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God of War III Review
At long last, Kratos will finally get his revenge.
by Chris Roper
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March 8, 2010 - After three years of development and three very long years of waiting, the end is finally upon us. God of War III marks the finale to Kratos' search for revenge and properly caps off a trilogy that ranks near the very top of the best action games ever list. Yes indeed, everything does come to a complete and decisive close by the end, and though it may not be the last that we've seen of the franchise, this really is the end of this tale.
Taking the old "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" rule at face value, Sony Santa Monica has done very little to alter how things work, though there's been a bit of welcome polish on nearly every facet of gameplay. That is, if you were expecting a revolution in terms of design, you'll be sorely disappointed. But, if you simply wanted more of what has made the series so great up to this point, you're going to be quite happy indeed.
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What has worked in the past largely still holds true here in great fashion. God of War III practically redefines what the word "scale" means with regards to videogames, as it throws you into scenes with Titans that are larger than entire levels in some other games. The scope of some of these sequences is nothing short of astounding, with playable sequences that take place on creatures the size of a skysc****r. Sony Santa Monica has been promising this all along, but even when you know what sort of experience you're in for, you'll still be blown away by the immensity of some scenes.
While size is a hugely impressive aspect of the game, more than anything else, God of War III is a tour-de-force in terms of its visuals, and it's even more brutal than any of its predecessors. Yes, this is a very M-rated game, one filled with blood, gore and detached limbs, but what's important is that it all makes sense. Greek mythology was filled with violence, and Kratos' latest doesn't hold back in all the right ways.
The combat is just as responsive as ever with big, massive combos that you'll always feel completely in control of. You can cancel out of almost anything and go into a block or roll, making defensive maneuvers a strong (and very necessary) part of your arsenal. One subtle tweak this time around is that the old Square-Square-Triangle combo that ends with Kratos whipping down the Blades in a big overhand motion isn't as easily abused as it once was. This is partly due to the fact that you'll find yourself surrounded by more enemies than ever before, requiring that you utilize your area attacks more often, but it's also because enemies can be more aggressive. If you're in their sights, they're probably attacking, which makes the combat a little more balanced between blocking, rolling and attacking; that's great. It's not a huge change, but it's certainly very welcome.
Kratos looks incredible (and deadly).
One problem with past God of War titles was that despite the fact that you'd pick up a handful of other weapons along the way, in large part they weren't very useful as your blades seemed to almost always be more effective. That's been fixed this time, and all three of the other weapons you acquire are good in almost any situation. That's even more true thanks to the fact that you can now switch between them on the fly, mid-combo, allowing you to string together big sequences will all four weapons in use.
My only complaint here is that two of the three additional weapons that you'll earn are extremely similar to your blades. They have unique powers and slightly different moves, but by and large, they're more of the same. The Cestus (the pair of big metal gloves that you've no doubt seen previously) is really the only weapon that's truly unique, and fortunately those are both useful and great fun to take into battle, but it's hard to not wish that your other pickups were as different at the Cestus.