First Impression: After three years of waiting, I was excited to finally bring home the long awaited God of War 3. I took the disc out of the case, put it into my PlayStation 3 gaming console, and was very impressed with the opening video.
After watching the events leading up to God of War 3 unfold in a stylistic silhouette art type, I was immediately drawn into the game play. I was impressed with the art style, graphics, and game play. I began thinking what to rate the game right away; based on the opening.
After a few moments of awe, I placed the game at a 9.9 and almost rated it 10 (If it wasn't for a really bad audio clip). However that 9.9 has since changed. After the first few minutes of playing the game, and a few problems, my high 9.9 quickly came down.
The battle with the water horse at the beginning of the game fed my long awaited God of War fix. Not only was I fighting on the back of mother earth, but I was fighting gods on the back of mother earth, while the terrain constantly changed. One time I actually had to fight the water horse upside down, which is pretty difficult if you don't know what you're doing.
A little further down the line, you actually get to see Aries again in his ice encased tomb. It's quite easy to miss, but catching it your first play through really adds to the awesomeness of the first fight.
In traditional god of war fashion, Kratos starts off with all of his powers from the previous games and loses them shortly after. Following another tradition, Kratos also gets sent to hell in every god of war game. God of War 3 is no exception, and at the end of the first boss fight you immediately have both those clichés hit you in the face. But if you were as excited as I was, it probably won't bother you.
Still, the first impression is quite good, and deserves a 9/10.
Graphics - 10/10
Simply put, this may very well be the best looking game ever made. Not only are the textures near perfect. The art direction, filters, and color pallet is absolutely superb for every environment. The game's resolution is only 1080i though. I find it quite troubling that Sony has yet to release a first party exclusive that is 1080p. Even the great looking Uncharted 2, and Killzone 2 were only 720p. I just don't understand why Sony takes the easy way out.
Still, that doesn't take away much from the game, and the only real problem I have is how the filters are over used. It's not that they're bad, but it makes the entire game feel really dull and uninspired after awhile. But to be fair, you never really lose the amazement of how good it looks.
Game Play - 10/10
Let me begin by saying I love the god of war game play. It's nice to finally have a game for the PlayStation 3 where I can unleash my rage on zombies and other various creatures. To be perfectly honest, I think that God of War 3 may be better then the previous God of War games when comparing the enemies, weapons, and magic.
I especially love the boss battles in this game. Who would have thought killing the ancient Greek god's would be so fun. You even get to kill my least favorite Greek god of all, Hercules.
Side battles are even more intense then the previous games, and require quite a bit of skill on the harder difficulties. The variety of creatures you brutally massacre ensures the side battles never get too boring.
One aspect I disliked when playing through the game is how little puzzle solving is involved. Another equally annoying aspect is the fact that there are very few breaks in between boss battles. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining about any of the fights. But I feel they could have put a little more meat in between them.
In the previous God of War games, there were a lot more puzzles, and they were a lot harder. This game really feels like it's trying to baby you with the difficulty of the puzzles. Many of the puzzles don't even make sense. In one of the puzzles, I turned a nob that unlocks two arms which hit a statue's chest to drop down the dead goddess Persephone. Then I needed to lock the arms back up again.
It's like a dog running in circles chasing his tail! It's completely absurd when the puzzles in the previous games are far better then the new game. Aside from those issues, most aspects of the God of War 3 are still superior to the previous God of War games, and a lot gamers agree, the game play is a lot better.
The main problem I have with God of War 3's game play is the amount of backtracking there is. The backtracking may not be as annoying as other games, and to be fair the way I used the term 'backtracking' may not be technically correct because you get back to the previous area a different way, rather then having to run through the same environment.
You go to Hades a total of three times in the game, and the level design and color pallet becomes dull after awhile. I know I mentioned The Hades design in the graphics review, but I feel that going back and forward between one dull environment and another gets on your nerves after awhile.
The challenges after you beat the game are back, but they are REALLY lack luster. I managed to beat the Challenge of Olympus in about half an hour, yet the challenges in the previous games took me 2 hours. The lack of challenges are very disappointing.
