…seriously. And FYI…don’t read this if you don’t want to have aspects of God Of War Ascension spoiled for you the way they were spoiled for me. Although I’m courteous enough to at least sound the ****SPOILER ALERT**** on this, I really, really wish that certain bald, fugly “game journalists” had the same respect for me. I’m not mentioning names…yes I am, it was Adam Sessler. Old wavy hands, on a crusade Adam Sessler…
Some of you may be aware that Adam Sessler got his review of God Of War Ascension up on Rev3games and was in quite the tizzy about the a sequence where you curb stomp one of the main protagonists of the game, which was rewarded with a trophy called Bros Before Hos. Like a good Potato Head, Sessler got his angry eyes out of his butt and started yammering about how offended he was by the trophy, referring to it as a “misogynistic gut punch.”
Now, having only seen it once and having not gone over it with a fine tooth comb, I can only assume the trophy’s name was what offended him, because the preceding sequence in which you curb stomp what you think is a magical, pissed off woman who just spent the last ten minutes trying to kill you with all sorts of magical fuckery…yeah THAT wasn’t anything different from the standard fare of depraved indifference for human life that God Of War has been serving up since 2005. So if THAT is what set Sess off, then what we’re looking at here is a little hypocrisy mixed with a double standard. But we’re going to assume that that is not the case.
Sessler’s the one who initially convinced me to get God Of War when it was fresh to market. Understand, I’m a grown ass man with a family. Until all of my children have graduated college and accepted positions in their chosen careers, there will ALWAYS be better, more important things for me to spend my money on than a video game. I used to NEVER buy games brand new…I always waited for the price drop. At least that’s how it went until Sessler and Morgan Webb got in front of the X Play cameras and used all of the fluffy adjectives they could think of to describe the satisfyingly visceral gameplay of the original God Of War on PS2.
Now, if you’ve followed Sessler, you know he’s not really one for bullying in any fashion, and as a parent I get and respect that. Really what parent wouldn’t? But the thing is…and I’ll try to keep it buttoned up on this, but IT’S A FUCKING GOD OF WAR GAME. GOD OF WAR –GOD OF FUCKING WAR. KRATOS. SPARTA. THAT GAME WHERE YOU LITERALLY RIP SOMEONE’S HEAD OFF AND SHIT DOWN THEIR NECK. REPEATEDLY. GOD OF WAR. MCFLY??
Seriously…real talk right now…just think about the story of Kratos…successful Spartan general…pledges his immortal soul into servitude to ARES to avoid death in battle…goes on series of indiscriminate, murdering rampages at Ares’ behest…KILLS HIS OWN WIFE AND CHILD, KILLS HIS OWN WIFE AND CHILD, KILLS HIS OWN WIFE AND CHILD in a blind rage while also raping and pillaging a village that looked peaceful enough…
…seriously. The entire series of God Of War games is basically a chain of unspeakable acts committed in rapid and brutal succession by Kratos. Sessler has always admitted that he’s loved the game, he’s enjoyed watching Kratos mutilate and murder his way to the top…we all have. So why is it that naming a trophy ‘Bros Before Hos’ is misogynistic?? I refuse to lend any creedence to a qualification of the phrase itself as misogynistic, because that’s absolutely ridiculous.
Pardon me, but I’m going to take a minute and pretend that I don’t owe anyone an apology for my gender. I love my wife and if anyone were to suggest to me that I’m a sexist, I would invite them to suck my ass. That said, there is nothing wrong with the phrase “Bros Before Hos.” Quite honestly, it’s something that every man should be taught by his father.
But the best part is…that’s not even why I’m upset. So they changed the name of the trophy…whatevs. I still knew it was Bros Before Hos when I earned it, and it’ll always be Bros Before Hos…even if it says Foes…because we all knew what that trophy name was days before the game was released, because Sessler spoiled it in his review.
…and that’s what I’m actually pissed about. When the time came for the bossfight in question, I knew how it would end. There was no surprise or shock in the visceral and brutal manner in which my enemy passed, because Adam Sessler had successfully described it to me in fairly thorough detail several days before. Because of all the comments that appeared on sites like Youtube, Rev3, Destructoid, et. al. in response to Sessler’s rage, I knew that Kratos hadn’t even curb stomped a Fury/woman, but an impostor. I also knew that a trophy was coming and it did.
