Returning with a heart full of rage, Kratos’s story begins where it left off at the end of God of War II. Standing within the forrest that consumes the body of the giant titan known as Gaia. Together they have one common goal, which is the sole purpose for their alliance. That goal is to wage war upon the gods of Olympus. A goal that will send Kratos on another blood filled quest, that will not end until he has satisfied his need to slaughter his father Zeus.
Upon starting God of War III you will be blown away to the furthest degree. The opening half an hour of the game is one of the most satisfying sequences in a game we’ve ever seen. Your jaw will literally drop as you begin Kratos’s journey exactly from the point you left off in God of War II. After the first half an hour, the platforming elements begin to kick in, bringing the pace of the game down a notch. This is what we have come expect from a God of War game how ever, so it is nothing that will be too off putting to veteran players.
The gameplay is structured in the exact same way you would imagine God of War to be, only it has been taken a step further. Kratos still possesses his blades, and he can still use magic which has either been given to him or which he has earned for himself. Of course it would be no fun if they gave you the same magic and weapons you obtained in the last game, so you should expect to acquire some new toys to play with this time around. As Kratos continues to slay bosses throughout the game he will gain new weapons or magic, which are essential to utilize to plow your way through the quest. There are also one or two items I have come across that can not be used until you complete the game, this makes a second play-through worth the while. As usual you can obtain red orbs along the way, which can be used to level up your weapons. Leveling up your weapons will open up new combos and techniques for each item as well as make them even more powerful. Kratos is also still in possession of the Blade of Olympus, which is the very sword he obtained in the second game. You can not wield this at any given time however, you must first fill up Kratos’s rage gauge just like in the previous game. Once unleashing Kratos’ rage, you are virtually unstoppable, pulling off deadly combos with the blade.
There are many other useful gifts that have been carried over from the previous game, such as the Icarus Wings. The wings will come in handy for much of the platforming portions of the game. Do not be fooled by the fact that the game has platforming however. These sections of the game are also very advanced and fun to play. It is not just a case of running and jumping until you reach your destination. There are various sequences within this game, much of them take you by surprise as you play. You constantly have to be on the alert, because the pace is constantly changing. This makes for a very thrilling experience, as you never know what to expect. Some players may be put off with the puzzles, but they’re not too difficult to figure out. There are a couple of them that look complicated when you first come across them, but after attempting to crack them you will realize that it is mostly just common sense.
It is indeed wonderful to experience just how dynamic this game is. Multiple events can trigger as you are playing, and there are even fighting sequences where the level is consistently moving right before your eyes. Much like the fight on Gaia in the early stages of the game, it is a magnificent sight to see Gaia moving while you are on her fighting away demons that threaten both you and her. The presentation seen in God of War III is just difficult to put in words, and needs to be seen first hand for you to gain an understanding of just how technically advanced this game is.
Graphically the game looks superb, definitely one of the better looking games this generation. Kratos himself is designed to the point you feel as though you can reach out and touch him. One thing that will have you in utter awe is how Kratos becomes splattered in blood as he slays his enemies. There are also a wide variety of foes in God of War III, and all of them are uniquely designed. Not only that, but the textures which make up the environment are some of the most detailed we’ve seen in gaming.
If you played the E3 demo of God of War III, then chances are you have been greatly mislead. Upon playing the demo right after playing God of War II, God of War III felt a whole lot slower. Playing the final version however is completely different. The game feels as fluent as you would expect it to be, I have not experienced any major frame rate issues at all. One gripe I have is that sometimes when you reach a save point, and you are required to press R1 to commence saving the game. This can be unresponsive, and may require you to press it multiple times. This only happens rarely, and its not too much of an inconvenience. Another annoyance is that sometimes after leaving the pause menu, it can take a good couple of seconds before the game resumes. This is only really an issue because you use the pause menu to level up your weapons and view combos.
Just like in the previous games, God of War III features a variety of drum melodies that sound like they come straight from Greece. The score in God of War III fits the game perfectly, and switches with the pace of the game itself. A very interesting puzzle in the game sees you recreate the main theme music from the game, in a fashion that Guitar Hero or Rockband fans will enjoy.
For those who enjoy a dynamic action adventure, with a reasonable story. God of War III is the game you should be picking up this week. It is a violence filled frenzy that will truly test your wits. Playing this game on easy mode will not do it any justice, so players should at least go for the normal difficulty to get the best out of the whole experience. If you are looking for a game that will blow you away, without too much emphasis on story related cut scenes, God of War III is that. The game may suffer from lack of story related thrills, being that the story is far from complex. However, God of War III makes up for that with the gameplay. Rather than sitting there and watching a great action sequence, why not interact with it? That is an anxiety which I hear from many gamers out there, and God of War III is a fully interactive experience. Most of the cut scenes you will see are all real-time, very rarely will you see a pre-rendered cg scene. This ensures that you are never taken away from the experience, and you will always feel 100% involved.
From gory violence, to intense platforming elements, to some of the best boss battles seen in a game for months. God of War III is everything a fan of the series could ask for. As for those who have yet to play a God of War game, this game is the reason you should start playing the series. For anyone to miss out on this experience is a crying shame, and I speak nothing but the truth.