God of War 3 is now here ready to close up the fantastic trilogy. This game made me buy a PS3 a week before its release date and now after finishing it, does it live up its massive hype or is this God of War 2.5?
God of War 3 takes place exactly after the second game. Kratos is hunting down his father, Zeus for removing his powers as a God of War and our anti-hero makes his final stand climbing on Mt Olympus to fulfill his vengeance. The game has one of the most epic intros I've ever seen/ played in a game. God of Water, Poseidon assaults Gaia, the huge titan you're holding onto, and tries to throw Kratos down and protect his brother Zeus. The story drops down at pace after that but the excitement remains the same. Kratos starts once again from the Underworld and has to climb up to Zeus again. In his adventure he meets Zeus' minions and other famous Gods of Olympus. Hades, Hercules, Hermes, Helios are some. The story gets much deeper and ties in with its predecessors but saying anything else will spoil it. The second half of the game is extremely deep and some Greek mythology facts that tie in with the game astounds me. There is a huge level in the game involving the Labyrinth and the Pit of Tartarus. As a Greek person myself I may be biased towards the story but I enjoyed it tremendously and the ending perfectly finishes the amazing trilogy.
God of War 3 has always been remembered for its soundtrack. The game has superb orchestral pieces which also give the heroic feel in them. They all suit the mood and atmosphere of the game for example the Underworld has creepy music while climbing on Mt Olympus might have a heroic piece. The sound effects are all taken from previous God of War games but now refined. The chains of your blades, Kratos' boots are heard when stomped in the ground and my favorite: the brutal beatings of all boss fights. When punches are delivered on them or blades are getting stabbed in them, blood splattering sounds or rocks crushing on them is remarkably satisfying.
The voice acting is also amazing. Kratos' voice is unchanged but still rough and cruel as ever. The tone in his voice is always serious and this emphasizes his portrayal as an unforgiving Spartan warrior that cannot be killed. The gods also have good voice acting. My favorite is by far Hermes, with a British accent that would piss off any "mortal". God of War has always impressed me with its soundtrack and voice acting so once again, it surpasses greatness in this section.
The visuals in God of War 3 are honestly perfect. There are almost no flaws and all in game cutscenes are as good as the CGI cutscenes. Santa Monica Studios have made the best looking game this generation. Environments look freaky but believable. This also applies for the enemies and characters in general. They are all taken from the Greek mythology, which is outstanding source material. One character in particular is grotesque looking and will freak out most gamers. Another element improved in this game is the scale of battles. The amount of enemies on screen makes the combat much more fluid and watching Kratos spin his blades and incapacitate everyone around him is always enjoyable to watch. Another example is the two titan sequences with the Cronos boss fight being my top gaming moment in 2010 for now. It will make all Shadow of the Colossus lovers wet their pants. Finally I'd like to talk about the gore in the game. The blood is not so realistic, but the amount of blood spilled in this game is insane. Gore in action games is my weak spot and usually like all gory games. This game exceeds my expectations for brutality. Kratos finishing up all gods are the goriest sequences I've seen in a game (especially the final boss fight). I also like how blood stays on the detailed Kratos character model after a massive battle. It gives you the feeling that you accomplished something in that specific battle. There are no flaws visually since everything is so captivating and the lighting effects hide up all blandness. I just have little niggles of flaws like me wishing some graphic effects were a bit better looking like your blades in the outstanding cutscenes and Zeus' lightning is not updated visually but this is not hold back a perfect action game.
God of War 3 is successful obviously in the gameplay section. It introduced its own style of the hack and slash genre. The game is much more deep this time in combat and the amount of combos have been tripled. There is now more variety to take down enemies. The special weapons you get like the boots of Hermes has its own meter that recharges and can be used to stun enemies or slow them down, but are also used for puzzles. Magic is now attached to its own weapon which makes the gameplay much more fluid than fiddling round with a mini-menu in gameplay. There are 4 melee weapons: Claws of Hades for fast but brutal takedowns, Nemean Cestus for slow but shield breaking consequences, the Nemesis Whip for a fast weapon to take out large amounts of weak enemies and of course the standard Blade of Exile effective for every enemy but slower than the Nemesis Whip. So as you see, there is a large variety and upgrading them give you more abilities and upgrades your magic for each weapon. The mouthwatering combat is one section of the gameplay. There are also smart puzzles that are neither hard or easy. They are quite easier than previous God of War games to attract more casual gamers but there are plenty to make you think. This involves platforming, using your weapons and special items and smart moving of in game items. The boss fights in this game are also unique and simply put: epic. The Cronos boss fight and the final boss fight are my two favorites. The game has backtracking later in the second half where you can go obtain upgrades like your health, special item meter and magic meter. For example, punching ice with your Nemean Cestus and revealing secret chests and history of the story and characters with your Helios Head. The game really is deep in gameplay and story which that's why I love Greek mythology so much: for the amount of content you can enter. There are also challenge rooms after you complete the game and more coming as DLC. You can also unlock costumes, obtain all challenging trophies and beat the game on a harder difficulty which I will be doing very soon.
In conclusion, this game is perfect in every way.From story to gameplay you will never feel bored with the epic sense in the game. The soundtrack is also just the icing on the cake. It is my favorite game this year and really does justify my PS3 purchase. The ending is superb and unexpected and make sure to watch a little cutscene after the credits for a little opening for God of War 4. Kratos' vengeance is something you must experience. If you don't have a PS3 then buy one right now, since this game is really a masterpiece. A godlike game.