The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
Words like “visceral” and “brutal” are used to describe many violent
games these days, but they wield the fullness of their meaning in God of
War III. No other terms so completely convey the gut-wrenching
sensation of eviscerating a mythical beast, decapitating a deity, or
carving up a titan. While moments like these have defined Kratos over
the years, God of War III isn’t amazing just because it’s violent; it’s
amazing because it conveys these experiences in ways you have never seen
Kratos’ stylishly elaborate combos and vicious
context-sensitive kills have been adapted and emulated many times,
making the video game landscape a bloodier and more epic place. In the
years since God of War II, while others were chasing the shadow of
Kratos’ fighting style, the team at Sony Santa Monica was elevating the
scale and intensity to a level that once again proves Kratos is the
undisputed king of the genre.
Something awesome is constantly
happening in God of War III. Monsters slink from the shadows, titans
break through walls, and gods launch divine assaults – and it’s all
woven seamlessly into the gameplay. Just when you think you know what’s
coming next, you’ll encounter a unique sequence or mechanic – if only to
be used once – just to keep the experience fresh. Even the
context-sensitive kills take on a new cinematic life, especially during
the grisly deaths of the bosses (each of which will leave you picking
your jaw up off the floor).
God of War III recaptures the one
thing that God of War II was missing for me; it forced me to once again
reconsider what I thought was possible for a video game to accomplish.
I’m hesitant to ruin any of the moments here (spoiler: Kratos kills a
lot of dudes), but let me put it this way: Remember the fight against
the Colossus of Rhodes at the beginning of God of War II? At least three
moments are just as astounding in God of War III, with cinematic camera
work even more impressive than Naughty Dog’s feats with Uncharted 2.
of War III takes the biggest strides forward in its cinematic
presentation, but the nuts and bolts of the combat are also more
refined. If you’ve played the previous games in the series, you’ll find
everything you love about Kratos’ blade-slinging style intact, but even
better than before thanks to the seamless integration of items. This new
equipment (usually ripped from the dead fingers of a fallen adversary)
allows you to dash, stun enemies, and perform ranged attacks – and they
all draw from a rapidly recharging power source. This gives you the
freedom to use these versatile tools instead of conserving them, opening
new combo possibilities. Used in conjunction with the sweet new weapons
(I love the Cestus!) and maneuvers (I love the ranged grab!), these
additions make Kratos feel like an even more fluid and capable
The only area where God of War III didn’t blow away my
expectations is the story. Previously, Kratos was driven by a thirst for
vengeance against a single target – a concept that kept the narrative
focused. In God of War III, that singular purpose is diluted by the
number of characters, agendas, and objectives on the playing field at
once. The plot isn’t bad or difficult to follow, but it also doesn’t
have any standout revelations or developments; Kratos hunts down the
gods, kills them, and steps over the corpse to reach his next target
until Olympus is in shambles. It isn’t a major problem, however, because
the real joy isn’t in the events themselves, but rather in the
astonishing ways those events unfold.
The fury, destruction, and
murdered gods – it’s all been leading up to this. When I first took up
Kratos’ blades back in 2005, I thought I was embarking on a simple quest
for vengeance. After leaving a trail of bodies spanning four games and
three systems, that quest has finally reached its end. Not even in my
wildest dreams could I have imagined such a powerful, cinematic, and
breathtaking conclusion to the saga of the Ghost of Sparta.
Email the author Joe Juba, or follow on Twitter, Facebook, and Game Informer.
With heads, entrails, and limbs flying through the air like confetti,
Kratos’ thirst for revenge is the beating heart of God of War III –
thumping faster and louder than we’ve seen or heard before. The
development team revels in Kratos’ bloodlust, channeling his brutal
sense of justice to create a journey that unfolds like a highlight reel.
Gods fall, and they fall hard. We even witness one of their deaths from
the eyes of the victim. From the murderous deeds to the towering level
designs, creativity runs rampant throughout the entire game. The
gameplay still retains the classic God of War charm, but is strengthened
with the new weapons, not to mention the over-the-top scale of the boss
encounters. As you’ll learn in the bloodiest way possible, an
average-sized man can topple a thousand-foot-tall giant. This level in
particular is one of the coolest I’ve seen in any game, yet it simply
blends with the rest of this adventure. The only blemish on this
masterpiece is a puzzle that incorporates the PlayStation icons into
Kratos’ world. Outside of this minor misstep, God of War III is a
whirlwind of violence that begins with relentless chaos and concludes
with the most satisfying punch in video game history.