But none of that resonated at all. It had none of the affect that the developers had intended, because it had already be thoroughly spoiled to me, by some overly sensitive bald guy who likes to rant about things that appear to be “injustices” through the uptight glasses with which he chooses to view the world. Yes ladies and gentlemen…Adam Sessler’s need to express his perceived moral superiority is more important than objectivity (he goes on to admit that the trophy name somehow inexplicably colored his assessment of the rest of the game) and also more important that Rev3′s viewers’ right to check out a review without fear that it’ll spoil a major part of the game.
Furthermore, Sessler went on to describe the now nerfed Trials of Archimedes. Sessler goes into excruciating detail about the Trials. He tells you what they’re named, he tells you that they are at a point that is very near the end of the game, he tells you that it is a scenario that sees many enemies of varied size and difficulty attack Kratos in waves for a prolonged period of time.
So now, not only can I not have the opportunity to play through the Trials with the degree of difficulty that the devs intended…but every time I hear the name “Archimedes” in game, I can’t help but think, “Damn…we’re coming up on the end of the game.” I’m not sure if I’m close to the Trials or close to the end, but Archimedes’ name is fairly prominent in the section I’m playing through, and combined with the fact that the Trials’ difficulty, design and placement in the game were spoiled…it’s really bringing my overall game experience down.
Seriously. Sessler…I know you’re an opinionated guy and I know that you’ve got a soft spot on your angry side for anything that you perceive to be bullying…but really…just shut the fuck up. You’re too uptight. If someone stuck a lump of coal up your ass, in a week they’d have a diamond. Things that you consider to be morally objectionable aren’t always morally objectionable. But thanks to your bloated ego and overinflated sense of self importance, I didn’t get to experience the “Bros Before Hos” trophy…hell, I didn’t even get to enjoy the entire sequence, because YOU FUCKING RUINED IT.
I love you, Sess. I loved you on X Play, you were one of two reasons that G4 was even watchable, and I’m probably still going to watch your reviews of games I have interest in because I do value your opinion…but stick to reviews…leave your butthurt crusading to your soapbox pieces and STOP FUCKING SPOILING GAMES. Seriously…this isn’t even me being a militant chauvanist jerk…this is me being pissed that a large portion of an expensive game that I’ve been waiting for war fucking ruined by some guy who is I THOUGHT was going to present an objective, spoiler free review.
So yeah, quick reminder…we still love him, but noone’s perfect so…Fuck Adam Sessler.
Okay, I’ve decided that every now and again I’m going to need to break down a game and discuss it’s most crucial moments in detail while doing so. Just because I hate it when people get all crotchety about unwritten rules that are supposed to matter to me, I’m going to tag all of these pieces with “SPOILER ALERT” so none of you nancyboy homos will cry in the comments section about how I just ruined a game for you.
The fanboy wars have long set the gold standard for willful ignorance in gaming. Now I’m not trying to change that…in fact I often peruse sites that encourage fanboy flaming, because it’s an easy way to reaffirm my intellectual superiority…lolz.
No, I’m not some kind of hero trying to stamp the ignorant off the message boards and comment sections of gaming sites everywhere, I’m just a casual-core gamer who finds that crap stupid and does his best not to get in the middle of it.
It seems like since MGS4 dropped, that the unpleasantness between PS3 and 360 fanboy has become especially acrimonious. Killzone 2 for example: The flameboy wars leading up to and following it’s launch were ridiculous.
Xbots edited Killzone 2′s wikipedia page on an almost daily basis until TPTB over there pretty much blocked all editing of it, they posted numerous 0/10 reviews to Metacritic prior to launch so that it couldn’t possibly acheive an aggregate that might approach or supercede any of their beloved Halo games, and of course they took to the forums to cry about how everyone who reviewed the game positively (which was pretty much every gaming site that played it) had been paid to do so by Sony.
MGS4, Uncharted 2, LBP and even ACII (which wasn’t a Sony exclusive but only advertised itself as a PS3 game) all received similar treatment prior to and after their launches.
