God of War 3 [ PS3 Review]

Developer/Co-Developer: SCE Studios Santa Monica
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Release Date: March 16, 2010
Rating: M (Mature)
ESRB Content Descriptors: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Nudity, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content

God of War 3Kratos is back in the third instalment of the God of War series.  GoW3 had big expectations to live up to from both the industry and gamers.  Not only did this title live up to these expectations, it pummelled them; Spartan style.  After having recently played the God of War HD Collection, I was more than ready to take this one on.

The story picks up exactly where God of War 2 left off.  The Ghost of Sparta is continuing his quest to take down Zeus and anybody who stands in his way.  The combat is brutal!  The good people at SCE Studios Santa Monica managed to make the GoW 1&2 (rated M) look like little kid games.  Kratos’ finishing moves are delightfully brutal and imaginative and interactions between he and other mortals most often end up in tragedy for them and bloody fun for you.

The 1080i graphics are simply stunning.  Kratos looks amazing and lethal.  SCE Studios Santa Monica put a pain-staking amount of time refining every detail of the game.  There is nothing left lacking; from the ripples of Kratos’ muscles, facial expressions, eye movement to every visceral cut you inflict on your enemies, you are left with a sense of awe.  The one thing that sold me on the high quality of work was all of the action in the background; the environment is completely responsive.  I spent a few minutes running around an area simply because I was amazed at how the horizon, visible through a small cave mouth in the distance, was moving in direct relation to my placement on screen.  This is nothing compared to the battles fought atop of the mighty Titans.  With all of the detail put into the gameplay graphics, the animations are exactly what you would expect…AMAZING!

Believe it or not, the voice acting helps make the game the masterpiece that it is.  They decided to record the actors in pairs this time around, for the most part, rather than individually.  This small touch adds an element of timing and interactions between characters are more fluid as a result of this.  I had fun trying to match names to the character voices and enjoyed watching the behind the scenes videos to see who they all were.  The music and choir help enhance the epic feeling of your journey.  The music ebbs and flows as you fight your way through hordes of mythological creatures, Olympians and Titans.

The in-game sound is rich.  You get to hear the sound of your chained blades whirling through the air, clanging against walls and slicing your enemies to pieces.  You hear every bone-crushing blow delivered, every organ spilling out; in short, amazing.  The properties of the sound change as well, depending on your environment; caverns, corridors, high-vaulted chambers, outdoor cityscapes sound as they should.  The sound team delivers a robust product that complements the game.

The control scheme is pretty much identical to the original games.  This is a good thing because “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”  The controls are relatively simple which lets the player focus on the game rather than trying to perform complex button combinations to perform killer combos.  One of the changes in the game comes when performing your finishing moves.  Rather than having the required button push show up in the middle of the action, obstructing the view, they appear on the far edges of your screen that correspond to the appropriate button; X on the bottom, O on the right, etc.
Some of the puzzle solving is a little tedious, but keep at it; it can be done, even if you have to run around for a bit.  The button pushing sequences of the puzzles can get frustrating; novice players may have a hard time with it.

Thank the Gods for the wonderful array of gear that you collect in order to wreak mayhem.  You get to start out with the Wings of Icarus, the Golden Fleece and Blades of Athena.  The blades soon get upgraded to the Blades of Exile.  As you progress, you will acquire the Claws of Hades, the Nemesis Whip, the Blade of Olympus, Apollo’s Bow and the Nemean Cestus.  Each primary weapon has a corresponding spell; Army of Hades, Hephaestus Fury, Army of Sparta and Nemean Roar.  Throughout the game, you will also take the Boots of Hermes and Head of Helios with its Solar Flare ability.

Mature content warning
This game is not for kids.  The violence and gore is over the top and the nudity and sexual content is for mature audiences only.

Bonuses
The DVD comes bundled with trailers for Grand Turismo 5, Heavy Rain, ModNation Racers, and MAG.
Upon completion of the game, you gain access to hidden Treasures;   bonus combat challenges, a new costume, and behind the scenes videos.  If you complete all of the combat challenges it will unlock the Combat Arena.

Crave Factor – 9.0
(Out of 10)

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