The God of War series is one that has received a lot of praise over the years for its incredible presentation and visceral combat. God of War III, supposedly the last game in this trilogy, is meant to send off the series with a bang. Simply put, the game does not disappoint, and it shows off the power of the PS3 in a way that has yet to be seen, even in last year’s big hit, Uncharted 2.
The game picks up directly after the events of God of War II, in which Kratos has teamed up with the Titans to try and stop Zeus and bring down Mount Olympus for good. Kratos is in it for revenge, but you soon find out the Titans all have another reason to take down the king of the Gods himself. The story unfolds nicely, and is a lot less convoluted than the one found in God of War II. Best of all, the ending, while short-lived, is a nice end to Kratos’ journey.
In terms of the presentation, God of War III is like no other. The opening moments where you find Kratos riding on top of Gaia, one of the Titans, as she climbs Mount Olympus, is pure eye candy. And shortly after, you are thrown right into the game, where many different things are all happening at once. Not only is Kratos fighting off enemies himself, Gaia is being attacked by one of the other Gods, Poseidon. You not only struggle to not fall off of the Titan, but you must protect her from the attack while trying to save yourself in the process. It’s one of those moments that will go down in gaming history as one of the best openings around.
The music is equally as enjoyable. As you make your way through the game, you are accompanied by an orchestral score that rivals that found in even the best of films. With songs that can be adrenaline pumping at times, and incredibly haunting at others, the music is as unforgettable as the rest of the experience is.
Gameplay has remained relatively the same, but the combat has been almost perfected as you perform devastating moves and combos that really make you feel like you are Kratos. Each attack is satisfying, and it lends itself to the incredibly violent nature of the series well, with moments that may make even the least squeamish people cringe.
The boss battles in particular are all incredible and truly memorable experiences. Some of these battles can last ten minutes, while others may last over 30, with many different parts to them, and many other enemies to fight in between these parts. Nothing is more satisfying than taking down some of these huge encounters as they continue to become more rewarding than the last.
You get a total of four weapons in the game, each with its own upgrades and magical attack. You can switch between the weapons on the fly, and even switch between them mid-combo for some deadly results. During the most intense fights later on in the game, the ability to switch between weapons so fluidly is essential to taking down the waves upon waves of enemies.
As you upgrade each weapon, you gain new attacks as well as stronger versions of your magical abilities. These abilities can truly turn the tides of battle in your favor, as they become more and more of a priority during combat the further you get into this adventure. You also get other items along your way, including the Bow of Apollo that shoots flaming arrows and can take out enemies from afar, as well as the Head of Helios, which can reveal secrets in the game and blind enemies.
Also, in regards to upgrades, you can increase your health, magic, and item powers as you find different hidden objects around the game. For each three of a certain object you find, one of your three meters will increase, which can be crucial near the end of the game. You may not find it necessary to go for these hidden items, you will regret it if you miss too many of them.
There are some camera problems that may get in your way during some of the larger encounters and platforming sections, but this is a very small problem that should not interfere too much with your overall enjoyment of the game. And aside from the combat, which is the meat of the game, there are also puzzles. And while they are few and far between, the ones that are present are very well designed. They break up the action nicely, and add a few interesting twists to the gameplay, which might have become too repetitive without these small sections.
God of War III has exceeded all of my expectations and has turned this series into one of the best in terms of action games. You will not find a more polished, well thought-out, and well executed game on the PS3, and that is saying a lot.
Pros: Amazing presentation; incredibly satisfying combat; memorable boss battles; well designed puzzles; wraps up the story of the series nicely
Cons: Some camera issues