DISCLAIMER: If there’s an Xbox 360 exclusive that endured the same type of undeserved ridicule, please don’t be butthurt that I haven’t mentioned it. It’s probably got something to do with the fact that I don’t have a 360 and as such do not pay attention to blogs, articles or forum posts dedicated to disparaging games like Halo or Gears Of War. Moving forward:
Personally, I wouldn’t have time to edit a wikipedia page about ME even if it was put up by my most bitter ex-girlfriend of all (who, in a strange twist of fate has later in life come to be a good friend of my wife’s…which is a cause for concern…but…I digress), let alone some page that some pathetic, snot sucking loser edited to soothe his broken sense of self worth.
Honestly, I barely have time to type this…but I’m going to, because sometimes a man’s wishes for the ease of inner peace just need to be put aside and some shit needs to get talked.
So yeah…some people have made it their mission to either discard Kratos’ swan song or to disparage it. When it dropped, I played through the game at a fever pitch on one of my four PSN IDs, quickly coming to the conclusion that while it wasn’t the best game ever (which had been my expectation going in), it was still far better than 95% of the shit that’s out there, and certainly worthy of a top score.
Once I’d finished, I went out to read other reviews. There was of course the usual 2/10 tripe out there from people who’d obviously not played the game, as well as the usual 11/10 reviews from people who, despite their opinion being in diametric opposition, had obviously not played the game either.
But there were a few out there that didn’t seem like your typical fanboy blather, but seemed to have thought out and well reasoned opinions about why the game wasn’t really good. So I played through again, this time being more attentive to the game, on my Go-To PSN ID. Last night, as I was pwning the shit out of Zeus and Gaia’s fucked up tree-heart, I had an epiphany and had to put the controller down.
I realized that the bossfight with Zeus and the subsequent ending cutscene was the main reason that I’d purchased a PS3 instead of a 360 or Wii. I was literally sitting there, deflecting Zeus’s bolts with the Golden Fleece…using a mechanic I’d learned on the original game in 2005…when I literally said to myself, “This is it. This is why I got a PS3.”
…and I didn’t flood with excitement. I didn’t peak with some kind of Primal Scream inducing gamer wargasm that one might expect at such a moment.
Remember the Hydra?? Remember fighting the first small head in the prison ship’s cargo hold? Remember the look on The Captain’s face when the Main Head emerged? Remember him begging Poseidon to save him? Remember the sound the Hydra made after eating The Captain that signalled the beginning of the bossfight itself? Remember skewering that fucker and how awesome that was?
Remember Kratos calling Kronos out of the desert after finding the sirens? Remember his three day long ascent to the entrance? Remember the Temple Of Pandora? The Giant Minotaur, the Floor Drops Out Room, the Box and Spikes Room, the Conveyor Belts Of Doom Room?
Remember Ares throwing that pillar like a javelin across Athens and through the desert to impale Kratos on the door of Pandora’s Temple? That and Kratos killing the Hydra were two of the most badass impalements I’ve ever seen.
There’s lots of moments like that…and not just in the original. God Of War II has a SHITLOAD of those moments, not the least of which is the Steeds Of Time being reigned in by The Pasty One.
God of War III ramped up all those impressive visuals with the ridiculously massive setpieces, bosses and the like…and now instead of seeing things through the veil of the “tricks” the Santa Monica studios used in the first two games to convey scale, we saw the Scale in Real Time…as it happened…in action.
But we weren’t moved to tears. Stoners weren’t compelled to put the controller down and grab a celebratory bong for the big cutscenes. Jaws didn’t necessarily hit the floor. Why, you ask??
Well it probably has something to do with the ridiculously good quality of games we’re seeing finally come around now that the 360 and PS3 are in full stride. Games like Assassin’s Creed II, Uncharted 2, Killzone 2, Modern Warfare 2, BFBC2…more and more games are coming out that legitimately rival the entertainment factor of big budget Hollywood blockbusters.
Last gen, most of us gamers knew that games were by and large more interactive, entertaining and just plain better than the best of what the Silver Screen had to offer. Of course, Hollywood hasn’t seen any truly creative people or ideas come out since the last 10 minutes of The Usual Suspects, but that’s neither here nor there.
