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Thursday, February 24, 2011

ARES!!! God of War 3 - the review

So finally I had my chance to play God of War 3. I had put it off and put it off but I was able to get my hands of it and blew through the game in a couple days. I'm a gigantic fan of the whole series, absolutely in love with everything that's come out so far. So how does Kratos' first Playstation 3 outing hold up on my judgment? Read on and find out!

God of War 3 finds Kratos right where God of War 2 left him. Riding on the Titan Gaia as she climbs Mount Olympus with the rest of the Titans to finally end Zeus' reign and destroy the Gods once and for all.

GOW3 like all the other games in the series before it is an action hack and slash type of game. You control Kratos and move him from area to area leaving a trail of dead bodies in his wake.

First off the graphics are just simply amazing. Everything is the world of Kratos is so detailed. From the basic mountain side to a whole horizon filled with war you can make out all the smallest details. I'd have to say this is in the running as the absolute best looking game on the PS3 with Killzone 2 and Uncharted 2. It takes these PS3 exclusive game to truly show off the power the console has, it's just stunning. I do have one issue with the look of the game. In most games when you can interact with something or it's a place you can climb it looks a little different from the rest of the world, this isn't the case in GOW3. The game just looks so good it's hard to make out places to climb or a part in the wall you can just barely slide through.

The controls as always are very tight. Kratos responds very fast and it is extremely easy to get him to do what you want him to. In this action genre I've always felt the GOW games have the tightest controls and in part three it is still the case. Some mechanics have been changed and it's probably up to everyone to figure out if it's a good thing or not. First off they added in an ranged grapple. You can now grab enemies from a great distance which either has Kratos pull them to him or pull himself to them. I really like this addition,as I am a very aerial player in GOW it helps keep him in the air and still engage new monsters. They have also given Kratos a new set of abilities, in the form of "items." Through out the game you'll find these items like a bow and arrow. These are used with the L2 button and one of the face buttons. You also have a new meter with these that runs out as you attack with whatever it is you're using. With this addition the use of magic is also changed. It use to be the magic was selected with the D-pad and the L2 button used the magic. Now all the the magic is handled with the R2 button and one spell is assigned to a weapon.

You select the various weapons with the D-pad like you did the magic before. One thing I've always noticed in GOW game are the Blades are the best weapon. They're the most fun to use and the most useful. I'm guessing the makers of this game thought the same thing as three out of the four weapons you get are all like the Blades. This makes them all more fun to use but the standard blades are still the best. You use to be able to play through a whole GOW game just using the Blades but you can't do this in GOW3. Some of the functionality of the Blades have been taken away and given to the other weapons. The most notable is the ability to break an enemy's shield. No longer does , square, square, triangle break shields, you must use another weapon. Something cool with this is the real time weapons switching. You can be in the middle of a combo and hit the d-pad to switch it up and then just keep going. I think it works really well and it's nice to be able to switch so fast.

Something I would of liked to see put into this game were the PSP style GOW controls. Using the shoulder buttons to toggle the analog nub to a dodge to me was brilliant. Once I did that it made using the right stick to dodge a real chore. I did end up using the dodge a lot more in this game than the others though. As GOW3 is overall a harder game than it's predecessors. It's not insane hard or anything like that it's just a tougher game. I guessing it just assumes you've played the other games in the series and you should know what's up but some of this challenge is a little tacked on. The basic checkpointing in this is a little busted at times. In a few places you'll solve a puzzle only to miss a jump and die or fight a monster and die. Instead of starting back up past the puzzle you have to redo the whole thing. This is really annoying to me, it's just padding the difficulty to me putting frustration where there shouldn't be any. Another gripe are the unskippable cutscenes. Many, many times in this game you'll get a cutscene before a boss or get one during a boss fight as it moves to the next stage of said fight. If you die you have to watch the scene again, it's usually only a few seconds but it really gets tiresome to have to see these over and over again.

The GOW series is something known for it's massive boss fights and GOW 3 is no exception. Some of the bosses you fight are gigantic and this game has two such fights that are two of the best the entire series has. The rest of them though, they go between just okay to down right annoying. Most of the bosses are just a pain to fight and aren't any fun at all. It's not always clear how to damage them and even when you're doing damage you can't tell. For me it really drug the game down and it was sad to see the end of the "trilogy" have so many weak boss entries in it.

This is probably the most violent game I've every played. Kratos rips people apart, disembowels things and just goes on being as ultra-violent as he can be. It's really cool to finish up with a group of monsters and see Kratos standing there covered in blood.

So finally the one thing I want to mention without giving anything away is the story. For the most part anyone who's played GOW 1 and 2 will know what's up but I really did not like the ending. Just the way they try to explain what happened in the series was really weak and I felt as though it took a complete turn from the feel of the past games. This may not be the way you feel but I just wanted to share my thought.

God of War 3 is a good game, it plays well and it is a lot of fun except for most of the boss fights. For what is suppose to be the end of the series (Yeah right) I think it went out on a low note. For me God of War 2 is the pinnacle of the series and as of right now it's safe in that spot.

God of War 3 - 7 out of 10

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