God of War: what's the big deal?
- Posted March 5th, 2013 at 03:13 EDT by Richard Archer
- 31 Comments
One of the most important rules of work is that you should never tell your boss you haven't done something. Why? Because whatever it is you haven't done immediately becomes your next job, whether you want to do it or not.
Now the other day I found myself breaking this rule when I mentioned to a PlayStation Universe editor that I had never played God of War 3.
"I'll lend you a copy," he said, "but on the condition you write something up about playing the game for the first time." There are worse jobs, I thought--so I thought.
Now, despite not having played God of War 3, I have read a bit about it, I expected to play what I call a " button-mashing-beat-em-up-puzzler," but beyond that I can't say I know much else. The only defence for my ignorance is that I was probably playing something else when God of War 3 was released, so my curiosity finally kicked in: had I missed a great game or not?
Before receiving the game, I decided to stay away from all things God Of War until the disc arrived, and then limit my pre-game reading to the box and the instruction book only. But it would seem the best laid plans of mice and reviewers can go easily astray, since this is all I received.
OK. I think nothing of it, except to fire up the PlayStation and start playing.
My first impression as the game hummed into life and the intro movie blasted across the screen is that it felt like I was watching the film 300 again; in fact, I got so caught up watching the intro that I nearly forgot there was a game to be played.
So, I press start and find that I had to watch another movie that's only purpose I could see is to quickly get the wafer-thin plot out-of-the-way, but both movies have whetted my appetite and I look forward to playing the game.
At last, the cinematics end and I'm in charge of Kratos. Before I have time to ready myself, I'm assaulted from all sides. My first thoughts as the bad guys coming flying at me are how good the game looks and how smoothly the action flows. I also love the way as you progress that the game screen shows you the bigger picture of the story as a background to your endeavours.
Anyway, I have to stop thinking as a Leviathan launches itself at me, forcing me to quickly realise that my indiscriminate button-mashing tactics are all well and good, but I need to learn how to dodge. The Leviathan puts up a good fight and throws me a sneaky left hook with a quick time event, all the while still looking graphically gorgeous.
With the Leviathan down, it's onwards, upwards, downwards and sideways as well. I start to feel quite cocky and try to use the bad guys as battering rams to fairly good effect.
Then, God of War 3 decides it time to administer a swift kick to my happy sacks and destroy all my cockiness as I come across Poseidon. Straight away, I'm out of my league as my devil-may-care attitude to combos, fighting and dodging instantly show when I die quickly. I try again, but my heart isn't in it, as I know the game depends on me learning how to control Kratos properly. Since this is something I have semi-ignored, I decide It's time to find an online control guide. .
Later, armed with some instructions as to how to actually properly control Kratos, I start the game again and find myself quickly entering back into the flow of the game. After a few more play sessions, I begin to find myself divided in my opinion of God of War 3. Sure it looks great, plays smoothly and has just the right combination of puzzles and action, but I'm not enjoying my time playing it.
It's like someone buying me a pint of beer that comes out a great looking tap, is served in a cut crystal pint glass, has the perfect golden hue and a fantastic smell of hops and fruit. But when I try a sip of this marvellous looking elixir I find I don't like the taste, while the bloke next to me necks his pint without pausing to draw breath.
Firstly, I ... (continued on next page)
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- 3:45am EST - March 5th, 2013
@ Richard Archer - I disagree with your opinion. However, you didn't indicate if you've played the first and second God of War games from the PS2/HD Collection. Seeing as the story of 3 is the finale, I think it's important to of played 1 and 2 in order to have a chance to feel emotionally invested in the journey of Kratos.
- 3:50am EST - March 5th, 2013
Agree with jacobia (#1)
I played 1,2,3,Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta, and I loved every one of them
Edit: Also, how dare you not like Kratos, he's gaming's number one BADASS
- 3:51am EST - March 5th, 2013
I have never played 1 or 2 but there are lots of games where I never played the first ones that engaged me. Bioshock 2 and any of the Tomb Raider games spring to mind
Eliphaz Levi | Eliphaz
- 3:56am EST - March 5th, 2013
Hello, been visiting this site about a year & it is part of my daily routine, by far 1 of the best gaming sites, imho. This article drove me to the point of attempting to register here again (as i failed originally- & resorted to psn messaging a writer here - & he replied!! awesum site & people). Wow it worked!! So what did I find to be so important to require a 2nd attempt at posting on this fine site ( beside blowing smoke up your bums?)GOW SUCKS!!! Im so relieved another individual agrees with me, as apparently the rest of the world loves button mashing quiktime over masculised chest beating (even my own dear family and friends). Honestly i thought I'd have to visit a other-box fan-boy forum to hear it (but even they like it !?!?- perhaps the truest proof).Its pretty I'll give them that, it WAS fairly original, with its proper implemention of quiktime button mashing (in the original) but a few incarnations later its the same immersion stealing quik time shallow kratos with its wonky camara & button mashing splendour.Great article you have expressed my opinion perfectly. And in the process vindicated my view- GOW is so much bleh under pretty graphics.Thanks & sorry 4 ranting.
- 4:03am EST - March 5th, 2013
Sounds like someone's never played the first two games. If you haven't then you would mistakenly think the story is thin and the character is one dimensional. That is glaringly obvious.
It is the same as watching the third Lord of the Rings movie without watching the first two. There is no way you would get the story. Skewed viewpoint.
- 4:05am EST - March 5th, 2013
glad you enjoyed it Eliphaz, Kratos is I feel the marmite of characters. :)
- 4:06am EST - March 5th, 2013
Site always makes me double post. WTH?