This generation, it’s obvious that the games are not only better than the movies, they’re bigger. Think about it…would you rather do again: watch Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull or play through Uncharted 2?
Minds like Hideo Kojima set out decades ago to create immersive, summer blockbuster type experiences in games, but it’s with this generation of console and today’s technology that games have truly come to not just rival but surpass the monuments in filmmaking that have inspired gamers and developers for years.
God of War, God of War II and also God of War: Chains of Olympus were different. They were all drastically bigger and better than just about everything else out there. They pushed the capabilities of the PS2 and PSP to their very limits, and were pretty much head and shoulders above the competition.
This generation, not so much. There’s so much that’s been accomplished and so much left to accomplish that in today’s market, while a game like God Of War III is clearly better than most other games out there, it’s not by nearly as ridiculous a margin as in the past.
So when Kratos fights the Leviathan, when he casts Gaia back to Tartarus, when he sends Kronos to his death, even when the mighty Zeus himself is laid waste…those are big moments…HOLY FUCKING SHIT moments…but it’s not like we haven’t had moments like that before.
REX vs. RAY in Metal Gear Solid 4, Sev and Rico vs. Radec, Visari and the terrible aftermath in Killzone 2, Ramirez and Sgt. Foley liberating the White House and stopping a carpet bomb on Washington DC in Modern Warfare 2, the Train Chase and Truck Chase in Uncharted 2…
…we’ve seen HOLY FUCKING SHIT a lot lately, and while it maybe hasn’t “numbed” us to the big budget blockbuster moments in games like the aforementioned and God Of War III, it’s no longer once or twice a generation that we are treated to games that actually redefine the concept of “awesome.”
So you killed Zeus and you didn’t want to immediately get up and skewer a live boar and fuck the first hottie you see into a coma. So fucking what? God Of War III still owns your fucking face, and you fucking know it. It’s just not the only game that does it that nasty anymore.
Long is the way, and hard…that from Hell leads up to light.
-John Milton, Paradise Lost
Kratos, the Ghost Of Sparta and former God Of War, has returned to the Playstation community (as promised) to rip your head off and shit down your neck. You ladies may just want to strap yourselves in, because the big, bald, pasty badass is coming to Olympus to fuck shit up…as well as anyone that’s stupid enough to get in his way.
God Of War III concludes the (initial, anyways) inaccurately described “trilogy” of Kratos and the story of his downfall. God Of War and God Of War II are considered by most who’ve played them to be among the ten best games of the previous generation, and God Of War: Chains Of Olympus is considered by many to be among the best handheld games ever (and FWIW, the cellphone game Betrayal is a lot better than any other cellphone game I’ve played to date also)…so this “final” chapter has quite a bit to live up to.
Fans of the series will know the formula, but for the uninitiated, God Of War games ALWAYS do it big, and they ALWAYS throw you right into the largeness upfront. I can’t tell you all the backstory, because I really don’t want to go into the detail at this time, but of course God Of War II ended with Kratos riding on the back of the Titan Gaia as she and the other Titans whom Kratos freed from Tartarus climb up Mount Olympus to find and kill Zeus…and it’s at that exact moment that God Of War III begins.
Combat is pretty much the same as in previous iterations of the series, with a few new elements added for good measure. The Golden Fleece (pried from Jason the Argonaut’s cold, dead hands in GoWII) returns, instantly giving Kratos the ability to catch and counter enemy attacks. There is now a mechanic for Kratos to use his chained range weapons to pull himself closer to the next vict…err, enemy, which allows combos to be prolonged and strung together over a wide area.
There are this time four alternate weapons, and they have their own Magic Abilities to go with them, but they are all very well integrated and the weapons are not only useful but they’re in their own right just as ass-whippingly awesome as the Chained Blades (named The Blades Of Exile for God Of War III)…and in one case, better. It’s kind of a bummer not to have Poseidon’s Rage or really any kind of reasonable facsimile of it, but when you catch the straight up DECIMATION that the Hooks of Hades, Nemean Cestus and Nemesis Whip bring to the table, I assure you that pangs of missing the electro-awesome that was PR will be forgotten.
