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God of War III review

AT A GLANCE
  • Quick, fluid combat is more fun than ever
  • Gigantic sense of scale
  • Puzzles are clever and challenging, but not that difficult
  • QTEs can catch you off-guard
  • Ending is somehow too long AND too abrupt
  • Only two Titan levels?

Kratos isn’t charming. He’s not interested in saving the world, rescuing a princess or really doing anything at all that doesn’t serve his immediate goals of getting revenge and tearing apart anyone that stands in his way. He’s a one-note character with a one-note aspiration, and yet somehow this bald, grunting terror of ancient Greece is the headliner of the PS3’s longest-awaited and most hotly anticipated action game. Although if you’ve followed his exploits since 2005’s incredible slashfest God of War, you already know why.

God of War III is Kratos’s fifth and ostensibly final adventure, and it brings the series crashing to a fittingly brutal close, giving fans everything they’ve come to expect on a bigger scale than it’s ever been delivered. Gallons of blood are spilled, gods and Titans die in horrifyingly elaborate ways, and thousands of monsters are messily eviscerated by Kratos’s whirling chain-blades. The bosses are big, the puzzles are bigger and the combat is more fluid than ever. It’s also prettier than any other game in the series (duh), and while it doesn’t delve as deeply into Kratos’s troubled past, it doesn’t really need to. This one’s all about Kratos, the anarchic force of pure rage, bringing down the old order as violently as possible.

And before you ask, yes, there’s a sex minigame. One that actually shows you visibly bare breasts while it’s happening.


Above: Unfortunately, we can’t show it to you - yet


The end begins

Before that happens, though, there’s a lot left over to resolve. When we last saw Kratos, he was riding up Mount Olympus on the back of the Titan Gaia, ready to get all kinds of nasty on Zeus (who’d tricked and killed him at the beginning of God of War II, and then escaped justice at its end) and the rest of the Olympian gods. That’s exactly where GoW III opens: the Titans are still slowly making their way up the mountain, and it’s up to Kratos to keep the gods’ army of skeleton warriors off Gaia’s back. After he’s battered his way through a few dozen of them, he’ll face the game’s first real challenge: Poseidon, god of the sea, who appears as a water giant riding a team of massive, crab-like horses.


Above: This is one of them

As a single horse-creature burrows through Gaia’s arm like some kind of gross parasite, you’ll get your first real taste of what Sony’s been hyping as “Titan gameplay.” The landscape – actually just Gaia’s forearm – buckles and shifts as the water-horse yanks it around, forcing Kratos to climb up its sides and monkeybar underneath it during the fight. Meanwhile, the action zooms in and out for dramatic effect, frequently reducing Kratos to a tiny onscreen speck (which doesn’t get as confusing as you’d think) and giving you a real sense of the massive scale on which these creatures operate. It’s all pre-scripted, but it’s impressive nonetheless.

As gargantuan as Poseidon’s water-horse is, it’s as vulnerable as anything else to Kratos’s Blades of Athena, and before long Kratos has torn off its jaw, stabbed it through the heart and pummeled its master to death in one of the most jaw-droppingly ugly beatdowns ever to appear in a videogame. Soon afterward, however, events conspire to send Kratos rocketing back down to Hades, where he (once again) loses all his powers and sets the game’s real plot in motion. Yes, he’s still hell-bent on revenge – but before he gets it, he’ll have to murder his way up the Olympian hierarchy, endure the pleas of an imprisoned girl who reminds him of his long-dead daughter and be reunited with a powerful artifact from his past.


Above: Also, he’ll get to finally kill that fat creep Hades


Chains of destruction

Losing all your abilities so soon after getting a taste of fully powered-up Kratos isn’t so bad, seeing as you’re guaranteed to get better stuff down the road. And God of War III’s new weapons and powers are better – better-implemented, more useful and much more fun to use than those in previous games. For starters, no longer will you be forced to choose between Kratos’s chain-blades and some big, kludgy weapon that isn’t much fun to use. While Kratos’s new Blades of Exile handle more or less the same way his favored weapons always have, the three new additions to his arsenal – the soul-stealing Claws of Hades, the lightning-infused Nemesis Whip and the lion-headed Nemean Cestus – are all cool variations on the chain-blade theme.

More Info

Available Platforms: PS3
Genre: Action
Published by: SCEA
Developed by: SCE Santa Monica Studios
Franchise: God of War
ESRB Rating:
Mature: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Nudity, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content

67 comments

  • Frexerik - March 8, 2010 5:01 p.m.

    EPIC!! thanks gr!!! preodred mine just now! :D
  • allthegoodnameswheretaken - March 8, 2010 5:15 p.m.

