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Why God of War III is only possible on PS3

“Like I just saw a PlayStation 4 title,” is how forthright journalist HipHopGamer described the secret footage of Kratos battling the ‘Spider-horse’ boss in God of War III. With few days to GOW’s release, we’ve seen the same footage and can confirm that – while not quite as astonishing as you might expect of a PlayStation 4 game – Kratos’ PS3 debut is a technical showcase.


Above: If you look carefully, you can see Kratos in the bottom middle

What’s so special about Kratos’ battle with the ‘Spider-horse’ boss; resembling a horse’s head with huge insectoid limbs? The intensity is staggering, but what really impresses is its ‘living’ torso made of rushing water and – above all – the fact that the battle is taking place on the back of a Titan as it climbs Mount Olympus. When the camera scales back, the huge boss becomes a blur, while Kratos is barely bigger than a pixel – yet, amazingly, you’re still in control.


Above: Again, a dinky Kratos, this time on the left, with the giant horse on the right

“Dynamic environments mean we can take literally anything in the game, including creatures or in this case, extremely large thousand foot plus creatures,” reveals Sony Santa Monica’s John Hight, “And turn them into an environment that Kratos can now navigate, battle on, find treasures.” The idea was mooted during God of War on PS2, but only PS3’s technology allowed the developers to build it. A similar technique was employed by Naughty Dog in Uncharted 2, but Hight claims GOW3’s approach is more advanced. “Ours is a soft body collision which allows us to take any organic character, and turn it into a level. We’ve been working on it for almost two years.”

Sony want to keep much of the game secret, for fear of spoilers. “I’ve seen a lot of film trailers, that when you see the finished movie, feels like you’ve put the ten commercials together,” reveals GOW3’s director Stig Asmussen, “That’s why we haven’t put out a ton of screens.” Asmussen reveals that scale will play a big part in scenes dubbed the Great Caverns with huge wooden crates hanging in an open room. The Caverns will be one big puzzle, where you construct something to unlock an even more elaborate set of puzzles.


Above: It takes a moment to see that the horse is crawling on Gaia's giant stone wrist. Kratos is in there somewhere

More intriguingly, as Kratos scales Mount Olympus, you’ll get to explore the home of the gods in all its glory, including the lush Olympus Gardens, a place of beauty where the gods go to reflect. Sony aren’t ruling out running the whole game in 3D – but only via a download patch later in the year. “I know that it’s something we could do – not incredibly complicated” reveals Asmussen, “It would kind of be like looking in on a small world living in your TV.” 

GOW’s technical prowess reflects in its native 720p resolution, with a variable frame rate between 30-60 frames per second, depending on the intensity of the scene. GOW3’s dynamic lighting is only possible due to the processing power of PS3’s Cell SPU chips. “The High Dynamic Range (HDR) lighting technology – when using Kratos’ sightline – will emulate the human retina, causing players to feel a sharp brightness when Kratos leaves a dark area and enters a sunlit area similar to how the human eye adjusts,” reveals GOW3 UK Product Manager Claire Backhouse, adding that the game is only possible on PS3.

The soundtrack’s equally lavish, recorded at Skywalker Sound and remotely in Prague (via a link up), and spanning 26 hours of brass, 12 hours of strings, 20 hours of choir vocals, cut and compressed into – we can confirm – GOW3’s duration of over 10 hours. Why use a live orchestra? “Samples are good, but you miss the emotion… even though it’s mostly angry emotions in GOW3,” quips Composer Cris Velasco.

Technical issues aside, it’s still a game about ripping foes in half, as perma-furious anti-hero Kratos scales Mount Olympus to settle his dispute with the gods once and for all… well, for now. “It’s certainly the end of the trilogy, capping off the story we started in GOW”, confirms John Hight, “But we’re not going to let the franchise go, just like that. We’re going to be careful about what we do next, and make sure we have something interesting to tell.” What exactly? One theory is that Kratos’ abandoned brother will take the limelight but either way, it’s less likely to look, than be, a PlayStation 4 game. Until then, the wait for GOW’s debut is as tantalising as ever – and we’ll have the full review on Monday.