- 4:10am EST - March 5th, 2013
if i have to play every game in a series before the current release then something is wrong, even LOTR has a recap so you can watch any film you want.
Fazi Ali Shah | godofwar3
- 5:34am EST - March 5th, 2013
i like god of war serious.... i play god owar 1 ,2 ,3 and god of sparten and chain of olympus... i m play first time in 2005 good of war one. and i have 8 years experians of god of war serious. honestly this is a great game in my life.......
Ghost-Rhayne | Ghost-Rhayne
- 5:49am EST - March 5th, 2013
Most of us PlayStation guys grew up with Kratos. He has been a staple of the PlayStation brand for ages and I think we have a different perspective than someone who jumps in now. Kind of like how many who played MGS4 as their first Metal Gear game couldn't understand what the fuss was about. A lot of us have "known" Kratos for around 8 years and have followed his story since the beginning, so its just different. YOu don't get that by jumping in on the current gen iteration.
- 6:10am EST - March 5th, 2013
not getting Kratos because you never grew up with him is an interesting point as nostalgia can make big money. Its interesting though that GOW 4 is a prequel almost as if even the designers think people need to reconnect somehow with this 'popular' character.
- 6:34am EST - March 5th, 2013
@ Richard616 - With regards to your 2 examples of Bioshock 2 and Tomb Raider, those franchises have self contained stories, and therefore can be played irrespective of eachother. With the GoW franchise, specifically 1, 2 and 3, the story evolves and culminates in the final showdown of 3. I liked your referencing of LotR films, but if I had only seen RotK, I wouldn't of enjoyed it as much if I hadn't seen FotR and tTT, as the chronological order gives the 3rd film greater depth and meaning.
As for the prequel game GoW:A, the ultimate purpose of all video games is to make their developers and publishers money.
- 6:40am EST - March 5th, 2013
Jacobia, I agree you are spot on with Bioshock and Tomb Raider a poor choice of examples from me :(
Fazi Ali Shah | godofwar3
- 8:11am EST - March 5th, 2013
i also paly and like, uncharted 1 2 3 and kill zone 1 2 3 and darksider 1 2, and super mario series, and etc. butt i sey the best cracter is KRATOS. listen me WHY peopel like xbox360? he have no big games and cractor, like uncharted, kill zone, last of us, kratos............ i play 360 games, HONESTLY i hate HELLO, AND GREAS OF WAR..... THIS IS BORING GAME...........
- 8:35am EST - March 5th, 2013
Proof that opinions can be wrong. Every game in the God of War series has been a masterpiece and God of War III is the best in the series. Also why would you start with GoW3 then slag off the characters and story? It's like reading the final third of a book and then forming an opinion of the entire story arch from that, moronic. Your complaints are juvenile, petty and nonsensical, it must suck to be part of an insignificant bitter minority when the rest of the world enjoys the most critically acclaimed, bestselling and most beloved franchise in the genre of all time. It's also Sony's second biggest and by a significant margin the most beloved Sony exclusive franchise nearing 4.5 million fans on the biggest Facebook fan-page which is more than every other exclusive franchise combined.
TristanPR77 | Tristan77
- 10:23am EST - March 5th, 2013
Totally disagree with the author. God of War 3 is one of the best games I ever played, I love the series overall and the story. Kratos is #1 bad as of the whole gaming industry. I played the new GOW demo and I can say that I am an addict of the action provided in GOW games plus playing multilayer online will be amazing. Hope to see GOW on PS4
A_Drifter | A_Drifter
- 10:34am EST - March 5th, 2013
I do have to say that I wasn't really impressed with the GOW Franchise. (Let hate mail pour in.) I felt that it is a Carbon copy of the DMC series, (also not really a fan.) I am a fan of puzzle games and beat em ups, but the way Kratos went about himself rubbed me the wrong way. Kratos is Sony's baby, and I understand that, but Kratos is treated like he is the end all be all character and that he puts other things to shame, while in fact he is a very flat character with no decernable relation to us the players. Consider Infamous 1 and Assassin's Creed 1, I liked both of these characters, they seemed resonable and had a personality, but then the studios or the publishers felt that the characters were unrelatable to the audience... -_-
Tears0fBlood | Bl00dC0mplex
- 11:38am EST - March 5th, 2013
Kratos is in no way a flat character, compared to most protoganists he's quite interesting to say the least. The way he does things may not be the right or best way but its a lot of fun, and makes him one of few very grey characters.
- 11:45am EST - March 5th, 2013
Each to their own I guess. I can understand people not liking God of War, I really can. It is a no holds bared hack and slash game that is over the top and bombastic in a way that makes Michael Bay look tame in comparison. I have to admit the series is a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine. I'm normally more likely to list games like Ico or Okami as favourites, but I do love me a bit of mindless Kratos themed violence. Sure the bloke is 2D in terms of his character, and is arguably as shallow as a puddle, BUT... and it is a big BUT (he he big butt, ahem) you can't really fairly judge the story arc in GoW3 without having played the first two games. Yep, you can comment on gameplay and it's repetitive nature or otherwise. You can even pick apart the graphics, sound, AI and whatever else. However, slating a game that has had a consistent story arc from the first game onwards, including some backstory infill on from the PSP games, on its story without having experienced them all is bad form, and poor journalism in my book. Your entitled to your opinion, but if you are going to give an opinion it is encumbent on you to inform yourself about that topic as much as you can, which sadly I have to say you clearly haven't done.
- 12:11pm EST - March 5th, 2013
For the record. God of War: Ascension is not God of War IV.
This will permanently ban this user and delete all associated comments. This action is irreversible, are you SURE you want to do this?!