God of War: what's the big deal?
- Posted March 5th, 2013 at 03:13 EDT by Richard Archer
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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