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April 25, 2010
God of War 3 - PS3 Review
Release Distributor Publisher Developer Offline Players Online Players
18/3/2010SOnySonySony Santa Monica1None
Media HDD Space Resolution Sound Format Tilt Controls OFLC Rating
Disc5733MB720pDTS 5.1NoMA15+

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Kratos with the Cestus weapon.
God of War and the sequel, God of War II, were monstrous mythological brawlers for the PS2, both of which not only splattered blood and giblets needlessly, but also were extremely well received (scoring 95% and 93% respectively here at Futuregamez). Understandably, there was much buzz surrounding the first God of War title to grace the PS3, God of War III; an anticipation which was only boosted by trailers at E3 showing gameplay footage which looked almost too good to be true. The long and arduous wait is finally over, however, and we at long last get to witness Kratos in his PS3 debut. But is it too good to be true? Has Kratos lived up to his expectations? To save you the effort of scrolling down (we're considerate here at Futuregamez); buy it now!! This game is brilliant enough to warrant a spot in every PS3 owners collection.

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God of War III is out now on PS3...
The story in God of War III continues on from where God of War II left off, with Kratos atop Gaia while she and the other titans are climbing Mount Olympus to attack the gods. Seeking revenge, Kratos' vengeance can ultimately be achieved by killing the king of the gods, Zeus (who also happens to be his father). Without wanting to spoil the story, let's just say that you guide Kratos from god to god, killing them one by one, amassing their powers and scavenging souvenirs from their dead (and sometimes not-so-dead) bodies, which then further aid you in your quest for vengeance.

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Yes, these are in-game visuals...
While the game engine for God of War III is obviously different from that of earlier titles, the gameplay mechanics remain essentially the same; a mythological 3d adventure with a strong emphasis on tearing anything that moves (and I mean anything) to bits. The camera floats, but retains a pre-defined perspective (and hence it isn't manually controllable), which benefits the atmosphere and adds a visual directive, whilst also cleverly hiding extra pick-ups that the casual gamer would typically walk past. As such, the more devout gamers will be rewarded for exploring; collecting items such as Gorgon Eyes and Phoenix Feathers to increase your health, magic and item bars, as well as upgrading your existing weapons.

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Carnage and destruction by Kratos!
One aspect where God of War III's gameplay takes a sidestep from earlier titles in the series is that magic is limited to the individual weapon that you have equipped at the time. For instance; Kratos' initial weapon in the game, Blades of Exile has a magic move 'Army of Sparta' which delivers a fair chunk of damage to enemies, while knocking back Kratos' magic gauge. Using other weapons (which you acquire from the other gods throughout the course of the game) will unveil their own magic moves, which have their own benefits. Switching between weapons is just a matter of using the d-pad, so alternative attack methods are only ever a button press away.

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Check out the blood splattering!
Now no 3D adventure title would be complete without puzzles, involving moving giant blocks, flipping switches and setting key items alight, and God of War III doesn't disappoint. While some may groan and grumble at puzzles like these, given the scale of what's involved it really does suit the game; massive blocks and stones, dwarfing Kratos, this (comparatively) tiny muscley nugget of a mortal. There's a little more thinking involved than simply block-pushing too, with a classy Ehochrome-like labyrinth puzzle that would make M.C. Escher smile.

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Kratos with the Icarus' wings.
Certain enemies can be beaten to within within inches of a pulp, when a flaming circle appears above their head; this will enable you to proceed into a series of quicktime-events where following the prompts on-screen will proceed to torture the poor creature so they'll wish they were dead (more on that later). It's a very welcoming sign when you see that floating over an enemy head or two, and reminds you that a moment of solace isn't far away. This is particularly helpful as you level up and become more experienced; early on you'll fight single enemies (take centaurs for example), while near the end you'll be fighting several at once, followed by wave after wave of reinforcements, just begging for that ring to appear.

My only real grievance with God of War III would have to be the rope-swinging and flying portions of the game, both being mini-game-like levels which connect the standard 3d-adventure gameplay sections. The rope-swinging sections involve a 1-dimensional struggle where Kratos can either head forwards or backwards and is only limited to basic attacks. In the flying sections, you are travelling down a narrow tunnel, and can only dodge up/down and left/right. Neither are terribly enjoyable, and seem to involve more luck then skill; had they been omitted from the game, I don't envisage too many people would have missed either.

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This game is very brutal in places...
The graphics of God of War III need no introduction; this game really is the prettiest thing the PS3 has pushed out to date. From the very beginning of the game, the stylish silhouetted opening credits look more like something from a big-budget Bond film than a videogame, but they suit the part perfectly. In-game, the visuals are simply stunning; right through from the highly detailed models shown off with full lighting, reflection and shadow effects, through to the extra touches of light being refracted through waterfalls and underwater. And just when you thought it looked flawless up close, some boss battles will seamlessly zoom out from up close to a level so far out that would make Shadow of the Colossus green with envy. The sense of scale here is uncanny; one particular god fight is like Tom Thumb meets the shrinking "Eat Me" pill from Alice in Wonderland, and has to be seen to be believed.

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Visually God of War III is superb.
While this is an appropriate time to mention it (given Michael Atkinson's recent fall from grace as SA's Attorney General), if there ever was a game which highlighted the need for an R18+ rating, this is it. Copious amounts of blood and dismembered limbs are just the beginning of the adult themes in God of War III; try snapping off a creature's horn and stabbing it through its eye for starters. Or perhaps slicing another's stomach and watching it try to keep its intestines from falling out. Else if sexual themes float your classification boat, then there's a sex-oriented mini-game, complete with topless goddesses. Put simply, this is an adult game, and the idea that 15 year-old children can legally buy this game over the counter is ludicrous. Any parents buying this game for under-15s really need to re-think what parenting is all about (though if they're buying for a minor, there obviously isn't much thinking occurring).

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GOW III's enemy count is up from PS2 titles.
With the epic visuals of God of War III being a feast for the eyes, the audio is of an equally high calibre. The musical score, sound effects and background filler noises inbetween all sound like they've been torn direct from a Hollywood blockbuster. Dramatic orchestral pieces tie in perfectly with the grandeur of the monstrous battles; climaxes in the music often offer hints as to how close you are to slaying whichever beast or god you're pitted against. Voice acting is well done; and while Kratos can come across as being a little over-enthusiastic at times, this is more the result of his character being a broken soul bundled with excessive power.

It's a rare moment in gaming when a game is hyped so much, only to deliver exactly what was promised, and that is what God of War III does in style; happening much to the relief to fans of the series, given how solid previous titles have been. At the completion of this review, the only thing I'm unsure of is how Santa Monica Studios are going to better this; while the Trilogy is now over, they've confirmed that there's still more life left from God of War. Perhaps something multiplayer-related in the future? Regardless, this is as good as single-player action-adventure gets, so do yourself a favour and rush out and get this, it's definitely up there as one of the best PS3 titles to date.

Review By: Chris Gobbett

GRAPHICSNear flawless; stunning, with so much attention to detail.
97%
SOUNDVoices, music, sound effects come together in DTS brilliance.
95%
GAMEPLAYTruly epic boss fights are so gratifying they'll have you replaying it.
92%
VALUEThe 12-hour campaign is backed by challenges and tough-as-nails difficulty modes.
91%
OVERALLGod of War III was always touted to be ‘The' reason to get a PS3. Whether that was because of the visuals, the sound, the gameplay or a combination of all of the above, you need to do your PS3 some justice and buy this game, as there's oodles of enjoyment to be had helping Kratos seek his vengeance.
94%

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