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January 10 2010
God Of War III - PS3 Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer
18/3/2010SonySonySCEA Santa Monica
Offline Players Online players Price Anticipation
1None$109.95
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It's Bad-ass Kratos in God of War III!
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That's not a head massage from Kratos!

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Kratos with the Cestus weapon.
Nintendo has Mario. Microsoft has Master Chief from Halo. Sony had Crash Bandicoot, but that's gone multi-platform and lost it's way. Now, however the home of Playstation has another 'tentpole' franchise that draws in the crowds and gets both the hardcore and casual gamers excited. That franchise is God of War and its bad-assed hero Kratos.

Released in 2005 the first God of War shifted an impressive 3.2 million units worldwide. The sequel, God of War II, has now shifted well over 2.5 million units and the franchise even hit the PSP with the superb God of War: Chains of Olympus which sold a further 1.8 million units. So that's an impressive 7.5 million units from three games. You can also add a further half million copies of the recent Collection which was the first two games upgraded for the PS3. No wonder Sony are already placing so much emphasis on this third game.

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Visuals in God of War III are stunning.
With an apparent 120 page script there should be plenty of story in this game to wrap up the trilogy (God of War III is apparently the last game in the series - we tend to think that's like Nintendo saying there will be no more Mario's!). Taking place straight after the events of God of War II, God of War III finds Kratos raining carnage and destruction upon the Gods who have betrayed him and the entire Ancient Greek world. Armed with his deadly double-chained blades, Kratos will take on mythologies darkest creatures while solving intricate puzzles on his merciless quest to destroy Olympus and the mighty Zeus himself.

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Kratos with the Icarus' wings.
Gameplay in God of War III will be pretty much the same as previous games. Think about it, if you had a franchise loved by millions would you go and mess it up by turning it into something else? Of course not. But that's not saying the game won't introduce new gameplay elements, scenarios and puzzles. One change that we do know of has to do with Kratos' weapons. The Blades of Athena will make a welcome return for long-distance combat. New though is the Cestus. These are a massive pair of lion head shaped metal gauntlets which allow Kratos to smash through solid objects such as rock walls or, we expect, to inflict massive damage on enemies. We have also seen (as you can in one of the surrounding screenshots) Kratos wearing Icarus' wings which should give him the ability to fly, or at least glide, to new locations.

It has also been confirmed that the areas Kratos now battles in are up to four times larger then those in the previous game, while the number of enemies on-screen at once has also been increased.

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Kratos is surrounded by enemies.
Another big gameplay change is the ability to use the creatures of Greek legend as a way for Kratos to express his violent temper - Kratos can take control of these creatures and ride them, twisting their pain into a blind rage, using them to cross chasms, reveal secrets, and destroy anything and everything that stands in his way.

There are plenty of other small and interesting details known about this game. Although it had been mentioned by God of War II director Cory Barlog that the third game would use the PS3's tilt sensing it was confirmed in March 2009 that this aspect had been removed as the developers could not find an effect way to include it in the game. The developers have also mentioned in the past that they are exploring the concept of creating some downloadable content for the game which would be put on the Playstation Store. Naturally, with the game still a way off nothing has been confirmed about what this content could include, or if if will even finally come to pass. Likewise it appears unlikely there will be any multiplayer, but you never know what may be added at a later date.

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This was shown in the E3 2009 demo!
Certainly one big question that was hanging over this title for quite some time was just how well this game would fare against the Australian censors. This game is certainly a lot more brutal and bloody then previous games in the franchise and with the improved visuals over the previous generation the title is bound to come under a lot more scrutiny from censors. Having said that we are very pleased to report that on January 12 the game was awarded an MA15+ rating in the original uncut form with the Consumer Advice "Strong violence, sexual references and nudity".

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God of War III boss battles are awesome.
There's no doubt that God of War III is a very exciting game visually. The two previous titles in the franchise were among the best games technically on the PS2, and were it not for the lower resolution would also hold up well against most PS3 titles today. Indeed the recent God of War Collection released in Europe and Asia (and to be released with the God of War Collection in Australia is very impressive with upscaled visuals. This third game though, has been designed for, and will run in full 1080p and hopefully at a solid 60fps. The game also introduces several new graphical techniques including High Dynamic Range Lighting (HDRL) technology. What is HDRL you ask? Well when using Kratos' sightline - will emulate the human retina, causing players to feel a sharp brightness when Kratos exits a dark area and enters a sunlit area, similar to how the human eye would need to adjust.

With a release set for March 16 2010 in America, and Australia rumoured for March 18, there isn't too long until we'll be able to see just how well the full product is. What was shown at E3 2009, and later given a limited release on the Playstation Store was extremely impressive - groundbreaking even - and if the developers can maintain that level of intensity throughout the entire game then we are due for something very special indeed. Roll on March 2010...

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Trying to get through the defense.
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Kratos in God of War III.