God of War III Sacrifice Journal Part I
Play Time: 2.5 Hours
I’ve been waiting for God of War III for what feels like ten years now. We missed our chance to play it at E3 2009 given the sheer number of hours we’d have had to have waited in order to play only a 15minute demo. I finally got my chance to play the game at the PlayStation Canada holiday event last year, and wrote a fairly detailed report about it on the blog. Several months afterwards Sony release said demo to the masses. Now here we are, almost a year after the first playable demo was revealed at last year’s E3, and I have to say the wait was well worth it.
The first thing that surprised me with the finished game was the way it looked and played. For the most part, this is God of War in HD. That’s both good and bad, depending on how you look at it. Bad in the sense that there’s very little new added to the franchise in the first two and a half hours. Yes there are new moves, new weapons, magical attacks, etc, but honestly, this is just an extension of the previous two games. As for the good, this is God of War in HD. The GoW Collection was pretty sweet, but nothing like this, nothing at all. God of War 3 was built from the ground up for the PS3. That means all the textures are high-def, all the action is in high-def, and the blood are boobs are in high-def as well. In other words, it’s complete chaos, which just so happens to be what the whole game is about.
The game begins directly where God of War II ended. If you don’t remember, or never played the original two games, fear not, Santa Monica studios has you covered. The introduction tells the story of Kratos up to this point. So once you actually start, you’re on the back of Gaia (the titan), climbing Mount Olympus trying to enact revenge upon Zeus, king of the gods. Needless to say, you’re going to have one hell of a journey ahead of you before you finally make your way to face the lord of the gods. In the short time I played the game, I’ve already faced two gods and let me tell you, these are the best boss battles in the series yet. Yes, they’re that bloody good.
I have to be very careful what I reveal here because I don’t want to spoil anything, but I will say when you fight Poseidon, you’re going to freak out. It’s one of the most graphically impressive and technically challenging battles I’ve ever seen in a videogame. To give you an idea how just how impressive this is, a buddy of mine called me the minute he fought Poseidon just to tell me how awesome it was. Who does that? We gamers sure are a funny bunch.
What made the battle so impressive was the fact that it takes place on top of Gaia. So here we have a massive titan who’s moving, with Kratos on her back, all while fighting the god of the oceans. Imagine how visually impressive this is. There’s water flowing everywhere, the titan moving around, and you interacting with everything. You all know God of War, it’s an impressive series, and with this entry, they’ve really taken it to the next level. Things slowed down greatly after this battle though, but I’m hopeful more intense moments like this will pop up as I progress. I can already confirm that the second boss battle was quite remarkable, but again, I don’t want to spoil anything.
As I mentioned above, in terms of gameplay, everything is exactly as you remember it. The Blades of Chaos are back in action, along with a whole bunch of new weapons. Again, I can’t say what they are because I’ll spoil the boss battles for those interested. What I can say is that the mixture of puzzles to action has been perfected. There was never a moment where I was facing the screen wondering what to do with a puzzled look on my face. That did happen to me once or twice during my play through of both original God of Wars so I’m hopeful the same doesn’t happen here. Thus far though, the balance is perfect.
Other franchise staples like the quick time events are present, but this time around they’ve been streamlined in a very interesting way. Buttons appear on the screen in the same location they appear on the controller. That’s to say the triangle button will flash on the top of the screen, while the square button will flicker on the left portion of the screen. This makes pressing the corresponding button quickly far easier than ever before.
Outside of these features, you can expect a few tweaks to the classic gameplay, but nothing overall new or original. You still use magical attacks, but they’re way more graphically impressive. As I’ve been saying throughout the write-up, everything has been quite impressive up to this point. Textures are really detailed, and I love how Kratos actually gets blood all over him as he rips apart enemies. Yes it’s gruesome, but that’s what this series has always been known for. The level design has also been taken to the next level. I adore the way Santa Monica studios have taken Greek Mythology and spun it on its head. We see massive structures all over the place, coupled with beautiful environments, and this is all within the first two hours alone. Even the enemy models are striking, because we’ve never seen them so detailed. That’s the one thing I kept repeating over and over again, detail, detail, detail. Yes the gameplay is linear, and unoriginal, but at the end of the day, who really cares when the game’s so much fun to play. This is by far the best PS3 action game to come along in a while and I wholeheartedly recommend you race out there and pick it up. I’m going to continue my impressions as I delve further into the game, but right now you can all rest easy knowing Kratos is back, and this time, there will be chaos!