I am WAR!
It's been an interesting saga but the story of Kratos, mortal, god, adversary of the gods is about to come to an end, and it does so with a bang so big that the very foundations of Olympus quake. We're talking about the stellar climax to the God of War series with God of War 3 on the PS3.
Kratos has come a long way from the Ghost of Sparta we saw in God of War, back on the PS2. He's still as angry as ever and betrayed now on all sides by the gods and in turn the titans, it's time for Kratos to settle the score with some good old brutal and bloody vengeance, no longer does he listen to the gods or the titans, he's a one man Spartan army and he's going to take the world apart before he's done.
The story to God of War 3 neatly wraps up Kratos' story and is packed with action and adventure, there are some iffy moments of storytelling but overall it's a nice solid journey from beginning to ultimate end.
This game does not really deviate from the norm that is God of War; it brings past elements of the last two games back and does so in a nicely done package. There are some improvements to the overall UI, the Quick-Time-Events seem to be better managed and there's far less annoying trial and error in the boss combat compared to the previous games in the series. Kratos has some new attacks, some new weapons and some new puzzle elements to contend with - all of which I'm not going to spoil. All the new weapons are introduced gradually and with them come new opportunities to put the beat down on your foes.
The camera is still locked to a specific view point and that can mean you may plunge off the end of the jump, misjudge a leap or fail to see a specific place that you're meant to go. Most of the time it behaves itself and gives you a clear view of what's going on and who you need to tear into bloody salsa. The controls are the same as God of War; Kratos can break out heavy and light attacks, jump, dodge and counter using some of the toys that he picked up from the previous game.
He can still grapple and mutilate stunned or weak enemies, as well as perform a variety of brutal finishers on his foes by participating in minor QTE's. He has items that have item-power now and can switch between them at will, the same goes for his weapons and equipping a specific weapon opens up the magical power for that particular weapon.
That's basically it, there's action, brutal combat, puzzle solving and epic confrontations with the usual amount of climbing and leaping around the various environments looking for hidden things to power up Kratos' health, magic and power bars.
God of War 3 is a nice looking game, amidst all the limb tearing, blood splashes and mighty carnage of Kratos' rampage. There are some truly epic vistas that have been brought to life with gorgeous detail and it is at times, one of the best looking PS3 games out there since Uncharted 2. It has some superb architectural design for the environments and some really slick lighting, shadow and graphical effects. The scale of some of the confrontations in God of War 3 rivals that of the mighty Colossus in God of War 2 and the visceral nature of the combat is brought to life with just the right amount of graphical gore.
It's not just the graphics that do God of War 3 justice, the animations are gorgeously done with a great attention to detail given to Kratos' violent combat moves, running, walking, jumping and gurning at the camera (he pulls some funny faces at times when he's being all macho-angry) during some of the cut-scenes. There are also some amazing set piece animations and large boss-style characters in the game. It's a visual feast for the eyes.
Like the Conan game before it, God of War 3 models with exacting detail the gizzards and insides of many of the large beasts, especially the Centaurs, which are gutted in an excruciatingly painful scene that leaves gobbets of blood and ties into the physics system with flopping internal bits bobbing about all over the place as Kratos makes a couple of incisions here and there with surgical precision. Apart from that, the physics is a little low key but does what it sets out to do.
The sound system for God of War 3 is great, there are the cries of the damned in Hades' realm, the screams of the dying and the clash of battle as godlike powers are thrown by Helios towards a titan in a particularly fantastic combat scene. All in all, the entire sound suite is excellent and I can't grumble.
The music to God of War 3 is some of the best yet, suitably dramatic sweeping pieces combine with a rousing battle score to deliver an excellent soundtrack to match the on-screen action.
Voice and Dialogue
All of the voice parts in the game are acted superbly; Kratos is as growly and angry as ever. Simon Templeman adds his voice (is he in every other game now) to the proceedings alongside a high quality performance from every member of the cast, including Malcom McDowell of all people, who is better known as Admiral Tolwyn from Wing Commander 3. The script has a few inconsistencies but it delivers an epic Spartan adventure that concludes the series nicely.
None, not a single drop of it.
A fitting end to the saga of Kratos and not the end of the God of War franchise by a long shot. God of War 3 is a superbly made game that has a massive dose of quality, things to unlock to provide replay value and challenge modes that become available later on. There are outfits for you to earn and a series of difficulty levels that will challenge the most hardened God of War gamer. If you want the true experience, play it on the hardest difficulty you can.
Don't rent this one, buy it!