Mar 5, 2010

50 comments

  • Tony121 - March 10, 2010 3:52 p.m.

    sucks to be an xbox owner and miss such a good game.
  • AlexMercer1337 - March 9, 2010 8:58 a.m.

    I only have a 360, and this game looks to be the shit. Still no regrets, but damn I want a PS3 right night.
  • ratchetsippi - March 8, 2010 6:17 p.m.

    big boss, god of war could run on pc at this level, but not with the hardware that you pc fans hype, you would need a renderfarm AMD chip to run it in realtime, and for the other idiot i dont know why you said this isnt cg level like its something new ps3 has been doing cg level visuals since uncharted 1 ps3 is the only platform that games have to be explained that games ingame are actually realtime and not cg, sad thing is that this isnt eventhe tip of the iceburg for ps3
  • ratchetsippi - March 8, 2010 6:13 p.m.

    radically rad, your the only pc fan that ive heard thats said its not cg level, if there were more of you, then i would agree
  • BigBoss11 - March 8, 2010 5:48 p.m.

    Crysis 2 is also coming out for ps3 you know. Regardless both games are amazing and I do think God of War 3 could run on pc with this graphic quality, if it was made from the ground up for the pc.
  • StrayGator - March 8, 2010 5:18 p.m.

    Honey, ME2 would look slightly worse on PS3, just like any othe UE3 based game to date (Batman: AA, UT3, Borderlands, XMO Wolverine, MOH, Mirror's Edge, Army of Two. the list goes on). Also note that many UE3 games praised highly for visual splendor (GOW2, ME2, The Last Remnant) are not available for the PS3. Sure, You can blame it on the engineers at Epic who didn't take the time to learn the innards of the omnipotent Cell. You can claim that Methodical, efficient coding would let the PS3 stand up to whatever the X360 can produce and then some. Sounds familiar? Yup. These are the exact same arguments You'd hear from X360's "Fan(insult_here)s" You keep referring to. BTW, while it's hard to compare between the Cell and X360's Xenon (due to different architectural approach), the X360's Xenos GPU (that component that draws the things you see on the TV, you know) is measurably more powerful than PS3's RSX. It is also capable of geometry tessellation, a feature mostly unused so far, but it will probably become more widespread now that it was included in DirectX 11. Might give the X360 an edge in the long run, you know, just sayin'. Cordially Yours, StrayGator, admitted PC fanboi/grl/fag/younameit. reCaptcha: be momma. surefeels like it sometimes.
  • DavidMacphail - March 8, 2010 3:23 p.m.

    LOL, a couple of retarded 360 fanboys crying on here, makes me smile. GOW 3 was created for 2 reasons: 1 - to give the fans the epic, awe - inspiring conclusion this story arc deserves. 2 - to show the Xbox 360 up for the last - gen, sub - HD pile of trash it really is. Judging by the crying 360 fangirls on here, i'd say GOW 3 has achieved both those goals. Oh and the reason nobody ever says "Why Mass Effect 2 Is Only Possible On 360." is because everybody with a working brain knows it's not. It would, in fact, be infinetly better on the PS3. Too bad fanboys can't handle facts too well. Still, the only reason 360 fangirls are even commenting on a PS3 game is because the RROD - Box 360 doesn't have any exclusives to keep them entertained. So, instead of playing good games (Which the 360 doesn't have because of it's last - gen technology) they have to talk about the good games on the PS3 all day.
  • crumbdunky - March 8, 2010 10:47 a.m.

