God of War III review

  • 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?

But then, in spite of this being the “final” God of War game, there’s always room for more Titans in any potential sequels – and the ending, conclusive as it is, leaves that door propped open ever so slightly. If you’re a God of War fan, though, it may not be quite the ending you were hoping for. If you’re expecting to see Kratos redeem himself, learn the true meaning of friendship or be tearfully reunited with his dead wife and daughter in the Greek afterlife – don’t.

Above: This man will never change

At the same time, though, the plot manages to derail itself into cheesy, mawkish sentimentality about “hope” more than once, which feels awkward coming from such a relentlessly amoral franchise. Throw in a viciously cheap final boss and a too-long sequence that steals liberally from Max Payne’s overdose-fueled nightmares, and you’ve got an endgame that skirts awfully close to satisfying, but never quite gets there.

Still, these problems are fairly minor, and while the ending to the saga is what it’s all been leading up to, it’s a relatively small part of a 10-hour (give or take) experience that constantly delivers cool new areas to explore and diverse monsters that are a joy to fight.

It also boasts a pantheon’s worth of memorable characters – including messenger-god Hermes as a genuinely infuriating pest, and Zeus’s wife Hera as a stumbling society drunk – and features top-notch vocal performances from the likes of Malcolm McDowell, Rip Torn, Adrienne Barbeau and Kevin Sorbo (three guesses who he plays). In the unlikely event that this actually is the last God of War, it’s a pretty classy way to close out the series.

Is it better than…

Bayonetta? Depends on what you want out of a game like this. Do you relish memorizing complicated combos, enduring punishing difficulty and having your success hinge on how stylish you are in combat? Then Bayonetta is more your speed. On the other hand, if you want something slightly more casual and accessible, with relatively uncomplicated action, gargantuan puzzles and buckets of gore, then odds are you’ll like God of War III a lot better.

Dante’s Inferno? Yes, but not quite to the degree you’d expect. Much as it was seemingly reviled by pretty much everyone on general principle alone, Dante’s Inferno actually did a pretty good job emulating God of War’s formula, even though it never quite got the difficulty or fun right. And while God of War III is much prettier, and has evolved its formula just enough to stay ahead of its imitators, it’s not such a bold leap forward as to leave Dante choking to death on its dust. It is, however, much more fun to plunge through, has far more interesting characters and is a whole hell of a lot less bleak.

Darksiders? Yes. Much as Darksiders styled itself as a Zelda clone, the combat was pure God of War – minus the quick time events, of course. And while GoW III doesn’t have Darksiders’ sorta-free-roaming structure, its combat is a hell of a lot more interesting, its monsters are more diverse and its QTEs are actually a lot more fun than Darksiders’ total lack thereof. Also, GoW III never has to pad out its runtime with any mandatory bullshit arena challenges, so that’s a big plus right there.

Just for you, Metacritic!

While not a huge leap forward for the franchise, God of War III refines its already-fun gameplay to near-perfection while delivering the clever puzzles, high production values and pure, rage-fueled brutality fans expect. Add a memorable cast of characters and buckets of gore, and Kratos’s last adventure is also his best yet.

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


  • Darkhawk - November 15, 2011 8:47 a.m.

    I beat Bayonetta on normal mode, but GoW is proving more frustrating just because of the double jump mechanic. I don't know what it is, but the time frame for double-tapping X is really strange, and I'm having a hard time getting through some platforming sections (and some bosses that require double jumps to avoid area attacks). I'm not alone in this - Google verifies that - but as comparisons go, Bayonetta definitely controls better
  • reeperskull - March 18, 2011 1:12 a.m.

    just picked up this game for under $8 :D best $8 i will ever spend....ever!!
  • DrOfInsanity666 - June 8, 2010 11:14 p.m.

    This is one of the best games I have ever played.
  • TwilightBlaze - June 5, 2010 8:57 p.m.

