|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|
by Maria Montoro
It's been three years since God of War II came out for the PS2, and we thought this game wouldn't arrive soon enough. Luckily, the wait has finally come to an end, and so has Kratos' vengeance - at least, that's what he says. If you think about it, we've waited for this game longer than we did for the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy to end, so it better be good, right?
Fortunately, it doesn't disappoint. God of War III surpasses the first two God of War games in almost all possible ways; it has higher production values, high-definition graphics with an outstanding attention to detail, more expansive environments, more characters and enemies than ever, and a deep plot that puts the final seal on the mythological story that began back in 2005.
In Kratos' last quest, everyone has gone mad. Kratos couldn't have more rage and desperation, and the Titans themselves are determined to finish the Gods and destroy Olympus once and for all. Easier said than done, Gaia sets out to reach Zeus and kill him, but it is a rough climb. Kratos has the same goal in mind, but soon they'll both realize they have different priorities and motives. After all, Kratos has been to hell and back, he's destroyed his own city, killed his family, and executed the blood-thirsty Ares. He was even crowned God of War in the process, though that didn't last long. In this final chapter, he'll go through whatever steps necessary to kill his father Zeus, and that includes finding Pandora and her box, and unleashing the "power to kill a God." No easy feat, that's for sure, but, will he manage to do it? You'll have to finish the game to find that out, but all I can say is the ending will surprise you! It's a loooong surprise.
Unlike previous games, you start GOW 3 with a nice set of skills. Some of the items you collected during the second game are now part of your collection and will help you with the quest. The Wings of Icarus are extremely important this time around, letting you hover down to hard-to-reach areas, get through wide gaps, ascend to higher platforms via clouds of steam, etc. You'll also carry the powerful Blades of Athena, now loaded with a bunch more power and coupled with Kratos' unstoppable rage. Of course, things don't stop at that; you'll still have to collect orbs, use them for upgrades, and find new items to build up your arsenal. By the end of the game, Kratos will be able to do anything and everything - running at the speed of light, charging towards enemies, releasing ghostly creatures during fights, latching onto grapple points and airborne creatures, and blinding foes with light will be some of his tricks at hand.
The development team has managed to provide Kratos with very compelling abilities, magic powers, and weaponry this time around. All the main weapons are almost as desirable as the classic double-chains, each with their own twist, but with equally strong combo attacks and devastating results. One of my favorites is collected later in the game. It's the Navean Cestus. Once you upgrade them, these destructive metallic fists will power through enemies like there's no tomorrow. You can crack things open, crush opponents with a potent power-slam, and fight even the fiercest of bosses with confidence. Many will perish under Kratos' upgraded fists, their faces deformed and blood pouring out like an endless river.
If blood turns you on, you're in for a treat in God of War III. The amount of gore seen in this game can't compare with that of previous installments. Our furious warrior will rip enemies apart like they were made of paper, and his blades will cut through them like they were butter. Except that mostly everyone is made of flesh and bones, leading to gruesome scenes of terror. Agonizing civilians, harpies, centaurs, minotaurs, scorpions, soldiers, emaciated minions, and more, they all face the same gory fate at the hands of Kratos, all the while his body's showered in blood splatters.
Combat could have been a little more diverse in God of War III, and perhaps that's my biggest complaint. Though we're used to the combo-based attacks found in the other God of War titles, some more variety would have been nice, as we found ourselves repeating many of the same attacks over and over. Blocking is effective, which allows for satisfying counterstrikes, but at the end of the day, enemies die in the same four of five ways most of the time. We would have loved to see some more spectacular deaths other than the ones delivered to bosses and mini-bosses in only certain parts of the game.