    Seeing as I now can't bring myself to play Alan Wake(which , ironically, was the game which sold me my 360, or my first anyway, at launch!)as I don't support developers who shaft a group of gamers like Remedy(or possibly MS-who knows for sure after their BS "intimacy excuse! Seriously, what's ,more intimate than playing a game like that alone, headies on , in the dark, at midnight on your rig?)did the PC crowd after making them wait FIVE years for the knife, I am seriously running low on 360 games to play this year. I've got ME2 to get to an SC:C coming, hated the first Crackdown and it's a wait for Reach while Metro looks like a game for my rig, tbh. Without the PS3 I'd have only had ME2 so far this year(play my multis on PS3 because I like the DS3 a lot more than the 360 pad)and so far I've got, or preordered GOW3,MAG,HR(both MAG and HR are a lot better than GR made out as well), Yakuza3 as well as my multiplats. I dunno why people still want t knock Sony's console when, from my experience, it's been on a roll, games wise, ever since MGS4(still the best game this gen)with little let up and with GOW being the only game I'm happy to say I#m brilliant at(no, seriously, I'm crap at everything but GOW turns me into a gaming GOD! Other people seem to think you mash but they're SO wrong as, played right, it;'s a gory ballet of elegant stabby death with more ebb and flow to the combat every time they release a new one with more on screen enemies and GOW3 seems to have knocked EVERYTHING up a peg or five. Cannot wait for this. With GT5 coming later this year
  • Spydie4x4 - March 8, 2010 4:09 a.m.

    I want this sooo bad. Too bad Ps3 is garbage. It makes a nice doorstop though.
  • LOUDERkirk - March 8, 2010 4 a.m.

    haha, i own an xbox 360 and love it... but im thinking i might have to purchase a playstation for this game alone... ill wait to spend 300 to make sure it lives up to the hype though
  • ClanPsi - March 8, 2010 3:54 a.m.

    Horse boss? What the hell? It's a Leviathan. How do people like this get paid for writing and I don't?
  • BobertTheNinja - March 8, 2010 2:09 a.m.

    http://ihatejade.com/?id=q1l94jyisp21hmxs6pfblenj8nrtah
  • nikrusty - March 7, 2010 7:11 p.m.

    From a PC fanboy...only one word..."WOW" These guys really know how to push the console and do it right. Now that takes creativity and problem solving to new heights. One big advantage of a console is that the hardware is limited and one must manage to get the best from it. This is where PC fails and also wins. "Limits brings about real creative solutions while limitlessness just brings the fat"
  • Deify - March 7, 2010 7:05 p.m.

    Can't wait. Only 2 more weeks and I can finally do some more god slaying. This should be one hell of a game.
  • radicallyrad - March 7, 2010 6:23 p.m.

    @ratchetsippi God of War 3, CG level graphics? Haha, no. The environments and character models have a lot of detail, but not enough to be considered CG level. The impressive use of the camera is what makes the game look like it's got CG level graphics during gameplay.
  • milicilic - March 7, 2010 2:21 p.m.

    @ratchetsippi Im not a fanboy of any of the consoles that are out right now,and i dont enjoy spam such as this, but honestly, haven't you seen any of the crysis 2 gameplay videos? It will probably look better than GOW III does on ps3, but the pc version will still look pretty good...
  • chuckgreene97 - March 7, 2010 5:16 a.m.

    why i do not buy xbox because at Malaysia the game price just RM 15 or 3 Dollar and not original
  • ultimatepunchrod - March 7, 2010 2:09 a.m.

    this game is looking flippin' brilliant. im playing through the first 2 before this one comes out and im partly through the 2nd now. i even took off from work on the 16th for the release. i cannot wait.
  • FriendlyFire - March 7, 2010 12:18 a.m.

    The PC will most likely always be the single most powerful platform you can have since it's the only customizable platform. You can spend 20k on a computer if you want, or you can spend 400 bucks. Consoles, while usually advanced by the time they are announced, rapidly fall back since they are a fixed design. As with anything in tech, new stuff comes around so fast that one year is a huge timespan. Of course, this won't stop people from arguing that one is better than the other, but on a strictly technical field the PC is king. NOTICE: That is not to say the PC is the best console ever and that all other consoles should die in the fires and flames of hell and oblivion (I own a PC, a 360 and a PS3 and play all of them if someone wants to accuse me of bias). Graphical power != good game.
  • CH3BURASHKA - March 6, 2010 11:56 p.m.

    Well, my purchase is confirmed (as if it weren't before).

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