    I love this game, but you know what the sad part is? The fact that the first time I read this review, I thought you had given the game a 7, which made absolutely no sense.
  • wiljohannes - April 7, 2010 10:34 p.m.

    It is really a great game BUT...come on, that story. we know that GOW is not about story but the first one was great and the second was ok. gow3 story was a joke. also have problems with pace, it was a rollercoaster with lots of puzzle solving and few epic battles. also have two of the most epic bost fight but had definitly thw WORST boss fights in the series ( hermes, helios...zeus ?). not a perfect score worthy.
  • boxmeizter - March 21, 2010 2:50 p.m.

    There are no words of how epic this game is...The series are incredible compelling and there are over-the-top action around every corner, and the only way to feel about the series is just to love it. And you people that say this doesn't deserve a 10, you...are...short minded... Halleluja, and please, tell me this wasn't the ending of Kratos!
  • farewellandgoodnight - March 21, 2010 12:24 p.m.

    Really enjoying it sofar but the combat and controls are a little sluggish after playing Bayonetta.
  • minimaxi - March 21, 2010 11:19 a.m.

    people are right in that GR is too generous with 10's lately. If bayonetta gets a 10, this one deserves a 12. perspective of a gow fan who enjoys bayonetta and appalled by dante's inferno's purely business approach
  • CLEIP - March 20, 2010 2:57 a.m.

    Ok, i played this game alot now, and it is just no way it is a 10. Definantly a 9, but 10, no way. GR has become way to geneorus with their scores lately. this game is not the first nor do i think it is the last one to get a way to high score...
  • DeathandBlackMetal4 - March 13, 2010 7:36 p.m.

    I can't wait for this game, Its my favorite game series.
  • jordanlacroix95 - March 12, 2010 1:30 a.m.

    so glad it got 10/10 !!!! ultimate edition on tues. !!!!!! screw ign, 9.3 / 10 ?!?! thats bullshit! it deserves a 10.
  • crimson_soulreaper305 - March 11, 2010 10:12 p.m.

    one word...Epic.
  • MrWeaselTips - March 11, 2010 1:26 p.m.

    This is the turning point, I am seriously considering getting a PS3 now! Will continue to buy multi-platform games for 360 though, one step at a time!
  • TheIronMaiden - March 10, 2010 7:45 a.m.

    this is going to seem like the longest week ever.....even worse than waiting for MW2.
  • Cwf2008 - March 10, 2010 5:24 a.m.

    Seems like it'd be more of a 9 game to me, but who cares 9 and 10 are still incredible scores. Anyway wish i could get this game but i got a 360...oh well someday i will play this
  • GoldenMe - March 9, 2010 11:55 p.m.

    A game gets a 10 and people are freaking out/ bitching about. I wish I can go back to my Sega Genesis, where all the good video games are at.
  • hardcore_gamer1990 - March 9, 2010 11:46 p.m.

    @TheWebSwinger - Well duh.. Twenty-TEN :D Cheap jokes ftw. Anyway. Epic game. Epic series. Now to persuade the parents to allow me to get GOW Collection and this and I'll be very happy :)
  • philipshaw - March 9, 2010 6:31 p.m.

    Was getting this game anyway but this was a great review and lets me see that my money will be well spent
  • Xplosive59 - March 9, 2010 5:36 p.m.

    if this wasnt a ps3 exclusive they would of given it an 11 stupid biased games radar only kidding
  • crumbdunky - March 9, 2010 2:45 p.m.

    @karna-I don't think the game perfect enough to be getting ten has been made, ever, and even held back, at the time from giving classics like OoT more than the 9.5 mark as I always felt that any fault made a mockery of a perfect score. Thing is GR, and other sites have painted themselves into a corner by giving out so many that scores have got redundant without ebven considering that all sites review using different scales and different amounts OF those scales. time has come for either the end of scores or to make a set media standard that we all agree is best.

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