Five years ago when we first met the “Ghost Of Sparta”, we could not have had any idea that God Of War would go on to become one of the greatest franchises in video game history but that is just what it has done. In God Of War III, the last installment of the trilogy we find ourselves on the verge of having our revenge on Zeus, King of the Gods, for his role in the tragedy that started us on this journey in the first place. As always though, it won’t be easy and to be quite honest I don’t think Kratos would have wanted it any other way.
The game begins exactly where God Of War II left off with Kratos on the back of the Titan, Gaia, as they and several other Titans lay siege to Mt. Olympus. To truly understand how impressive this game is you have to remember that at the of God Of War II when we see them scaling Mt. Olympus with Kratos on her back it was ALL CGI, but in God Of War 3 everything you are seeing for the most part is in-game and that is a testament to how far the technology has come because I think that God Of War II may have quite possibly been the best PS2 game ever and they couldn’t have even attempted half of the things they pulled off in this game because the technology just couldn’t support it.
The game is as we expected, epic, on a scale and magnitude I don’t know if any of us could have comprehended until we saw it. Sony’s Santa Monica Studios have definitely raised the bar another notch and other devs will be scrambling to duplicate what they have done. The robustness of the environments, the details in the character models and the superior voice acting all combine to engulf you in this world where not only does a mere mortal have the audacity to stand against the gods, he inspires fear in them. Once of the biggest treats has always been the excellent dialogue and voice acting in the game and this one is no slouch with T.C. Carson returning to voice Kratos along with Rip Thorn as Hephaestus, Malcolm McDowell as Daedalus and Kevin Sorbo as the voice of Hercules albeit a much different one than he played on TV.
As far as the combat goes its back in the same familiar vicious form that you know and love with some additions. In combat as Kratos you feel powerful and with up to 50 enemies on screen at times you feel like its just about fair…for them.They have added the combat grapple which basically allows Kratos to grab and hold an enemy and then stage him for additional attacks. Once grabbed you can do lots of things to the enemy like punch them several times before decapitating them or ripping them in half but my personal favorite is using them as a battering ram against other enemies and then smashing their heads into a wall. Kratos has quite the set of weapons at his disposal including the Blades of Exile, though for a short while at the very beginning of the game Kratos wields the Blades of Athena. The other new weapons include the Claws of Hades, the Nemesis Whip, and the Nemean Cestus, a pair of fist gauntlets shaped like lion heads. While all of them are awesome, to be honest I could have done with just the Blades of Exile and the Nemean Cestus as the other two weapons just felt like variations on the Blades of Exile but each will come in handy at least once in the game.
The other major component in the God Of War franchise is the puzzles and this game doesn’t disappoint though I do feel that in this game more than the previous two they left a lot for the player to figure out which will cost you time at certain points where your not sure whether your doing the right thing such as time when you need to double back but in the overall picture that’s a small thing. It’s hard to not like something about this game but it did glitch on me about three times during gameplay. In one instance specifically, you need to turn this room around so that you can shoot the bramble and then move past it, inside the room you are surrounded by these four huge statues which you know by that point come to life. I spent probably and hour turning the room and going back and forth before I decided to just restart from the checkpoint. When I did that and went back to turn the room and turned further than it would let me the first time and upon turning it completely the statues came to life and I was able to move on. I don’t know if that happened to anybody else but I will say this if you get to a portion of the game and it just seems like something’s not happening that should, restart from the last checkpoint otherwise you will think you are stuck when you really aren’t. My only other criticism is that there were some weird camera angles at time and I couldn’t easily adjust them.
In the end though, Sony’s Santa Monica Studios delivered on everything and more that gamers could have asked for. Even though their has been a different game director for every installment the series feels cohesive due to largely the same core team working on it. As sad as I am to see Kratos go, this was definitely a worthy send off and goodbye to quite possibly the greatest character in video game history. Once you get passed all the violence and gore, this is a story about a man who lost his family because of the selfish agenda of someone else and in his own way did what a lot of us might have done, avenge them. I give Sony a lot of credit for closing the trilogy down on this third one and not dragging it on for sales while devaluing the franchise overall. According to Sony, this is NOT the last game in the God Of War franchise and while I have concerns about their ability to make a compelling game without Kratos and that won’t spit in the face of the previous games I guess we will just have to wait and see. The only thing left to say about God Of War 3 is that it was everything we expected and more and that’s all us gamers can ever ask for. As if there was any doubt, ZoKnowsGaming gives God Of War 3 10 out of 10 stars.