Games Meet Metal: God of War 3: The End Begins

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

God of War 3: The End Begins

God of War 2 finished on a torturing, hype-inducing cliff hanger that made it a very long, very hard 3 year wait for this juggernaut to be released. To recap, Zeus narrowly escapes death at the hands of Kratos during the finale of God of War 2, only to see him use his newly acquired time traveling ability to bring the titans to the present. Kratos, with the titans at his side, has waged war on the gods that betrayed him in an effort to destroy Olympus once and for all. Be warned, however, that if you could not stand Kratos and his ruthless, in-compassionate nature before, God of War 3 sure as hell won't change your mind. He is just as reckless and destructive as ever, and whether or not he's doing the right thing in his quest for vengeance is a whole 'nother question entirely. But again, this is Kratos, so who cares?

On to what's really important, which is the game itself. God of War 3 does not re-invent the action genre or turn it on its head in anyway. You know exactly what you're getting with this game, but it does everything it sets out to do (that is, provide a thrilling experience of unimaginable scale) in spades. There's more than enough action, puzzles, brilliant stage design, and unrelenting brutality to make this a worthy closer to one of the best trilogies in gaming*. One noticeable difference is the lack of the Plume of Prometheus (aka square, square, triangle), which makes it harder to rely solely on your trusty extendable blades than ever before. You will need to make good use of your magic attacks in this game. The puzzles are also much better than the previous games. They completely eschew the 'turn the crank while fending off enemies' nonsense that the earlier titles made heavy use of, and most of them (without spoiling anything) are not terribly stressful. There isn't much here to break you from the pacing and flow of the game.

The previous God of War games pushed the technological boundaries of the PS2 to their breaking point. Graphically, they were to PS2 what DKC was to SNES. They even look better than some of the earlier Xbox 360 and PS3 titles. God of War 3 is no different in that it pushes its respective hardware to the limit. The lighting and water effects are great, but the sheer sense of scale here will floor you. Some of the bosses here are big enough to be complete levels themselves, including an early battle with a certain sea god on the back of a titan. Believe me, you will not be disappointed.

One other minor complaint I have is the story. While it remains relatively faithful to Greek mythology compared to most other Greco-Roman inspired games, God of War 3 is far more convoluted and confusing than the first 2 which were more straightforward in their storytelling. It's almost as if the guys at Santa Monica borrowed Hideo Kojima and some random Square writers just for this game. While I was playing through it, I thought to myself "what the fuck is this? Take this pretentious crap out of my God of War and put it back in Kingdom Hearts where it belongs". But then again, Greek mythology itself is confusing too, so perhaps that's what they were going for. Still, it's easy to be disappointed.

Grade: 9.5/Slaytanic

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