Now of course n00bs can button try to button mash their way through the game but being that this is the PS3 version, there are now WAY more enemies on screen attacking Kratos than ever before, they don’t wait for the other ones to finish before starting their attacks and quite honestly while you CAN button mash your way to glory…it’d probably be a lot easier, faster, and more fun if you mix and match combos, as jamming on the triangle button alone will only get you so far. And honestly there’s several areas that I think were specifically designed to slap down this type of playthrough.
The enemies are about as varied as before, with a few new additions…a few really nasty ones, if you’re like me and hate crawly multilegged arachnid/bug type things…and a host of new bosses. By now most of you have probably seen footage of the Poseidon/Leviathan bossfight in the beginning…oops, spoiler I guess…and I’m here to tell you it’s big, it’s crazy, it’s intensely brutal and it sets the table nicely for the rest of the game.
^^That’s a realtime render…zoomed in, no less.
God Of War III amped up just about everything. The scale of the previous games always seemed incredible, and with the power of the PS3, the game is able to do away with the “tricks” that Santa Monica had (admittedly) used in GoW and GoWII to give it it’s sense of scale. This time, the scale is right in your face and it’s MASSIVE. Yes…even the stingiest of gamers will be slack jawed at least once or twice. Want to see??
The graphics are amazing…and it’s all realtime renders, even the “cut scenes.” Kind of makes you wonder what they could’ve done had they decided to use all out CG for the cuts…but GoW director Stig Assmussen (yes, that’s really his name…and he’s bald, taboot) wanted the game to have the same feel all the way around. Despite the fact that everything is rendered with the in game engine, GoWIII manages to deliver some of the best graphics I’ve seen.
There are places where they skimped here or there, but they’re really few and far between.
The characters are awesome, as is typical of the God Of War franchise. Of course the characters begin with Kratos, and my man is as angry as ever. The first game saw Kratos trying to hack and slash his way to redemption, which we find out at the end was never going to happen. And really…who didn’t see it coming?
You can’t “redeem” yourself for murdering your wife and young daughter in a blood crazed rage, regardless of if you were “tricked into it” (which Kratos really wasn’t) or not…and even if you could, killing everyone and everything in your way isn’t the way to go about redemption, so I guess we should’ve recognized. In GoWIII, Kratos cares about neither redemption or really anyone else. All he cares about is killing Zeus. Even if it calls for him killing the rest of the Gods on Olympus…which…by the way…it does.
GoW is famous for some pretty campy dialogue, but honestly we’re talking about events that take place around three thousand years ago, and the principals involved are almost all either Gods or the direct descendants of Gods, so the campiness is forgivable and in many spots enjoyable. In particular I was quite entertained by Hera, Zeus’s wife. In Greek Mythology, Hera is a tempestuous and insanely jealous wife, and when you figure that Mythological Zeus is portrayed as more promiscuous than an NBA All Star, it makes for some of the meatiest events in that mythos.
Hera has a couple of small scenes, in which she’s pretty much a cantankerous, foul mouthed, cuckolded wife who hates everything around her. In another life, she and Kratos could’ve been buddies. Nevertheless she steals the show despite the fact that she’s really only got a cameo and her legs were rendered half assed. There are lots of bosses, and they pose about the same kind of difficulty as the bosses of God Of War II did. Some are big, some are GI-FUCKING-NORMOUS, and some you really don’t even need to do anything to beat.
There’s the sex minigame…and it even repeats itself for you if you would like, but it’s a direct obstacle, as opposed to the sex games from GoWII and CoO, which were able to be skipped or missed if you weren’t paying attention. No, this is not something that can be avoided, and it even provides it’s own PSA about letting children view the content or play the game.
There are also puzzles. As each game has come and gone, the puzzles have evolved and changed, incorporating new elements…such as how a few puzzles from GoWII involved Kratos stopping time. These puzzles are varied, involving elements of other games you might have played like echochrome and of course, the much maligned “rhythm puzzle.”
