QJ.NET Review: God of War III

gow3_sThe final piece of the God of War Trilogy has come and Kratos has gone to exact his revenge on the gods that betrayed him. Expectations have run high for God of War III, and with two top-tier titles already under Kratos’ belt, there’s a hell lot to live up to.

The final piece of the God of War Trilogy has come and Kratos has gone to exact his revenge on the gods that betrayed him. Expectations have run high for God of War III, and with two top-tier titles already under Kratos’ belt, there’s a hell lot to live up to.



Graphic graphics




One of the most obvious strengths to God of War III is its amazing graphics. Even as Kratos flies in and out of the skies, killing everything that moves, you can still take your eyes from the generous helpings of blood to admire the detail that Sony has painstakingly added into the entire game. The cracks and crevices, the breathtaking skies, the flowing water, all the way down to Kratos’ freakin’ pores – everything is top tier eye candy.


What makes the graphics even more appealing is that the game is also graphic, in another sense. When it comes to violence, nothing compares to a crisp life-like presentation that makes players wince and flinch as Kratos obliterates his foes. You really see the skin slowly being torn at the neck, the skull getting bashed further with every blow, and you can even see an eye gouge in first person. Having killer graphics is one thing, but God of War III takes it all further with fantastic presentation.


Apart from its graphic presentation, God of War III also scores high in its creative command of violence. Kratos, thirsty for blood and vengance, explored practically every single way that pain can be dealt. There’s the usual decapitation, dismembering, impaling, but the game goes as far as ripping nails off the nailbed. Sometimes, it can be a little over the top, but that all depends on your taste for blood.  All the same, this game is not for weak stomachs, but if blood is your craving, you’ll be right at home here.



This is how we roll in Olympus




Fans of the franchise will be happy to know that Kratos still lives by the hack-and-slash formula. But of course, changes and improvements have been implemented for this game.


Instead of having to expend mana for your bow and your lamp, their usage will now be accommodated by the Item Gauge, which refills automatically with a short break. With this set-up, use of your items will not be as limited with waiting for the next time you open a chest of blue orbs. Even so, it balances out by not letting you spam your bow like it was an M4 with unlimited ammo.


Your magic, this time around, will be weapon-specific. In the previous games, you had a set of spells that you could use regardless of the weapon you’re holding. This time, a spell is assigned to a weapon – you’ll have to switch weapons if you want another spell. It really slows swtiching between spells, but it frees up controls for faster in-fight weapon-switching, which you would find necessary as the game goes on.


You still have your trusty Blade of Olympus from God of War II, but it’s no longer a selectable weapon like before. The only way to use it is through your overdrive mode, now known as Rage of Sparta, which automatically sets the sword as Kratos’ weapon. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to use any other weapon while it’s in effect.


Despite following the traditional hack-and-slash format, you still have a wide selection of attacks and combos available to you, with the addition of the new blade-grapple attack and the battering ram. Killing the regular enemies may get a little redundant after a while, but if you mix it up with different combos and weapons, you’ll find that there is more to the battle system than simply combining Square and Triangle.


One more notable aspect in the game is the toning-down of puzzle difficulty. Although there are still a few semi-tough ones in the game, solving them all by yourself wasn’t as fulfilling as the puzzles in the previous games. Fortunately, the easier puzzles didn’t affect the overall feel of the game.



A tale of revenge




Even with the obvious and understandable deviations from the Greek mythology that this game was based upon, God of War III still presented a good interpretation of the personalities of the different gods. Sure, most of the gods didn’t get much air time to show any personality, but those who did put a few lines in were pretty much in line with how Greek mythology described them to be.


Additionally, the battle with the gods also had its effects on the world itself, which added to the depth of the plot. It’s not a storyline full of twists and major revelations, but it still had its fair share of character interplay and dynamics that make for a good storyline, all accompanied by music that enhances the Greek mythology feel of the game.


And the ending. Oh, the ending.



Gods live forever for a very long time




Despite being easy to pick up and play, God of War III is still quite a challenging game. Add a few hard-to-get Trophies to that mix and you have several hours of fun play in your first playthrough, whether you’ve played the first two or not. Even if you are new to the series, the intro and a few cutscenes in the game would give you a short briefing, although playing them beforehand would be much better.


After you’ve beaten the game once, there are still lots of post-game treats for you to play with. Like the previous games, beating the game unlocks extras and additional options for added lifespan and challenges.



And so we have…


Graphics – Amazing graphics with stellar presentation.


Gameplay – Improved on a successful formula. Wider selection of attacks, more opportunities to lengthen combos.


Story – A fantastic spin to the Greek mythology without compromising the core personalities of the gods.


Overall – There was a lot of expectation for this game, and God of War III met them across the board. The conclusion of the trilogy will have Kratos take his place among the most iconic characters of this age. Simple to play, yet challenging. A must-have for PS3 owners, whether you’re a fan of the series or a newcomer. God of War III– a game of the gods, a bloody masterpiece.



God of War III: 9/10



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