Levels are designed masterfully and are massive in scale. Some of the backdrops are breathtakingly stunning, and thanks to dynamic lighting and some realistic textures, the environments take on a life of their own. Kratos will traverse through the depths of hell, brain-bending labyrinths, and more, and even the Titans become landscapes for Kratos to conquer. Puzzles are scattered throughout the levels as well and always fit the situation. You won’t find a puzzle in the middle of combat; rather, they are used to provide a much needed breather after many prodigious battles. Puzzles can range from obvious to difficult, with only a small few leaving you scratching you head.
Graphically, the game is a powerhouse, raising the bar in every way possible. The amount of detail that went into every aspect of God of War III is astounding. Muscle striations are clearly visible in Kratos’ chest, and you can see his intercostal muscles move as he breathes in and out. Blood stains Kratos’ skin as he fights, and during close-ups, you can see the pores in Kratos’ war torn face. Textures and lighting take the level of realism in video games to new heights. It’s evident that the development team put extra care into getting the lighting just right, setting the mood perfectly for many of the game’s dark and ominous environments. Even Kratos’ Blades of Exile leave a glowing streak of devastation with every swing and swipe. As fictional as the setting of mythological Greece is, the level of detail and polish brings the world to life.
The game’s colossal score and effects sound magnificent in full 7.1 surround. Hearing the devastation from all angles heightens your sense of immersion, and despite being filled with growls, grunts, cries, and clanging of blades tearing through flesh, it’s a fantastically fulfilling feast for your ears. Sound effects put the finishing touches on every movement. Ghostly howls follow every slash of Hades’ Claws. When Kratos’ blades hit the ground, or you forcefully push open massive concrete doors, the bass will rattle your bones. The score itself is befitting of an adventure of this scale, teeming with thunderous orchestral tones.
The storyline, while a continuation of the previous titles, still feels fresh and unpredictable. Kratos is on a mission of vengeance, aimed at killing his father, Zeus. Zeus is no pushover–as the King of the Gods, taking him out is no simple task. Kratos will need to harness a power strong enough to annihilate Zeus, a power that strikes fear into the heart of the Gods themselves called the Flame of Olympus. To find it, Kratos will journey through the depths of hell to the peaks of Mount Olympus, facing a never-ending gauntlet of danger. The story serves its purpose of unfolding this final chapter in God of War III but the gameplay really steals the show. You’ll be so consumed with thirst for more combat that you’ll barely take notice to the lack-luster plot. God of War III is the culmination of Kratos’ fight against the gods of Olympus. Every chapter in Kratos’ saga is wrapped up without question.
Since the story is about one man, Kratos, and his journey to remove the Gods of Olympus from power, the core of the game is the 8-10 hour single-player mode. Fear not, however, on top of a few modes being unlocked after your first playthrough, the game is so fun and gratifying the game irresistibly compels you to play again and again. If you’re confident enough you can try your hand at ‘Chaos’ difficulty or one of the game’s many ‘Challenges’. The Challenges pit Kratos in fierce battle with stipulations attached, such as defeating a horde of enemies without using any weapons or letting a Gorgon freeze you in stone 10 times in the midst of a full-scale enemy onslaught, all without failing. If you discovered any of the game’s many hidden collectibles, on your subsequent playthroughs you can unlock special attributes that affect the way the game is played.
God of War III is the ultimate climax to the most highly acclaimed franchise ever to grace PlayStation consoles. Kratos’ legacy of brutality and chaos ends with a remarkable bang. The game is brimming with unforgettable, jaw-dropping moments that will stay with you forever. As good as the previous God of War games were comparing them to God of War III is like comparing Mount Olympus to a single grain of sand. Kratos’ final journey is the crowning example of why we play video games. If you own a PlayStation 3, you owe it to yourself to play this game. If you don’t yet have a PlayStation 3, this is the reason to get one.
PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score
Top-notch visuals and sound
Epic in scale and scope