    A very well deserved score.
  • jimmyjoo - March 8, 2010 5:20 p.m.

    Great review! I cannot wait another week to play this! That 'ol Kevin Sorbo though, he definitely won't be playing Hercules, that's for sure.
  • loonyman978 - March 8, 2010 5:21 p.m.

    wow....just wow. It seems foolish to say i want this game because... who doesn't?
  • Embolado - March 8, 2010 5:28 p.m.

    What no Multiplayer ?!?! *smirk* FTW
  • Jacob816 - March 8, 2010 5:32 p.m.

    :D
  • metalgatesolid - March 8, 2010 5:45 p.m.

    As if it wasnt going to be great. The Sony exclusives are now flowing on the PS3 (Heavy Rain, MGS4, Uncharted, Ratchet & Clank, God of War and soon Gran Turismo). I have to say the exclusives are mindblowing.
  • Corsair89 - March 8, 2010 5:54 p.m.

    Damn it, why does this have to release so close to FFXIII?! Argh, I have to wait a little longer to get it. :(
  • radicallyrad - March 8, 2010 5:58 p.m.

    I was expecting a few Xbox fanboys to be the first ones to post and say this game sucks solely for the fact that it's not on their console and then compare a high rated game that's only on their console(and PCs)to this, such as Mass Effect 2.
  • felipe222 - March 8, 2010 6:07 p.m.

    @Embolado Multiplayer?! how this game could get multiplayer?
  • Amnesiac - March 8, 2010 6:13 p.m.

    I want it so hard it hurts.
  • kjdubz22 - March 8, 2010 6:16 p.m.

    This game looks awesome and it's the reason I want a PS3, but doesn't it seem like GR throws 10's around a lot? I'm not saying anything about other games like ME2 who got a 10, but just seems like they give a lot of 10's compared to other sites maybe that's why their able to avoid getting hate in their forums like other sites like IGN. Anyways this game looks awesome I think this pushed me into getting a PS3.
  • boxmeizter - March 8, 2010 6:49 p.m.

    ................................................................................................................speachless............................................................................................................ i've waited for over a year for this title,if not two. it got delayed a couple of times, but now, it is for real...yeah, i am a fanboy
  • AnonymouZ - March 8, 2010 7:06 p.m.

    never cared for GoW before... but the game looks goddamn good. i mite go and buy the "updated" prequels to this.
  • iKOemos - March 8, 2010 7:07 p.m.

    This game is soooo worth the wait. Its gonna be nothing short of EPIC!
  • RebornKusabi - March 8, 2010 7:18 p.m.

    I'm picking up Final Fantasy 13 tonight, so I will picking this up when my taxes come in... whenever the **** that will be lol Also, the reason for the 10's lately is a two-fold theory of mine- 1) Because this site seriously got SO MUCH ****ING **** for it's review scores that these lovely gents' gave Haze, Killzone 2, Lair and Heavy Rain. In all honesty though, of the above games, only one of them deserved a higher score, in my opinion and I'll leave it up to you to decide which one ;) My other theory is... maybe these last couple of games that have gotten 10/10 on here recently have actually been good enough to warrant them, at least in the reviewers eyes. To be fair though- Mikel knows his **** so if he gives a game a 10/10, I tend to listen up and take interest. I was already gonna get this game so his review helped validate my future purchase (though it really didn't need to, I already adore the first two God of War games). In the end, great review! Informative AND critical, just the way a reviewer should be.
  • Conman93 - March 8, 2010 7:25 p.m.

    Great review GR! Believe it or not, at first I wasnt too excited about this game. But now. id invent a time machine and go back in time to punch my past self in the face becaues he was an idiot. This could possibly be my new favourite game. The thought of there being more than one of those crab-horse things scares the shit out of me. March 19th cant come any quicker.
  • TheWebSwinger - March 8, 2010 7:29 p.m.

    Two 10's in a week? And this is, what, the fifth 10 this year? 2010's shaping up to be quite the year for gaming.
  • Samael - March 8, 2010 7:57 p.m.

    Huh, almost sounded like a 9 near the end. Which I would have been fine with...but I'm sure others wouldn't have. Worried about the difficulty of this Echocrome-esque puzzle and an apparently cheap final boss. I'm sure I'll manage to beat em though. I bet I'll like the Max Payne-ish scenes, as two of my favorite parts of GOW are the "hug and defend family" sequence from #1 and push away daughter from Chains.
  • TFUPrivateIron - March 8, 2010 8:08 p.m.

    Shouldn't people be happy that more games are getting 10s and not upset? It means that games are getting better. People need to stop being cynical and pessimistic. Gamers are so unappreciative nowadays.

Showing 1-20 of 67 comments

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