Review: God of War III (PS3)

GoW3

Title: God of War III
Release Date: March 16, 2010

As I’ve said on the show before, I always appreciated the God of War series, but it’s never been my top choice for an action game. My fear with God of War 3 was, as it’s been in the first two, that I would get to a section that was so immensely frustrating that I would just quit and never return to it. I’ve never been a fan of the “pure action” titles in the past, so my expectations for GoW3 from a gameplay perspective were pretty low.

Boy, was I wrong.

God of War 3 is nothing short of perfection, and is the best looking game on any platform, ever. Trust me, I can’t believe that I wrote that either.

Where do I begin? The first thing you’ll notice is that the reported “new type of Anti-Aliasing,” and it is insanely impressive. Nothing shows “jaggies” nor is any shimmering evident either. The lighting is the best I’ve ever seen, and all of the shadows are real (no “tricks” or “cheats” are noticeable at all.) Every character has an immense amount of detail, including rippling muscles under the skin, and the skin actually glistens in direct light. One of the most amazing lighting techniques is when there’s a powerful light-source behind an object in the distance, and if you move to the right or left, the light blazes into the screen in all of its HDR glory. Textures are detailed, and at no time did either of us see any texture popping or de-resolution, even for things far in the distance. Animation is great, and the little details are all there, including facial expressions, and interaction between objects.

I guess if you have to “ding” anything, on a couple of occasions, the camera going around a corner didn’t catch-up right away, but it in no way took away from the game. Using the fixed camera as they always have in this series, they obviously have a lot more control over what’s on the screen, and when you see the depth of the visuals, your jaw will hit the floor. The visuals aren’t leaps and bounds over Uncharted 2, but it is a good jump. Also, throughout the entire game, I came across 1 visual glitch…. 1. A shadow on a floor changed abruptly when Kratos walked past a certain section of the floor and back. I actually had to walk back-and-forth a couple of times until my buddy could even see it.

This game is all about scale, and if you think that God of War 2 huge set pieces and huge boss fights, God of War 3 exceeds it greatly. Some of the boss battles I still can’t believe I went through. It still relies on quicktime events and some button mashing, but the mechanics have definitely been improved. Controls are spot-on throughout the entire game, and definitely feel better than the first two. The mixture of “cut-scene” and gameplay is well done, and the pacing is excellent. Everything here uses the game engine this time around (I do think that some scenes are probably done like in Ratchet and Clank, where it is actually a video file so they can load data during the scene, but I can’t be sure.) Load Times are almost non-existent, as the entire game streams from the disc (yup, no install.)

The soundtrack is truly epic, and fits the game perfectly. All of the voice acting is superb, and the cast is a very recognizable list of well-known Hollywood talent. I mean, come on, they got Kevin Sorbo to play Hercules!!!! They also thank Elijah Wood in the credits for some reason, which had us scratching our heads. The story, while not A Tale of Two Cities, is actually pretty cool, and continues down the path that the first 2 games started. The dialog is enjoyable, and helps with the pacing of the rest of the experience. There’s some pretty messed-up stuff going on here, and they obviously don’t pull any punches. Even a favorite minigame from the series makes a comeback, but it actually becomes a necessity this time around.

Overall, my play-through was roughly 10-11 hours, which to me was perfect. There’s definitely incentive for you Trophy Hunters to replay the game, and the included bonuses on the disc (most of which doesn’t unlock until you finish the game) are very well done. Along with a new costume, there’s a “Making-of” video that’s pretty lengthy, and some of the cinematics from the game become available to be viewed at any time. Included below are a bunch of screenshots from the first 30 minutes of the game. I didn’t want to go any farther, as my goal is to always try and stay away from spoiler-country. The screenshots were all taken by me using our capture system, and nothing has been doctored. All of the shots below are actual gameplay.

I can’t stress this enough, God of War III is THAT good. It is a system-seller, and is a game that just about everybody should at least rent (unless you’re too young to play it, they don’t pull any punches.) It ties the story up very nicely, and is definitely a game that I plan to play through again (my trophies are on my friend’s account :-P) In so many words, yes, God of War 3 was worth waiting for, and it definitely made a believer out of me.

Score:
9.5

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  • Guest

    it’s actually Five games .. there was a mobile game created that spanned Kratos’s time as a God on Olympus and how he was framed due to jealously that ensued about him from the other Gods … it was actually good (story wise) but I’m not sure if it’s Canon …

    • Anonymous

      Mongoloid, someone already commented

  • Anonymous

    there’s actually five games total including the mobile game created for phones which tells a story of Kratos during his time as God before the events of God of War II. He is betrayed by the Gods, framed, and results in some of his hatred towards them … it’s actually not half bad but I’m not sure if it’s Canon.

  • vorcia

    you forgot about god of war betrayal so technically this is the 5th god of war game

  • madeup6

    Mobile phone games don't count…

  • MichaelPancake

    Great review. Simply the best looking game I have ever played and the story is top-notch to match the game play. I'm playing through again already :). The game blowed me away and is a reason to buy a PS3 if you don't already own one. God of War 3 shatters expectations

  • MichaelPancake

    Great review. Simply the best looking game I have ever played and the story is top-notch to match the game play. I'm playing through again already :). The game blowed me away and is a reason to buy a PS3 if you don't already own one. God of War 3 shatters expectations

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