They tried to make up for the lack of challenges by introducing battle arena, but that barely makes up for what is lost in the challenges. I would prefer to have tougher challenges, but to be fair I haven't done challenge of exile yet, which may prove to be harder.
Even with the slight backtrack flaws, and the over indulgence with boss battles. God of War 3 has superior game play to it's predecessors, and I would recommend that if you didn't like the other two because of how long they dragged on, then try this one because it most definitely is more fast paced then the others.
Sound - 10/10
The music in god of war has always been one of the high points in the series. A sort of metal with an orchestra behind it. The music is extremely pleasing to the ears, (if you like metal that is). Not only does the music start at the perfect times, and reflect the battles flawlessly, but it also captures the true 'epicness' of Kratos. Anyone who manages to get their hands on the soundtrack is sure to find at least one song they enjoy.
Voice acting in this game is considered weak by some, and terrible by others. I personally think it's in between, it's not good but it's not bad. I don't like the voice actor who plays Hermes, or the one who plays Hercules. I do like whoever did the voice over for Hephaestus, and Pandora isn't bad either.
To be honest, I didn't pay attention to the dialog too much, because there is not much dialogue. There is only about 3 pages of dialogue in total, unless you count every time Kratos grunts, but I think this is something you can over look.
Just because the music is good doesn't mean the sound effects are just as good. This is one of the down points of the game, and has been for every single God of War game. It is still very pleasing to the ear, For this reason I give it a 10/10.
Presentation - 5/10
The God of War series is one of my favorite story-lines. I can't really explain why I love it so much, besides the fact that Kratos is the ultimate bad ass who will kill anyone who even looks at him oddly. I just seem to enjoy the story since the first God of War game..
That all changes here. At the beginning I really enjoyed where the third game was going, but slowly it starts introducing a very weak story that appears to have been written in thirty minutes.
Honestly I think most people could have written a better story in a afternoon, not including some editing and dialog. The whole premises is stupid. I won't spoil anything, but the first weak part of the story is the fact you have to find Pandora's box, again.
I am not going to say why because of spoiling concerns, but know that it's just the tip of the ice burg. The ending of the game is one of the WORST endings ever, and that's where it lost 90% of the points I took away. But, if your wondering why I said that, you'll just have to play the game and discover for yourself.
Moving onto another part of the presentation, the menus are pretty good. I think they could have done a little better, but I don't blame them. My biggest complaint about the menu's are the load times for the menu screen.
I would prefer to install a small texture file then have to wait for it to load every time. It's not terribly long. You can pause the game with select faster, but it is still slightly irritating to have to wait a few seconds every time you need to use the menu.
If you're a trophy hunter like my self, then this game could prove quite challenging for you to platinum. It depends entirely on how good you are at hack and slash games, but sometimes that isn't even enough. You can get all the trophies your first time through, but I had to play through it twice to get all the collectibles.
When asked about the difficulty of the game, I can honestly say that it will either be way too easy, or way too hard. I beat the game on the hardest difficulty available my first time through, which is my tradition for God of War games.
But to be honest, I wouldn't recommend going any lower then normal. Normal is easier then expected, but hard is unmercifully difficult. I wouldn't recommend easy at all. I ran through the game on easy my second time to finish up the trophies, and I got to tell ya, that difficulty will ruin the experience for you. It was far easier then the other two God of War games.
That's pretty much everything, besides a few rare glitches. To be honest, I feel the games presentation is only a 5/10. The story wasn't up to par, and the ending was garbage.
Lasting Appeal - 6/10
The first play through on the game is going to be your favorite hands down. Everything is there for you. Graphics, game play, and even the menus are pretty good, with the exception of the story and the long loads at times, you will almost surely enjoy this game best the first time through.
But no matter who you are, you have to admit there is still a major problem with the second play through. I honestly don't think this game is going to capture the hearts and minds of people like the other two did. But to be fair, I think it will bring it some more fans that didn't like the other three games.
After playing the third one I am glad this is the last game in the trilogy. Though I love God of War, I feel that the series has run is course.
Though I was hard on the game for it's lack of a good story, God of War 3 is a fantastic game and I believe it is worth a rental. But If you have the other games, I suggest you buy it. Though I do not believe it is as good as the others, it is one of the best games on the market today.
Overall - 9.4/10
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