemies. The most amazing thing about these weapons is that they can still be upgraded just like the previous games and they have a magic associated with each one of them. Like The Blades of Chaos will unveil a number of spears from the sky and Claws of Hades will release a little ghost army.
You will also be picking or rather chopping items from the various bosses that you will encounter. One of them is the Helios head which will guide you through the darker sections of the game and will also help reveal secret paths. You will also be equipped with the Apollo’s Bow, which is not really helpful in combat; its major focus was on certain platforming sections. Boots of Hermes, once again, another item you obtain by chopping a leg of Zeus’s brother, helps you to run faster, and get to inaccessible places. But all in all, my real favorite was Nemean Cestus. Man those things are just amazing! You earn from that boss battle with Hercules and it can literally take down anything. The most amazing thing about all these accessories is that besides combat they have an important usage in the platforming sections as well. That brings me to the good old platforming sections in the game. God of War III is pretty much similar to the previous two games as far as platforming is concerned. You will be scaling walls, swing from one pole to the other and zip down a wall. You will be facing a ton of puzzles throughout the game which is actually a bit surprising since the two games before, did not had numerous puzzles in them. The puzzles are pretty interesting and it will take a while before you actually work them out. Much of the puzzle sections actually take place in the Labyrinth section where you have to order these huge square boxes.
Combat is God of War 3 is based on quick time button events and this time the button prompts actually appear on the side of the screens rather than in the middle, making the brutal action much clearer to the end player. The combat is intensely brutal and satisfying. Remember that Kratos is damn pissed this time around, he is angry and he will blow away anything in his path, which obviously makes his moves oh’ so devastating. Kratos will be facing a huge variety of enemies, from the soldiers of Olympus to Mortars. The death that Kratos brings to these creatures is hair raising. Imagine ripping through a gut of a 600 feet monster or popping the eye of one of the creatures, the violence is just too high at sometimes, but is actually is pretty satisfying. In one of the sections you will actually be ripping off heads and cutting off legs, which give Kratos the items that I explained in the review before. The boss fights are immensely satisfying, especially the battle against Hades which took me around two hours to beat. And what about scaling a 600 feet guy who actually carries a huge mountain on his back? In all the boss battle are a treat to watch and the wrath that Kratos eventually brings upon them is a sight to behold.
Quite easily one of the highest points in the game is the visuals. It seems that with every exclusive game that comes out on the PlayStation 3, it raises the bar higher and higher and this time with God of War 3 the scale has been set very high. The sense of scale is absolutely stunning. The number of characters on the screen, in one of instances has been raised to almost a hundred with not a single drop in frame rate. Kratos himself is wonderfully implemented with his armor glowing. The art direction of the game is simply superb. Santa Monica has once again proved that they are a talented bunch of game developers and designers. The enemies and the bosses, from Cronos to Zeus are immaculately detailed. The motion capture team has done a great job to capture Kratos’s fury and an environment to actually support the game’s theme. Sound has always been at its very best in the series. The orchestral sound is of the highest quality and easily rivals HollyWood. However I do have a bit of complain about the voice acting. A feel of emotional touch is missing this time around, more specifically from Kratos which actually I thought formed an integral part of the story in the last two games.
God of War 3 is well worth the wait. Almost three years in to development, Santa Monica’s hard work has paid off big time. The amount of violence that the player will get to see in the game is sometimes disturbing and hence I won’t advise this game to kids. However for people who have the heart and have been fans of the series, it’s no brainer that they have to pick up this game. Even when you are done through the single player campaign, there are tons of extras. Various challenge modes and movies are made available to the player. The videos specifically give a very good insight on how the game was developed. God of War 3 is easily one the finest hack n slash game that we have played in the last ten years and will be a prime candidate for GamingBolt’s game of the year 2010 event.
This game was reviewed on the PlayStation 3.
Stunning animations, Art Direction is beyond words, Orchestral sound is very well done, Challenging and intimidating boss fights, Good combination of action and puzzle.
Plot line just looses itself in between, Emotional touch in voice acting is missing
God of War III sets new standards for violence in video games whilst retaining the gameplay that made the previous two entries superlative.