|System: PS3||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: SONY Santa Monica||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: SONY||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Mar. 16, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The controls are about the same as in previous games, using the face buttons for light and heavy attacks, jumping, and grabbing enemies. The shoulder buttons are used for magic blows, alternative attacks, secondary weapons, grappling, etc. Once you collect new weapons, you can toggle through them with the D-pad. We had a few problems with the weapons randomly changing on us in the middle of battle, but perhaps it was all a product of the intense action and unavoidable button-mashing you run into after a while.
God of War III has almost non-stop action. You'll be done with a group of enemies, and soon enough you'll be fighting the next ones. Oftentimes, apparently inoffensive foes will seem stronger than certain bosses, which is puzzling and a bit discouraging. The game could have probably used a bit more balance and consistently escalate in difficulty, but instead, it gets a little repetitive and overly intense towards the end.
The God of War formula has changed a bit in GOW 3. Overall, there's less platforming. Also, the amount of puzzles and their increasing difficulty will surprise you. It's not just about pushing a box around to place it over a switch and keeping the gate open anymore. You'll come across some time-consuming puzzles that make this God of War more of a Prince of Persia or Tomb Raider kind of game. That's not to say the puzzles are not fun, because they are; it just seemed a little out of place for a typically action-packed, no-screwing-around franchise.
Of course, if anything has changed since the first God of War it is the visuals. The power of the PS3 has been pushed to the limits in God of War III, and probably the "power" of the developers too, who've paid plenty of attention to even the smallest of details. The world of God of War III is vast and full of creatures, ever-changing locations and environments, and a Kratos with more war scars and wrinkles than a sixty-year-old veteran. The Ghost of Sparta carries along a gloomy past, and you can tell by the look of his dry, ashen skin, as well as his angry and disgusted facial expressions. GOW 3 looks amazing in high-definition, and most textures are so rich they look real.
As you can imagine, God of War III is an expensive, high-quality production. For that very reason, an A+ soundtrack is to be expected. The music is excellent and does a great job of setting the mood for combat. It makes Kratos seem powerful and almighty, getting us ready for battle as we hear "Kraaaatos Kraaaatosss!" The only thing I would have done differently is adding a fresh touch to the soundtrack with a few more varied music tracks. In that regard, it didn't seem like we were playing a brand new game, but rather a continuation of the second one. The voice acting is as good as always, making each of the characters believable, which is the ultimate goal.
All in all, God of War III is everything you were expecting and more. It really delivers with extremely upgraded graphics, a quality soundtrack, easy-to-learn controls, varied weapons and powers, challenging battles, enemy diversity, plenty of boss battles, immersive puzzles, a story that ties up the loose ends, and much more. My only gripe is the lack of innovation, so perhaps it's a good thing the story has come to an end, even if we're sad about it. With at least 12 hours of gameplay the first time around, items to be used in a second play-through, unlockable challenges, and some of the best graphics ever seen in an adventure game, there are quite a few reasons for you to pick up God of War III, so don't miss out!
CCC Site Director