Yes, there’s a rhythm puzzle that involves a giant Greek Lyre and almost every review I’ve read bemoans its very existence as if it were an unsightly run in a pretty little princess’ stocking just minutes before the Cotillion Ball. Come on, Nancy. Give. Me. A. Break. Honestly, I’m not exactly sure what those people’s problems are, although I can imagine a casual or complete lack of familiarity with Greek Mythology and oral traditions (NOT a joke) probably play a part.
Come on baby, play my Lyre.
Music was an integral part of Ancient Greek culture and the Lyre is absolutely central to Ancient Greek music; quite honestly it’s one of the most unique sounding instruments ever made. I think the instrument’s place in the game is absolutely wonderful, and it is even foreshadowed that you will have to make music with the Ancient Greek Muses. It’s implemented well, and provides a smirky, slight nod to the PS3 controller buttons (square, circle, triangle and figure ‘x’) that almost breaks the fourth wall.
I dunno…I like it. With the market being oversaturated to the Nth degree with Guitar Hero/Rock Band games, sequels, expansions and DLC, I can understand people who have played those games being less patient with it, but I still don’t have a problem with it. Being a person who intentionally avoids getting involved in fads (I just last year got a my first cell phone), I’ve played maybe three songs worth of those fake guitar games over the years, so I guess I’m kind of immune to any overexposure-borne hatred of them.
But it seems to me that when similar rhythm games popped up all over the place in the immortal Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, nobody voiced any concern or any type of problem it. So yeah…people have whined about it but honestly I think it’s either from playing too much GH/RB or maybe…just maybe…they were looking out for something to be whiney about.
‘Cause from where I’m sitting, it’s a perfectly implemented, wonderfully designed and culturally significant addition to the game, and I don’t know what the fuckz they be talkin’ bout.
Of course once you finish the game, you unlock God Of War’s vaunted Arena Challenge Modes, as well as the Titan difficulty for the game itself. The Arena Challenges (as always) will test just how good you really are playing as Kratos (button mashers beware…you will not do well at these), and the Titan difficulty ramps up the game to absolutely insane levels. For those of you who like to beat everything a game has to offer, and then use the bonus unlockables that equip only after the first playthrough, the extra modes lend hours of replay value above and beyond the main game itself.
Everything about this game is just insanely epic. Back when I first got my PS3, I picked up Heavenly Sword to kinda help me through my wait for GoWIII. HS was a great game, beautiful, unique in many ways and a very, very good game in its own right…but Kratos and his quest for revenge completely craps on Nariko and her quest for salvation…and not by a small margin at all.
There are also other games in the genre to be sure…Devil May Cry, Ninja Gaiden, Dante’s Inferno and Bayonetta, to name a few…but they really don’t touch the sound and the fury of God Of War III. The scale of this game is simply peerless, the graphics are incredible, the characters are great, the brutality is so much more insane than anything else I’ve ever seen and it’s all wrapped up in a fun, viscerally satisfying game that will at times blow you off your couch and out of your living room.
Understanding that I have yet to play an absolutely perfect game, I’m giving God Of War III a 10/10. For my money, God Of War III gives me everything I wanted it to, and then some. To be honest, the only thing the game is missing is online play, but let’s be honest with ourselves for a moment and admit that to date there’s no way to implement online multiplayer into a hack and slash.
Okay, maybe something similar to Horde Mode could work, but honestly I don’t think that alone is worth all the time and resources that such an inclusion would demand.
For the main game and the side games that come after the campaign is finished, God Of War III is just about flawless. There are small issues here and there, but they really don’t take away from the overall awesomeness that the game delivers. The PS3 allowed Santa Monica to show off the scale of Kratos’ Universe in ways they were only able to hint at in previous iterations, and at the end of the game, Kratos puts an end to Greek Mythology and also does a couple of things that would make Dr. Phil proud.
Again…God Of War III gets a 10 out of 10. The game’s not absolutely perfect, but it’s good enough to get top marks in my book, as I haven’t played many games that can legitimately boast to be as good and really none that I’d definitively call “better,” to date. This is a game that every gamer owes it to themselves to play.
