As I ran home from work with my copy of God of War III, such thoughts popped up in my head: Would the game live up to the hype? How high would it set the bar for other games by taking gaming to a level that hasn’t yet been seen?
But right in its first hour, GoW III puts more ‘awe’ in awesome than any game in the history of gaming. It makes sure you don’t leave your couch even if you see your house burning down around you.
Plot and platforming
The God of War series has always been appreciated for its powerful plot, and this game is no different. You step once again into the boots of Kratos as he strives to take down Zeus (the God of Gods) and the rest of Mount Olympus.
Part three takes place immediately after the events of GoW II, which means you start with powers from part two such as the Wings of Icarus, Golden Fleece, etc. And soon you gain weapons that can be upgraded via red orbs dropped by enemies or picked up from crates.
You get four weapons throughout the game, each of which when used along with doses of magic transform into great combos. Quick time events, something this series pioneered, are a lot more forgiving this time around, which means you’ll have little more than a split second to press the control prompts on-screen.
Besides navigating Greek mythology, you will spend a fair amount of time platforming and completing puzzles. There are fewer puzzles in this game than in the second iteration, and most of them are tied down to lever and crate pushing.
Platforming (the video game activity of jumping from one platform to another) could have been an issue with the uncontrollable camera and all, but the programmers at Santa Monica are thankfully really good at their job so it’s rarely an issue.
So much more bloodshed
The GoW series has always been well known for its over-the-top boss fights. This game takes that notion, throws it out of the window and dishes out stuff you’ve only dreamed of or experienced in computer graphics (CG).
Nothing can mentally prepare you for boss encounters. As colossal as the bosses are, they’re still no match for Kratos’ rage, and proceed to get beat in violent ways.
As far as presentation is concerned, there’s no game that even comes close to GoW III. This game aptly showcases the graphical prowess of the PlayStation 3. I am a huge fan of Uncharted 2, but this game pretty much upped the ante in every way possible. Character design is flawless and you will be shocked by the amount of detail poured into pivotal characters.
Level design is phenomenal, the animation top notch and creature design brilliant. Special mention: the game’s lighting engine, which is the best in the business.
Although, the game makes you backtrack reusing older levels albeit with different powers and weapons. Also, it feels slow paced in the middle. Maybe this has to do with the really pacy opening, but these niggles are minor and don’t detract from the experience.
GoW III is epic. It excels in visuals, audio, combat and story. It’s still a linear game and there’s no multiplayer mode, but you won’t care about that once you’ve completed the game. The game will release on March 16 for the PS3.
Avinash Bali is Tech2’s Channel Editor for Gaming. If you haven’t guessed, his take on games is more the violence, better the game.