God of War III Review
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God of War III is the best entry in the series, hands down, and one of the best action-adventure games of this generation. Kratos' journey comes to an end, along with the trilogy, in an explosion of fluid combat, mammoth environments, and a superb narrative.
- The combat, combos, and boss battles are by far the best in the series
- Lighting is as much a part of the game as the combat
- The enormous scale of the environments
- The occasional button-trigger glitches
- Saying goodbye to the trilogy
Since the God of War series launched in 2005, we’ve journeyed alongside Kratos through the depths of hell, annihilated hordes of demonic creatures in a gory clash, and defeated Ares to take his place as the new God of War. It’s a franchise based heavily on intense, fluid combat, enormous boss battles, gruesome finishing moves, and a story that spans the emotions of anger, fear, and revenge. To put it simply – the games are absolutely brilliant and a joy to play. All of that praise for two games from last generation is well deserved, but was Sony able to close out the trilogy with a bang? We advise you to remove any notions you have about why the series is so enjoyable to play, because God of War III absolutely blows the other games out of the park.
God of War III is an action-adventure game releasing next week exclusively for the PlayStation 3, marking the final chapter in the trilogy and bringing the curtains down on the story and struggles of Kratos, an ex-Spartan warrior on a quest to take on Mt. Olympus and the Gods. Developer Sony Santa Monica Studios has taken everything we loved about the first three games (that includes Chains of Olympus on PSP), and made the controls tighter, the combos more satisfying, the violence more gory, the environments more complex and lush, and the gameplay more seamless.
This is a spoiler free review, so we’ll be brief in explaining the story. The game picks up after the events of God of War II as Kratos, joined by the Titans, makes his final attack on Mt. Olympus. That’s all you need to know and all the specifics we’ll share. The story is strong, and again tugs heavily on emotions like fear, anger, and redemption, though if we’re being honest, isn’t quite as compelling as the first two games. Still, if there are moments that feel repetitive or overly familiar, the last couple hours (and the ending) provide undoubtedly one of the best gaming experiences of this generation.
The combat is virtually flawless. You can almost feel the impact of each blade sinking into an enemy. Kratos swings his blades above his head, jumps in the air and destroys five enemies before touching the ground. He throws his blades into a beast’s chest, and pulls himself into the opponent (Scorpion-style from Mortal Kombat) in one flawless motion. You’ll take on even more foes at once than in the previous games. This all works out fine because Kratos is stronger than ever, and with his new arsenal of weapons, abilities, and combos, even the biggest bosses or vast hordes of hellhounds can be defeated. Furthermore, if you are a fan of Greek mythology, you may also be happy to hear that you can tame and ride some classic creatures. You’ll typically ride a beast in a battle situation, but there are other occasions where you’ll use one to cross platforms or solve puzzles.
The new weapons offer an even greater variety of combat options than previous iterations. Whereas before you could rely on one or two weapons through most of the game, in God of War III each weapon serves a purpose, and in nearly all instances they can be used against any enemy. There are even some large battles where you’ll want to cycle through a few weapons to take advantage of your enemies’ weaknesses. At no point does changing weapons become distracting or disorienting. Each of the weapons is associated with a specific magic ability, meaning you’ll need to switch weapons to change magic abilities. Indeed, the ability to change weapons quickly during battles makes for a more streamlined and fluid combat experience. We absolutely love some of the new weapons – our favorite, The Cestus, can bash both enemies and objects to work through puzzles.
Puzzles are alive and well in God of War III. Like the previous games, you are tasked with pulling levers to rotate stone objects, and placing dead bodies on moveable tiles to open barriers. The puzzles can be difficult and time-consuming, but they are a welcome break from the relentless battles. The best thing about the puzzles in God of War III is how they play ... (continued on next page)