It’s a reason to buy the PS3 (if MGS4, MotorStorm, Killzone 2, LittleBIG Planet, Uncharted 2 and Blu-Ray somehow wasn’t enough to convince you in the first place) if you don’t have one, and it’s also a game that deserves a place in every PS3 owner’s collection. Again, it’s not “perfect” per se, but you can really only exclaim “Holy fucking shit!” in game so many times before you concede that it’s earned the highest score possible.
So here we are. A week and 2 days after the release of what was expected to be the best video game of all time. Kratos has FINALLY made his way to “next-gen” and he does so in a big way.. both literally and figuratively. But, does the game really deliver? I’m here to say.. “No.”
Now calm down just a second. I’m not saying that the game isn’t good, it is, very good, but it’s not even close to being great. Ok, maybe it’s close, but it don’t quite reach the mark.
I’m not going to get into all the reasons why I like the game, I’m sure you’ve probably read your fair share of those, and what I can only assume is a very good one written by my counterpart (or am I his? Either way..) Glue.. check it out
I’ll admit, I was just as excited as anyone else about this game. I grabbed a copy of it, drove very quickly home, sat down and was blown away by the opening credit sequence. And then it started with the quick fight, and when the first “cutscene” started I took a huge breath as I was FINALLY playing God of War III. And that’s pretty much where my excitement ended..
I guess I kind of have a feeling that I, along with pretty much everyone else who’s played this game, was expecting this game to practically wipe our asses for us. The hype was crazy huge, and it had to be. God of War and the sequel were both incredibly great and hugely successful games. Every hack-n-slash since has tried to mimic the formula if you will, and not one has even scratched the surface of what GoW accomplished. And now God of War III is here, promising everything we know and love and then some, and to me it just feels incomplete, which I understand SCEA has admitted this much. But aside from the ending, there’s still much to be desired here.
Of course the first thing I noticed where the controls. Right away I realized that they didn’t feel like GoW. To me the two button combo thing was just irritating. If you don’t understand what I’m talking about it’s needing to hold down L2 plus a face button for some crazy new thing, and because it’s a “new thing”, you’re naturally not used to it. There were plenty of times when I had to completely relearn the controls in my head, sometimes in one play session. Now, this may have something to do with my terrible memory, but it’s not like I’m new to video games. The whole control system seemed very clunky to me to begin with. They are nowhere near as fluid and precise as the previous two games.
As far as gameplay, there were a few new things I really did like. The new spell-tied-to-the-weapon-you’re-using thing was handy enough. Instead of needing to level up two things, you’re down to one. The three gorgan eyes/phoenix feathers and now minotaur horns instead of 6? (damn it’s be a looooong time ) is an improvement, but at the same time it evens out since you’re not likely to just walk right by a chest containing these items anymore. The puzzles were certainly not on the same level as the other two games. Right now, I can’t think of one puzzle that I was honestly stuck on for more than a few minutes. With the exception of the Garden nothing really stands out in that aspect.
The combat provided plenty of “holy shit” moments (centaurs anyone?), but since the controls play such a big role here, it also felt really lacking. There was no “huge fight with a bunch of monster thingys before the last boss” scene, which was a real let down to me. I will say that the boss fights (with the exception of a BIG one) were really really well done. I think the Hades fight seems to be a big favorite right now, and to me it don’t get any better than that.
The last thing I want to touch on right quick is the blood. It may have been my tv and I know that it was supposed to be fake looking, but FFS.. make an attempt. I know I’m nitpicking here, but with so much of it you’d think they’d take the time to at least make it look good.
You may notice that I didn’t touch on graphics. To me, graphics should be an afterthought to any game. Good Graphics Do Not Make a Good Game. But, I will say that the game looks great, and you can tell they put extra overtime into Kratos himself. Which is a problem because they obviously didn’t put nearly the same amount of time into Zeus, who’s role is just as big and just as important.
Overall, is this a good game? Yes. It is absolutely not the worst game I’ve ever played, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. But it’s far from perfect. There is so much room for improvement that DLC is almost a gimme. I can only guess that DLC is going to fix the ending, in which case I would say go buy this game, but wait until then. For now, it’s a rental at best. There is just nothing here that screams $60 to me.
Good job Stig.