In 2005, Sony reached down from their place high atop Mount Gamelympus and handed us mere mortals a history lesson. They told a story of a man, Kratos, who was fooled into killing his wife and child by the God of War – Ares. Seeking revenge for this trickery we took control of Kratos as he exacted his revenge on Ares. This story was received with much fanfare from critics for its gameplay and storyline. Fast forward to 2010, four years after the release of the Playstaion 3, Sony once again opened up their epic story book and gave us the final chapter in the God of War series – God of War 3.
God of War 3, like all it’s predecessors, is an action-adventure game that requires a little something between the ears besides a thick skull to solve a few puzzles while exacting your revenge. You play as Kratos, the newest God of War, as you travel from Hades and the Underworld, to the peak of Mount Olympus. Along the way facing minions, Titans and even Gods themselves.
Fighting with the angry Spartan is easy enough. The different weapons picked up in the game can be switched to easily using the D-pad or a combination of left trigger and one of the action buttons. Defeating the game’s foes will require a combination of these weapons during your battles. While better than previous iterations in the God of War series, there is only one of the main weapons that is really different from the other three – the Nemean Caestus, a pair of big metal gauntlets. The magic attacks of the other weapons are different, but I always found myself switching between the standard blades and the gauntlets most often.
Where this game differs from other action games is with the finishing sequences. Engage a weakened or dazed enemy when prompted and you enter a quick time event where, upon completion of the prompted button presses and stick moves, you send the baddie into oblivion in spectacular fashion, gaining health or extra experience as well. Defeating the bosses in this game also typically required completion of a quick time event or two to proceed.
And speaking of bosses, several of the ones in this game are epic. In fact, a couple of them are almost their own level. Fighting against a Titan or a God is no small task, after all. The details of these scenes are something to behold. The graphics processing of the PS3 really help this game shine. Whether it’s blood spatter or the grooves in a Titan’s fingernails, the graphics are quite spectacular. There is no difference between the graphics quality during gameplay and during the cut scenes. In fact, I found myself trying to control Kratos during several of these scenes until I realized what was going on.
The real issues I have with this game are small and few, but worth mentioning. First is the camera. There were several times I wanted to adjust it a little bit to try to get a better look around a corner for enemies or up in a room to find a way to access special chests. A couple of times I even found myself going in circles thanks to a camera change when going down a hallway or through a doorway. My other gripe is that it’s over already. This isn’t one of those 20, 30 or even 40+ hour game. No, this is an easy 10-15 hour game. It’s frequent save points and auto-save feature make God of War 3 a good way to blow off some steam after work or taking that test in applied quantum mechanics, not a weekend marathoner. After completing the game there is a challenge section that opens up, but other than to collect all the treasures or power-up items there isn’t much of replay appeal to the story itself.
Having never actually played this game until now, I really enjoyed it. I remembered why I always told myself I was going to play these games one day. This is one of those games I was truly excited to get home and get back into. Since the game’s initial release in 2010, EA has released God of War Saga. This is a collection of all three games in the God of War series and, if purchased new or directly from someone who has not redeemed it, a voucher to download God of War: Chains of Olympus and God of War: Ghosts of Sparta.
Also, listen to Episode 43 of our podcast to hear if God of War 3 made it onto our list of Top 10 Games of the Generation.